Acts 10:1-33; Joshua 7-8; Job 24
In the movie Star Wars: A New Hope – the first movie which is also known as Star Wars 4 – Han Solo utters some amazing spiritual advice. As the Millennium Falcon escapes the Death Star, a battle ensues. Luke shoots one of the TIE fighters and cheers. Han Solo responds, “That’s great kid!” Then he added these immortal words: “Don’t get cocky!” Joshua had led the people to a great conquest over the city of Jericho. As they came to occupy the Promised Land, the next city along the way was Ai. Joshua prepared for battle: “Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, ‘Go up and spy out the region.’ So the men went up and spied out Ai. When they returned to Joshua, they said, ‘Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there.’” (Joshua 7:2-3) Joshua’s preparation was prudent in the normal sense, but these battles were not normal; they were supposed to be under the direction of God. We don’t see Joshua seeking God for guidance. Instead, he sought the guidance of the spies. You would think Joshua would remember the problems with spies! So these spies came back, flush from their victory over Jericho and, not having Han Solo as a spiritual advisor, got cocky. This one was easy. They just needed a few thousand guys. There was no reason to weary the whole army. Except, there was sin in the land. Except, God had not been consulted. The easy victory turned into a major defeat. When we have great spiritual victories, it’s easy to begin to think that we did it ourselves, or that God needed us to pull this victory off. We approach the next battle ahead of us full of self-confidence and fail to rely on God. Then we go down to defeat and wonder why God deserted us. In truth, we never sought God’s guidance. As we approach the battles God has laid out before us, may we remember the advice of Han Solo – “Don’t get cocky” – and remember to seek God’s guidance and direction in any and all endeavors.
Dear God, remind me that I am to depend on You at all times. It’s so easy to experience a spiritual victory and then ask You to sit on the sidelines for the next battle. It’s so easy to say, “Don’t worry God! I got this.” Remind me to seek Your guidance each and every day for the battles I will face.