“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORDs host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” —Joshua 5:13-15
When the King is with His people, then hope is greatly encouraged, for saith she, “Who can stand against the Lord of Hosts?” There must be conversions; it is no longer a question of trust and expectation, but of absolute certainty when Jesus is at the preaching. My brethren, if by earnest prayer we shall really bring the King into our midst today, as I am persuaded we shall, and if we keep Him here, holding Him by our entreaties, and by our tears, which are the golden chains that bind Christ to His people, then we need not think that there shall be good done, nor hope so, but it must be so, it shall be so, for where Christ is, there is the manifestation of the omnipotence of deity, and the hardest of hearts feel the influence thereof.
Where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed, for oh! of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus. A glimpse of Him will overcome us, so that we shall be almost ready to say, “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Oh, but a smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia which drop from His perfumed garments, but a smell of these I say, and the sick and the faint among us shall grow strong. Oh, but a moment’s leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of His divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we shall be cold no longer, but shall glow like seraphs, being made equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering. Then shall the Spirit of the Lord be upon us, and our old men shall see visions, and our young men shall dream dreams, and upon the servants and the handmaidens will God pour out His Spirit. If we do but know that Jesus is here, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord’s battle with heart, and soul, and strength. There is not a single part of our inner man which will not be bettered by the presence of Christ; therefore is this to be desired above all things.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 16, 1868 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 14 Sermon No. 795, “Joshua’s Vision”