Following orders, the immense army made preparations to leave in a moment’s notice. Time had come to start marching, and eventually the time would come to start fighting. With all their gear, the soldiers marched in the direction instructed by their commander. Within a few days, they reached an area where the commander decided to set up camp. They did so, resting and making more preparations for the ensuing battles. In fact, the commander reminded them:
“A few days ago, we prepared our gear. Now, during these few days of encampment, prepare yourselves. Be ready, men—you’re about to see something amazing! The king, himself, will be here fighting for you.”
The king?! Fighting for us?? Then, why did we prepare all our weapons and armor? Would these battles be harder? Easier?
Letting the army contemplate amongst themselves, the commander gave orders and marching commenced once more. Within a short time, the army, poised to succeed in their mission, came upon their first opportunity for victory. Having come to fully trust their commander, as both a leader and a person, they followed his orders perfectly. Sure enough, as promised, the king was right there fighting for them, and other questions were answered, too. They, indeed, would have to fight. Days later, the city was overtaken, and the army was celebrating. Celebration soon gave way to the reality that this mission was not over. Enemies and obstacles seemed to show up everywhere they turned. The battles were arduous, but sticking to the commander’s plan and relying on their hours of practice proved to be necessary. A series of victories, later to be written about, would become theirs.
After some time, the commander announced the news: “Soldiers, you have fought well. Thank you for your service. Because of your strength and courage, we have acquired much land. This land will now be divided amongst us, and you will settle in your respective lands.”
As the commander divided the land, one leader of a group of soldiers had his own announcement: “Commander, we have a larger group than you think. We need more land.” Pointing, the commander gave a simple instructional response: “You can have that hill country over there. Just clear the trees and drive out the enemy that live there.”
Persevering in a relationship is, sadly, a rarity. It’s hard. And like all the demands of love, perseverance takes an active approach. Rid your mind of any misconception that perseverance is passive. It is not just waiting. Not just sitting around thinking they will speak up first or make the first move. It is not letting time heal the wound. It is not creating physical or emotional distance just to avoid conflict.
Our story about the army is that of the Israelites. They were promised victory and lots of land…but they had to fight for it. More than likely, the relationship with which we are to persevere is one that God wants for us. It is essentially our Promised Land. And as with the Israelites, some applications surface for us, as well.
- We must prepare our gear (Joshua 1:11).
- We must prepare ourselves (Joshua 3:5).
- Now, clear the trees and drive out the enemy (Joshua 17:18).
Do your part. The King is fighting for your relationship. You’re about to see something amazing!