There is an interesting passage in Joshua 11 where the northern Kings come against Israel. IN verse 4 it says “So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots”. The two new challenges that Israel is faced with are a) many people and b) superior military technology. This enemy army had both mounted cavalry and chariot soldiers. These are new for Israel, and pretty overwhelming for an army that is far outnumbered and wholly composed of foot soldiers. What fascinates me is that in verse 9 it says that Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire. Wouldn’t it have been sensible for Joshua to capture the weapons and then use them to fight in more battles? It might have! They could have captured that technology and used it for future conflicts. But here is a lesson about using the weapons of the devil, and this particularly interests me as a pastor and church planter because many church planters do not hesitate to use the “horses and chariots” of their spiritual enemy – sleek marketing campaigns, advanced networking, publicity, etc etc. We have to be careful here! The way of the Lord is by His Spirit. One of the reasons that we fall into that trap is because they LOOK superior. That is exactly what these weapons here LOOK like but in fact they weren’t superior because Joshua’s army won!
When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he told them that the weapons of our warfare are not [under the control of the animal appetites] carnal. That’s what carnal means, it’s the Greek word “sarkikos” which means having the nature of flesh. Paul continues and says but in contrast mighty in God. Here Paul chooses to use the word “dunatos” which is translated “mighty” but elsewhere appears as the word “possible” 13 times. It seems to me that when Paul talks about the carnal weapons that these are the ones that are not possible and are not mighty and the ones that are possible and are mighty are found in God.
How often I wish I would be more and more dependent on the Lord’s strength in my ministry.