But Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard, nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout!"
As I read this account I am reminded of my days in high school as a new believer. Eager to share truth and topple all lofty philosophies set up against God, I would defend the gospel for 200 comment long facebook discussions that went nowhere. Most of the people I was speaking at (intentional word choice) were people who knew me before my conversion and in some manner knew that I was different than before. Much like the city of Jericho, my closest friends were shut up tight. "Now Jericho was shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in." (Joshua 6:1) There was no way that I was going to convince them that Jesus was the Savior of the world, they had their guard up and were ready for an assault and I imagine they were thinking 'Jase got taken easily, but not us!' Zeal soon turned into anger at their unwillingness to budge, and I felt as though I was banging my head against Jericho's walls trying to make it come down. This was never God's plan to take down Jericho.
I have since apologized to most of those people for the argumentative spirit that inhabited my comments. Yet, still I find myself wondering what would have happened if I would have just kept my mouth shut and walked around them a few times. Living out a prayer filled and joy filled life as I walked around their strongholds with the Bible leading me just like the Israelite people were commanded by God. As filled with mocking and scoffing as it would be to walk around their towers day after day while speaking no words, the goal has never been my own comfort. Maybe God would have given the command at the perfect time for me to open my mouth and the walls would have fallen and the Lord would have taken the city for his glory.
I wish that things would have happened differently and I wish I would have reached out to my family and friends in different ways, but there is no way to change these things now. A continual walk in front and around the people we love is our God given strategy. But we are always waiting and looking for the power of God to come and give the command to shout!