We Will Follow Them Into Battle
…by Chuck Graham
It is a time of war. Your troops have won major battles, but ahead lies a far more difficult task…a heavily fortified city surrounded by high, massive walls. No one can enter. As you approach, a commander arrives with new orders: Take the city. “But how?”
“Have your standard1 near the front so all can see it. Position guards both before and after, all followed by your entire army. But at the very front, place your seven most loyal men, who will follow your orders without question.”
You’re puzzled. “How will we break down the fortifications?” “You won’t. Your army will do nothing except march around the city, following the flag.” “I see. My seven men will secretly enter the city and let us in.” “No. They will blow these horns. That’s all.” “Wait, what?”
Respect and love those who work hard among you. 2
So goes the story of the Battle of Jericho. 3 Moses had died and Joshua was now leader of the Israelites. Following the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s sovereignty, they crossed the Jordan, won battles, obeyed the instructions for Jericho, and watched its wall tumbling down.
This story is of trust and faith. But there’s something more that’s easily missed. It’s also about those seven loyal men and their horns. They were not soldiers, not a part of Joshua’s army. They were priests, men God had called for ministry. Specifically, they were worship leaders.
Jericho was a spiritual battle. God brought down that wall. And on the front line were His leaders obeying Him. They led the march on the city. And by their actions over seven days and the constant call of seven shofars,4 God’s people united in confidence and courage.
Encourage those who lead worship, and pray for them.
This was common in warfare, even through the 1800’s. Leading the battle were brave flag bearers claiming the cause for their sovereign. There were also musicians who, through thunderous drums and blasting horns, raised courage in comrades and fear in enemies.
Worship leaders today do much the same in the spiritual war that rages around us. Their actions, words, and music fill us with love and courage, purpose and commitment. They lead us to follow God and shine His light in a dark world.
Like all on the front lines, they are vulnerable to attack. They suffer loss, pain, grief, and loneliness. They know frustration and weakness.
And our orders are simple: love and encourage them. So let’s be the people God has called us to be. Let’s stand with them.
When evil comes, together we will stand our ground and, after the battle, remain standing. 5
Take care & be God’s,
Ciloa has called for December 1, 2018, to be a day of prayer for Worship Leaders. From small churches to large arenas, these men and women unite us in worship, sing to our souls, play to our hearts, and bring Hope to our lives. Be a part of this special event. Share the names of Worship Leaders and let’s lift them up to God. Email us at: Ciloa@ciloa.org .
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa , an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching others how to “encourage one another as long as it is called Today!” He is an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. You can learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org .
1. A standard is a symbol, often a flag, usually indicating the presence of a sovereign power.
2. See 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.
3. Read Joshua 5:13-6:25.
4. A shofar is a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, used in religious ceremonies and as a call to battle.
5. Adapted from Ephesians 6:13.
Banner Photo: From Jews for Jesus, jewsforjesus.org
Second Photo: Wayne Stiles, Jericho Wall