Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? Joshua 18:3 NLT
What a curious question Joshua asked of the people of Israel. God had promised them the land. He had told them to go and take it. And yet, seven tribes still had nowhere to live; no permanent place to kick up their feet and call home. Why were the people content with their current situation?
What I find interesting is just before this verse in Joshua 1, we see that the tabernacle was put up in Shiloh by the people. The Israelites had been in the promised land a long time by now. But they had not fully obeyed what God had told them to do. They allowed people who were not Israelites to remain in the land, and they had not taken over the promised land and set up permanent towns. They were still carting around the tabernacle and putting it up in temporary places. They were living like wandering nomads.
Maybe they were scared to live in one place- they had never really done that before? Perhaps they were content to live out of their knapsacks, erecting tents? Maybe they lacked faith that what God said was the truth? But whatever the reason, the people were living with less than God had planned for them.
UGH! I don’t know how that last sentence made you feel, but it convicted me! But whatever the reason, the people were living with less than God had planned for them. I do the same thing. What about you? I know that God has a plan for my life, yet I don’t always wait to follow him; instead, I manipulate my agenda. I find myself pushing open doors of “opportunity” that may not be his plan for me. And at times, I ignore God’s promises to me and live like a nomad, unwilling to follow, wandering aimlessly. Oh, what a mess I can make of my life!
Getting clarity in my life is one of the best parts of blogging. A lesson meant to encourage and help others becomes an arrow aimed at my own heart.
Here is the lesson for both of us today, we must take the promises God has given us through his word and put them to work in our lives TODAY. We must follow his instructions thoroughly, believing his word and living like one who believes.
In 2 Peter 1:3-8, Peter writes these wonderful words, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Today, let’s make every effort to trust his great and precious promises and then respond to life like we believe them!