Joshua 18:1 – 20:9
Word of the Day: Joshua 18:3 “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?”
So much of the reading for this week has been the defining of the boundaries for the people of Israel and the battles they had to fight in order to gain that territory given to them by the LORD. This message resonates with me so fiercely right now as I feel like I have been fighting for my territory for ages now… and yet what is my word for the week? “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?” You see the LORD has given us each a territory, a land of promise that is ours for the taking… but we have to stand up and fight for it. Just like the daughters of Manasseh had to stand up and voice their desire for what had been promised to them. And while it may not be easy, God has promised that land to us. He has promised that He will fight with us for that property and we know that if God is with us then WHO can be against us?
For months now I have been faking it. I’ve been saying that I am believing God for the things that He has promised me for my life and yet I haven’t been acting in faith on those promises. There are areas of victory in my life that I have yet to achieve a full victory in them simply because I have allowed the fear of failure to hinder me from even trying to stand up and take action in that area. For months now God has been nudging me to act like the teacher I know that I am, yet have I even once stood up before a group and taught? Well, yes… once. But only once. God has blessed me with a land, a stage, have a taken it? Barely. I’ve dipped my toes into the edges of the water, but I’m not even knee-deep in it yet. And if the purpose is to part the waters, well I have yet to get that far. But I will! Because I know that God is with me, and I know that He will fight for me I need only to be still and know that HE is God. I need only to move in the direction He tells me to move and the waters will part before me and I will walk across on dry ground! I will stand on the stone in the center of the Jordan and I will remember this day.
Last week I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with a dear friend of mine where she sat across from me and sternly reprimanded me for failing to stand up for my “flock”. While I had always thought of my little women’s group as my flock, I had never referred to it that way and I had certainly never accepted the true responsibility that came with that position of shepherd and teacher. I failed them. I failed me. I failed God.
But just because I fell, doesn’t mean I have to stay there!!!
In Joshua 19:47 we read, “When the territory of the people of Dan was lost to them, the people of Dan went up and fought against Leshem, and after capturing it and striking it with the sword they took possession of it and settled in it, calling Leshem, Dan, after the name of their ancestor.” Sure they had lost the territory that God had given them, but did they let that stop them from taking it back? Did they just run away and say, “Well, apparently God didn’t really want us to live in this land after all….” NO! They stood up, grabbed their swords and their shields and they went after that ground that the enemy had stolen from them!
We can’t just sit around on our thumbs and sigh, “Oh well, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be…”, “I guess I wasn’t supposed to get a job that nice” or “I must not be worth God’s time to listen to my cries for help and deliverance from this pit I’m in…” Nope, God has excellence planned for us! “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14