I admire the space scientists of our day, who make possible the thrilling space journeys of the astronauts. If there is one thing they have in common, that is to think ahead and foresee every possibility. Architects also have that capacity to see the finished building, to know how it will blend with surrounding buildings, and to plan the layout to meet the needs of their clients for many years ahead.
In the same way, my faith has an element of foresight built into it by God, and without it faith would turn into hope. The great example of foresight in the “Heroes of Faith” chapter is Joshua. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days” (Hebrews 11:30). Joshua was the leader of God’s people at this time, and to understand this faith incident we need to go back forty years to when Joshua and Caleb were the two spies who gave a positive report of the land of Canaan.
It was some weeks after the nation had crossed the Red Sea, and the army of the Egyptians had been drowned. Moses had sent twelve spies to search out the land ahead, and when they returned, ten gave a negative report. “We are not able… they are stronger than we… we saw the giants… we were in our sight as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13). However, Joshua and Caleb reported: “We are well able… they are bread for us… they are defenceless… the Lord is with us.” The contrast is between the sight of fear and the foresight of faith; between being a grasshopper or a conqueror! Joshua got his attitude right about Canaan — and he kept it right for forty years!
The nation believed the ten spies with their grasshopper philosophy, and God pronounced that only two adults of their number would go into the promised land of Canaan — and they were Joshua and Caleb. The nation then went on a forty-year merry-go-round in the wilderness. Moses died, and Joshua was given the leadership of the nation and told to take the people across Jordan and into the promised land. God said to cross the Jordan; Joshua then decided how it would be done. “Prepare food, for in three days you will pass over this Jordan” (Joshua 1:11). God’s time is always now, but Joshua had 1.5 million people to move and he figured he needed three days to do it. God promised — Joshua prepared. Joshua got his affirmation right. He was a follower (mimic, Eph. 5:1) of the God Who “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). That is why an affirmation is always in the now, not some future time. There is no past, present, or future in spirit, only now!
A few weeks later Joshua and the nation approached Jericho and set up a siege of the city. God’s promise to him was also in the now: “See, I have given into thine hand, Jericho…” (Joshua 6:2). And God went on to give him very specific instructions of how the city was to be conquered, and as we read the story in Joshua chapter 6 we see that Joshua got his actions right also. It must have been quite a sight to see the crowd walk around the walls of Jericho. Seven priests with trumpets headed the parade, followed by the ark, and then the people — with not a word spoken! They did this for six days straight, and then on the seventh day they went around seven times — a grand total of thirteen times (who said thirteen was an unlucky number?). On the last time around, when the trumpets were blown, Joshua gave the command to “Shout, for the Lord hath given you the city” (Joshua 6:16). “And the walls came tumbling down”, as the old song puts it! The key to the victory was that the people accepted Joshua’s guidance and did exactly as he asked them.
Now let’s apply this to our lives. To get the shout of victory, you must have the foresight of faith. You need to get the right attitude, have the right affirmation, and do the right action. And that’s faith. Faith is an assumption, an attitude (Hebrews 11:1), faith has to be spoken (Mark 11:23), faith has to have an action (James 2:17). And when you have faith, then the walls that are between you and your good will fall down flat!