The Promised Land

Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread on, to you have I given it, as I spoke to Moses. Joshua 1:2 WEB

The Israelites were gathered together on the bank of the Jordan River. For the last forty years, God had miraculously provided for their every need and He had done everything for them. He went before them as a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). He parted the red sea so they could cross safely (Exodus 14:21). He fed them mana from heaven for forty years, and even their clothing did not wear out (Nehemiah 9:21).

God had done it all until then, but from here on they were going to be working together. To take the promised land, the Israelites were going to have to fight for it, city by city. God told Joshua 'Every place that you set your foot, I will give you' (Joshua 1:3) but Joshua died before they took it all (Judges 1:1). Every place they did not set their foot, was not given to them.

Now the Israelites were to work with God and conquer the existing inhabitants of the land. The ones that they did not drive out became thorns in their sides and a snare to them (Judges 1:32, 2:3). What they allowed to stay in the land, God allowed to stay.

Israel crossed the Jordon river (Joshua 3:17), we can see it as a form of baptism. Then they were circumcised at Gigal (Joshua 5:2) renewing a covenant relationship with God. To us it is circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29), but it is still a covenant relationship, an agreement, a contract.

The first city they went up against was Jericho, and all the gold and silver were to be brought into the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 5:19). We can see this as tithing, or giving to God the first part of our income, and it is the first city that you will come to in your Christian walk. God will test you to see who you love the most, Him or your money. Achan just couldn't do it and he kept some for himself, then Israel lost the next battle at Ai for God was no longer with them (Joshua 7:1). They couldn't take the second city until they had dealt with the first one properly.

Today, God takes cares of what we cannot. He created salvation and redemption because we could not. Think of that as crossing the Jordan river into the promised land. Now you are saved and your feet are in the promised land, but it is not entirely yours until you work with God to take the rest of it by force.

Jesus said, 'That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man' (Mark 7:20).

What you allow to remain inside of you, God allows as well. Our hate, anger, bitterness, greed, lust, jealousy, strife, addictions will stay as long as we 'tolerate' them. God will not separate us from our friends. When we decide to get rid of them, then God will help us. It is a battle that we fight together, with God helping us.

God worked with the Israelites as they took their promised land. He rained hailstones down on some of their enemies (Joshua 10:11) and sent hornets after others (Joshua 24:12). He will work with us as well to take back our land.

The enemies that we face, like addictions, will do anything to stay just as theirs did. The Gibeonites lied to the Israelite leaders and got them to sign a treaty of peace. The Israelites did not inquire of God but followed their own judgment (Joshua 9:14). Your enemies will lie to you and tell you that it is harmless in order to stay, but you can't hold hands with the destroyer and expect good things to come from it.

Everyone who gets serious with God knows when He puts His finger on something in their life that needs to change. Work with God to stomp out the bad and bring forth a harvest of good in your life. Take down the strongholds one at a time as God brings you to them, just like the cities. Take control of what is rightfully yours, your own body, your mind, and your mouth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that You give me the grace to change for the better. Don't let me stay the same! Please break me out of the shell that I have formed, deliver me and set me free from the things that bind me. Help me see clearly what needs to change, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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