“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” - Joshua 1:3 The Lord made an astounding promise to the children of Israel, and as a young Bible student, I wondered at the hugeness of it.
“Every place,” God told them.
When I prayed about how this applies to our lives, I came across a commentary by one of my favorite Bible teachers, J. Vernon McGee:
“God has given them the land. The land is theirs, but their enjoyment of it depends upon their taking possession of it. That part of the land upon which they walked would belong to them. Comparatively speaking, we have been told in Ephesians 1:3 that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Unfortunately, very few Christians lay hold of the spiritual blessings that belong to them… Although God gave Israel the Promised Land, they never possessed all of it. As a matter of fact, Israel got very little of the land. “Many Christians today are like Israel in that they are blessed with all spiritual blessings and yet they die like bums in a doorway without claiming those blessings as their own. What a tragedy that is. The Book of Joshua is going to tell us how to lay hold of our possessions…Because there will be conflict, we are told in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God. We have a spiritual enemy fighting against us. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Ours is a spiritual enemy.
“We will have to wear the whole armor of God. The victory has to be won. However, you and I don’t get the victory; the Lord Jesus gets the victory. We will get what Israel got—deliverance and possessions. Every victory Israel gained was given by God. If you and I ever win a victory, He will win it for us. We will, by faith, enter into these wonderful possessions…God gave Israel 300,000 square miles of land and the most they ever claimed was 30,000 square miles. They did not do very well, did they? They took possession of about one-tenth of what God had given them. That is about the same amount of spiritual possessions claimed by believers today.” (J. Vernon McGee’s commentary).
Sometimes being able to “possess” what God has for us seems impossible, overwhelming--out of reach.
But God made a promise to Joshua, and then He gave him the means and encouragement to accomplish it: “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).
I have never forgotten this lesson.
I hope I never will.
[Photo: Travis Silva, CreationSwap]