(This is the first in a multi-part series based on the book of Joshua)
About 2.5 million Hebrews followed Moses out of Egypt during the Exodus. Out of that enormous group, only two people, Joshua and Caleb made it into the Promised Land of Canaan.
Canaan represented the inheritance that Israel was destined to possess. There, the tribes would divide up the land and settle within the borders promised to Abraham many generations before. However, the promise of an inheritance and the possession of it can be two very distinct processes. Israel , under Joshua’s leadership, did not just cross the Jordan, divide up, go their separate ways to their allotments, and live happily ever after. The land was already possessed by the many “ites” of that day (Canaanites. Amorites, Jebusites, etc). They had to fight for possession of their inheritance, AND, they had to fight in unity.
For us, the Promised Land is symbolic of all we have inherited in Christ. Do you know what that inheritance entails for you? How can you possess WHAT you do not know you have inherited? Even if you do know, do you know HOW to possess it and what weapons are at your disposal?
Too many believers never possess their full inheritance, because of the reasons above, but also because, well, they stopped pursuing it. Either they no longer participate in a local church entity or, they do in a minimal and/or passive way, their former hunger for the Word and truth all but lost. It’s a basic principle, if you want food, you first have to come to the table. The principle is no different for spiritual food.
I realize Americans can be an independent bunch. If there is a departure from the norm available, many will find it, but often to their own defeat. However, in the Exodus-to-Canaan journey, God gave Israel a specific plan, a specific leader, a specific plan, and a specific destination. He warned them about self-centered deviations and independence. They disobeyed and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, all but two people (of the original) perishing in the desert, before seeing the Land of Promise.
We have the same choice today. Follow God’s plan or live in defeat. Even if you’ve already locked up your reservation to heaven, you can still wander in your own wilderness, experiencing a life less than God’s best for you. “Choose you this day, whom will you serve…” (Joshua 24:15).
Next time – Lone-Ranger Danger