One of the defeats of the army of Israel was at the city of Ai. There was no record of prayer, no record of God speaking to them about this military campaign, as He was known to do. They went to battle, saints, “in the flesh”. They presumed that God would give them victory; after all, the mighty city of Jericho had just come a tumbling down!

How rich these chapters are in providing us insight for our lives today. When we walk in the Spirit and talk in the Spirit we are walking in victory. 1 John 5:4 tells us that “whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” Denying self and yielding my life to Christ is what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight.”

You see, every victory depends upon the Lord’s doing. Being in the Spirit is what keeps us in the victory and love of God. Every area of our lives must be yielded to the will of God, which is the wisdom of God. We tend to “submit” our Jericho but try to handle our “Ai” ourselves. The result? The corruption of the flesh.

The defeat at Ai, however, actually worked for the good for Israel when, at God’s leading, they returned to Ai and whipped them good.

There is always victory in obedience to Jesus. Many times, though, we experience the defeat of Ai before the final victory. Don’t allow defeats to develop a defeated attitude in you. Rather, let the defeats remind you that your victory is always in Jesus, never in your flesh.