The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
- Joshua 5:15-6:1
Look at the contrast in today’s passage.
Joshua kneels before the commander of the Lord’s army. Joshua’s sandals are off and he cannot easily run. The man stands before him with a sword. Joshua’s completely vulnerable.
Pan the camera to the side and you can see Jericho. Forty foot walls. Gates locked and barred. No one enters. No one leaves. Invulnerable.
We all have times in our lives when we want to bar the gates. Keep people out. Lock people in. We want the world to just stop spinning. But what if the commander of the army of the Lord is just outside your gates? What if God himself stands at the door and knocks?
Our attempts at self-protection will, at times, interfere with our experience of God. He does amazing things in our lives when we’re willing to be vulnerable to him.
Perhaps today the Lord is giving you a fresh invitation to kneel before him. Set your exit strategies aside for a moment. Humble yourself and admit that you don’t know it all, don’t understand it all, and may never. Tell the Lord that you’re doing your best to fight your impulse to lock and bar the gate: the gate between you and other people, the gate between you and the church, the gate between you and God. Ask him to give you the strength and courage that it will require for you to make yourself vulnerable.
What is the Lord’s invitation to you today?