Thursday, November 10, 2016

One Commander

By Danetta Kellar

The great army commander could not sleep. The city loomed before him, shut up tight. 

His men scattered across the rocky landscape tossing and turning in their tents. The battle looked impossible. Rising to take a walk under the stars, the commander saw a man near the city gate. The man was unusually tall and strong, obviously a warrior. 

The commander approached him, hand resting on his sword, and asked with the confidence of one in charge of many thousands, “Are you for us or for them?”

The mighty man looked at him with burning eyes and replied, “Neither. Remove your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.” (See Joshua 6, the Old Testament).

This was the moment everything changed for Joshua. Every strategy, every plan, every tactic he had ever devised faded into obscurity as he removed his worn sandals and knelt before the Commander of the Lord’s Army. 

What Joshua was instructed to do next could never have been devised in the heart or mind of mortal man. 

It seemed illogical in an environment of shrewd war tactics and strategies. It was counterintuitive, unusual, for it required silence. Silence from complaining, from the arguing. Silence from the strategizing. Silence from the guesswork, the postulating about what would happen next. Silent obedience. Silence as they waited upon God. 

The rugged army encamped around Jerusalem that starry night was famous for complaining. Their complaints had prevented many of the earlier generation from continuing on to the promised land. To silence these burly grumblers would take an act of God.

But that is precisely what happened. And the battle turned.

It was an active silence, not a passive one. 

As the army quietened their mouths, their hearts were quieted. 

And they marched. Marching, marching, onward in silence, around and around the walls. And as they marched without speaking, their hearts rose up in a posture of extreme anticipation and focus upon God. The energy they had used for months to complain was now bridled and directed toward a different task. 

After a campaign rife with complaining and accusing, our presidential candidates spoke new words to us this week. 

Donald Trump promised anew in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to make America great again. Hard working unionists cheered him on, hoping he would make their weary work-worn lives easier, their paychecks stretch further. Hillary Clinton encouraged women and little girls that they were important, while young girls stood in the balcony weeping, feeling their hope disappeared with Clinton’s loss. 

President Obama said yesterday that after the election is over, we remember that we are all on the same team. 

He was likely not thinking of the Biblical encounter between Joshua and the commander of the Lord’s army. But Obama’s words remind me that in one way, one very important way, we are all on the same team. That sameness is the identical need we share for a Savior, a Rescuer, who will heal our wounds, restore our broken places, free us from our chains, whatever they may be. 

In our need for a Champion, we are certainly the same. 

We are all fighting a battle. Many commanders have spoken many words to us in recent days. 

But there is One Commander who will lead every heart, no matter what man or woman they follow, to healing and wholeness, justice and peace. And His name is Jesus Christ. 

Maybe the voices of others who represent Christ and faith are confusing you today. Maybe they seem harsh and hurtful. Perhaps you are afraid of the church. Like Joshua, retreat from the camp and come alone before God with His word, the Bible. Start in the book of John and read of Jesus’ journey to heal the broken and establish justice in a confused and conflicted world. Seek Him earnestly. Lay out your issues, your anger, your need, before Him. 

Maybe you feel victorious already today, relieved that your side seems to be winning. Do not forget compassion and mercy for others who stand immobilized, disappointed and in pain. A president cannot heal a soul. 

In many ways, we all look to man to save us, to make our lives better. But this is a fickle pursuit. Only Christ is constant, the same, yesterday, today, and forever. No man can save another’s soul.

I am taking my shoes off today and bowing before the One who commands our battles, the one who is on the side of justice and mercy no matter the interpretation of the battling sides. I am praying for the ones on both sides of the battle, for the way in which we are the same. May every heart find healing and justice in the only Commander who can lead us to true freedom, Jesus Christ.

Come to Him today and lay down your sword. Quiet your soul and listen for His coming into your circumstances. He will lead you to victory in your battle.

Why do you think we look to others to be our savior? Join the conversation today by commenting in the comments section below. If you are receiving this by email, click here to comment.



  1. Awesome essay and counsel. May the Lord of Glory anoint this WORD to penetrate the heart of every reader. Thank you for you for sharing with us. God bless in all your endeavors. In Jesus' Name.

  2. Thank you Billy for your encouragement. There is a higher road, a higher focus if we will find it right now. Blessings today!

  3. Wow! What an encouraging text! I came to the end of it just like you: "taking my shoes off and bowing before Him"!