Pursuing Our Spiritual Enemy
By Novlette Gooden-Castillo
Day 1 of 3: Pursue Your Enemy
“But do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand.” >
-Joshua 10:19 (NASB)
Joshua 10 gives the blow by blow feature of the massive defeat of the southern kingdoms that rose up against Joshua and the people of Israel. In it, we learn of an epic event that occurred and has never been repeated since then: the sun and moon stood still for an entire day because Joshua prayed to the Lord!
Why? Joshua wanted enough time to defeat his enemies and ensure victory, and God honored his request. There is a strategy and a spirit that God wants to impart to us, which he gave to Joshua and the mighty men of valor who defeated their enemies, and that is the spirit to pursue your enemies.
Five kings from five major cities at that time rose up against Gibeon, a people who were subjects to Joshua and the people of Israel. So naturally, Joshua marches out against them with his troops, but he also had a word from God:
“The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” (Joshua 10:8)
Now Gilgal was the battlefield, and Joshua and his team marched all-night and executed a surprise attack in the morning. Notice that Joshua did not think it difficult to march all-night to attack the enemy. In case you think this was no great feat, let me add that Gilgal was 20 miles east of Gibeon (where Joshua and his troops were coming from) and a steep uphill climb for them!
Because Joshua received a word from God, the victory was already his. So he could have taken it easy because God ensured the victory. But not Joshua—he knew faith without works is dead. Yes, God gave the assurance, but Joshua still had to pursue the enemy!
While our battle may not be against a physical army like Joshua, we are fighting a spiritual army. And like Joshua, we need to be willing to pray, worship, fast all-night, and pursue our enemy if we desire to surprise and defeat the enemy! God has given us the same assurance as he did Joshua:
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB)
Know that when we are pursuing the enemy in Jesus’s Name, the miraculous can happen. The Bible says that the Lord threw the enemy into confusion, and the Israelites were able to defeat them. Child of God, the Lord of Hosts and Heaven’s Armies is raging war alongside you to bring victory, and he can confuse the enemy.
But the Israelites did not stop there; they “pursued them along the road going up to Bethel Horon and cut them down all the way…” and the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites” (Joshua 10:10-11).
You see, Joshua could have stopped here, but NO! This is where he stretches his faith and asks God to stop the sun and moon to give him time for the victory over the enemy. (Verses 12-15) You see, he trusted God’s word and believed none of the enemy would be able to withstand him. Joshua was not willing to have a partial victory, so he prayed for complete victory.
So many times we miss the opportunity to see God move on our behalf because we limit God by our lack of faith. We do not trust—as we should—in the power of God to save and deliver us. How it must grieve the heart of God, for truly Jesus Christ died so that we could all walk in victory!
Are we satisfied with partial victory in our personal lives, relationships, in our children’s lives, in our churches, in our neighborhoods, when God desires us to have total victory? Have we made peace that this is as good as it gets because we are not willing to pursue the enemy? Do we decrease our times in prayer, going to church, or worshipping God when we obtain some victory?