Joshua 8:1, “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:”
The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings. The book of Joshua illustrates that and no chapter more so than chapter 8 (c.f. Psalm 37:23-24). We must take our mistakes, including the ones which are sins, and by the power of God’s Spirit, turn defeat into victory. There are times when we must move forward through our failures. The first movement in that turn is repentance, and let’s recognize that repentance is more than just confession. Repentance requires forward movement in obedience. In other words, a change of mind that results in a change of behavior. To claim the victory that God has promised requires forward movement, because obedience is not passive but active. Even though God promised the victory and fights the battles, we cannot stand back and await the outcome. We must confidently move forward, trusting God to do what He said He would do, and we should understand that victories do not always come in the same manner.
The victory God provided over Jericho was accomplished through a miracle. The Israelites simply marched around the city, obeying God’s every direction, and at the appointed time the walls fell. The victory God provided over Ai was accomplished through a military strategy rather than a miracle, and the people were allowed to retain all the spoil (8:2). The point is that God works in different ways in different situations according to His good purpose. While God is still in the miracle business. He is also at work in the mundane areas of life. We should not discount one for the other or be more in earnest for the former rather than the latter.