It has been said, “Defeat is only defeat if you live in it.” How a person handles defeat will determine his greatness in the Kingdom of God. Joshua exemplifies this in the defeat that the children of Israel suffered at Ai. It caused the hearts of the people to “melt, ” and become “as water.” This was a crippling blow to Joshua, who had just won a great victory at Jericho. Sometimes it is after the greatest victories that we suffer the worst setbacks.
Then, the real test came for Joshua. What would he do? How do you behave after you lose a game, or make a crucial mistake? We need to revenge disobedience with obedience and submission to God (2).
First, we must not live in condemnation, but respond to God’s promises. Then, take all the people who were affected by the defeat and view it from God’s viewpoint. Joshua dealt with the sin of Achan, but he also responded well to the plan that the Lord gave him. It is not enough to just deal with sin. We must go on to the next phase of the plan. This is the key to our growth.
Natural viewpoint will always creep in, but an instant response to God’s promises will put us on the road to reclaiming the lost “Ai’s” of our lives.