Day 5: A Message from Tom Rios, MENACA Continental Director
“A Different Spirit”
The people of Israel who camped in Gilgal after crossing the Jordan River were reaching the end of one stage and the beginning of a new one. A new generation born in the desert set foot on the Promised Land and prepared to conquer it. God had given them the right over the land, The Title of Ownership over every place where their feet walked.
But the conquest was not going to be a cakewalk. Walled cities with brave and well-armed defenders were an obstacle they had to overcome. But the main obstacle was their fear and disbelief. How could they achieve what was expected of them? They needed to be renewed with a different spirit, a spirit like that which Caleb and Joshua showed in the report they gave after exploring the promised land, in clear contrast to that emitted by the remaining ten spies (Numbers 14:24). Without that different spirit, without the mental attitude of Caleb and Joshua, the conquest would not be.
In that decisive hour, the Lord said to Joshua: “Make yourself sharp knives and circumcise the children of Israel a second time” (Joshua 5:2). The generation that had been born in the desert had not been circumcised. The conquest of the earth required a different spirit from each person, a spirit renewed by the Word of God that lives and abides forever. In Gilgal, God renewed with them the covenant that he had made with Abraham, and there they celebrated the Passover. God thus reminded them of their corporate identity as a chosen people and the behavior he expected of them. In the run-up to the military campaign, Joshua wants to see a different spirit in the people, a people who genuinely believe the Word of God.
A renewed spirit is only possible by growing in the knowledge of the Word of God and believing in all his promises. There is no renewal of spirit outside of the Word of God. Only the Word of God is spirit and life.
“It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” Jesus said to his disciples (John 6:63).
“By the word of the Lord heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made… And that Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1: 1-3,14).
Only the Lord has words of eternal life! Meditate on the Word of God daily, know the God who reveals himself in it, and obey him with all our heart. This is the path to true interior renewal.
Therefore, we will do well if we imitate the example of Joshua, who, “When he was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ And He said, ‘No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua, falling on his face to the ground, worshiped him, and he said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to his servant?’ And the Commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Take off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15).