The Man Who Commanded God

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The Israelites were outnumbered by men who were stronger fighters, faster runners, and better warriors. A city they had promised to protect was under attack. Marching out to help the distressed, they saw the five enemy kingdoms united against them. The enemy spread out across the land, an immeasurable force like the sands of the sea. The odds of victory were not good.

Yet God said to Joshua, “not a man of them shall stand before you” (Joshua 10:8). Israel had nothing to fear as they commenced the war against their foes. The Lord even intervened by raining hail on their enemies when the Israelites couldn’t catch up with those who were retreating.

After an all day battle there were still enemies standing. God’s promise of total victory had not been fulfilled when Joshua spoke to the Lord. “…And he said in the sight of Israel, ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.’ And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies…so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (Joshua 10:12-13).

The Bible says, “…there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man” (verse 14).  Nobody else ever could command God, and yet that is exactly what God wants us to do. “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11).

…there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man

But how can one command God? Ellen White writes that the man who commanded the sun and moon to stand still was first “the man who for hours lay prostrate upon the earth in prayer in the camp at Gilgal” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509). Joshua could have no power with God had he not been a man of prayer. “The men of prayer are the men of power” (ibid).

In all of history the men who have prayed well have been the movers of God’s cause here on earth. The mightiest battles ever fought were won on the knees of faithful men. These men have brought about spiritual revolutions for the cause of God. They knew how to wrestle with God like Jacob. They knew how to prevail.

E. M Bounds wrote, “Prayer is the one prime, eternal condition by which the Father is pledged to put the Son in possession of the world” (E.M. Bounds on Prayer, p. 219).  The greatest thing we can offer the world is not our education, talents, or abilities, “it is the fruit of the time we have spent with the Savior, the utterly unique and unparalleled thing that happens to us when we are simply in His presence” (B. Patterson).

Today we have the privilege of moving God’s kingdom forward. We may do so with power. The same miracles God did in the past can be done for us. God is waiting for us to call, waiting for our response to his invitation, “command ye me.”