MLToday: [Joshua Chapter One]: Out of the Wilderness Into the Promise. There is a time that the wilderness trip comes to an end. In this chapter God raises up Joshua and gives him simple instructions that will assure victory in Canaan. The wilderness is not a dwelling place but Canaan is. The promised land represents YOUR potential in God. The instructions of God to Joshua are beneficial as instructions to those of us who are determined to actually have and not just hope for all that God has for us in this life.

Today: [Joshua Chapter One]: Out of the Wilderness Into the Promise. There is a time that the wilderness trip comes to an end. In this chapter God raises up Joshua and gives him simple instructions that will assure victory in Canaan. The wilderness is not a dwelling place but Canaan is. The promised land represents YOUR potential in God. The instructions of God to Joshua are beneficial as instructions to those of us who are determined to actually have and not just hope for all that God has for us in this life.

[Jos 1:1-18 KJV] 1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, [even] to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

The book of Joshua is the sixth book of the bible in both the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Consisting of 24 chapters it tells the story of the conquest of Canaan and the leadership of Joshua, Moses successor. The authorship of Joshua himself is rejected by scholarship who claim that the book wasn’t written until 500 years before Jesus at the time of the return from Babylonian captivity, possibly by Ezra while others suggest it was written as a history by king Solomon. Does it matter who wrote the book of Joshua or any other book for that matter? In fact if you believe in the inspiration of the bible in the end that fact that it is God breathed diminishes the importance of who or when a particular book was written. The authority of a book in the bible if we believe in the inspiration of scripture is not in its authorship but it’s inspiration.

The book opens up in the aftermath of Moses’ death and the voice of God instructing Joshua. The emphasis is that of coming out of the wilderness into the Promised land. We can be glad that God didn’t tell the Israelites in the desert of Sinai “every place you put your foot I have given it to you …” The wilderness was a place not to settle in but to pass through. The wilderness and the promised land both speak to us of our own walk with God and His plan for our lives. The wilderness is that process by which we put distance between us an the captivity of the world (our Egypt). The Promised land is coming into our destiny. The wilderness speaks of our problem the Promised land speaks of our potential. The wilderness is not a permanent dwelling place. God never intends for our life in Christ to be spent reeling from one crises to the next. The wilderness is not an end in itself. We are to keep our eyes on the potential represented by the Promised Land.

The Promised Land doesn’t represent heaven. There are no giants or walled cities full of enemies in heaven. There are no battles to fight in heaven. Despite what many popular songs suggest Canaan land speaks to us of our potential and fulfilling our purpose in God. The wilderness is behind us. The Promise of God is that He has given us every square foot of the land but we have to take it. It is ours by God’s declaration but we must go forward to possess it by conquest. This isn’t taught in most Christian circles. We are taught that the wilderness is a ceaseless struggle that won’t end until we get to heaven but the Promised Land is seen as a place where all the promises of God are effortlessly dropped into our laps without engagement on our part of any kind. Many people languish their whole lives right here because they don’t understand the need to engage with God’s promise for their lives. They constantly ask God for the plan but the plan was executed back in Egypt. Don’t ask God for the plan you are IN THE PLAN right now. We need to be less PLAN CONSCIOUS and more PROMISE CONSCIOUS. God did not raise up Joshua to bring the people into a plan but rather to bring them into a promise. God did not send Jesus to die for a plan but to bring a people into a promise. He is not in love with a plan He is in love with you. The Pearl of Great price is not a brilliant idea or plan – you are the pearl of Great price and everywhere you put your foot in conquest GOD has given it to you.

5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

What is true of Joshua is true of the believer. God’s default nature is one of Lordship. Because He is in you – His Lordship is in you. Because He will not fail us we will not fail. Failure is not our portion. Because of who He is we are to be strong and courageous to obey without deviation what He has instructed us to do – to go forward and possess the land. We often see a contrary outcome because we have gone forward without holding to God’s unchanging hand. We pursue our own purposes and wonder why it doesn’t work out but we were leaning to our own strength rather than God’s. A perfect example of this is regarding financial debt. We know God has promised us financial blessing and we promptly go out and get head over heels in debt and wonder why we are not blessed. This is leaning to our own strength and not God’s. Our strength and our courage is not in our credit rating but in the promise of God. This is just one small example of the error of trying to cross over into your promise by your own strength and not God’s.

9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest. 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

The Lord commanded Joshua as though to say “what are you standing around for?” Jesus said in Luke 17:20,21 that the kingdom doesn’t come with observation. This is the erroneous way that people sit around in passivity and say “I am waiting on God” or “why isn’t God doing what He said?” What YOU DO with what God has already said in MUCH MORE powerful than what you are waiting on God to do or say.

Even in Jesus life this is true. Rom. 1:4 says that Jesus was declared to be the son of God but the spirit of holiness (or, the Holy Spirit). That means that in His earth walk He limited Himself to the resources He died to make available to you and I. Why then was He so successful and we are such failures? John 5:19 tells us the secret:

[Jhn 5:19 KJV] 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

God told Joshua “Have I not commanded you…” and then Joshua turned around and commanded the elders. God commands Joshua, and He commanded the elders. Who are you commanding? The only person you are really in charge of is yourself. God has commanded you – you are to take charge of your SELF LIFE, your SOUL and command it to respond to the voice of God (not just the scriptures but the intimate breath of God’s voice in your life moment by moment).

12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, 13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

There are times you have to remind yourself about what God said. We get distracted (Moses is dead). Circumstances change. Often God says things to us and initially we think “yes I could see that happening…” Then circumstances change and we change our minds. We say “things are different now we must adjust to the new reality”. No God hasn’t changed His mind. Your circumstance didn’t take God by surprise. He isn’t wringing His hands thinking “what am I going to do now…” When challenges come we are to REMIND ourselves of what God has said. Part of this involves reminding ourselves of what God actually said and not what we THINK He said. Many times we take what we want to hear and run with it as though we are in charge of how the word and promise of God to us gets interpreted. This is a recipe for disappointment. We can never endow our finite understanding with an authority to interpret what God must do just because we thought that was what needed to happen. We must stay humble and obedient and moving forward expecting that our assumptions will be adjusted sometime abruptly to the unfolding of God’s purpose in our lives.

16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. 18 Whosoever [he be] that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

There are going to be people involved in the things God leads you into. Notice the conditional nature of the people’s response. They in effect said “we will be with you and do what you say as long as God is with you as He was with Moses…” In fact they were basically saying “we’ve got our eye on you and if you don’t do things the way Moses did we are out of here!” You have to hold everything loosely at times. Do not put your trust and confidence in the fact that someone is backing you at the time. Many times people will change and fade from you life. Love them and let them go. Whether they judge you or not forgive them, bless them and move on. Do not allow the allegiance of others to become the basis of your strength. Peter was the loudest and most insistent of Jesus’ followers but when the time came to stand by his words he said “I know not the man…” We are to TRUST GOD and love people not TRUST PEOPLE and love God. Keep your courage anchored in the fact that regardless what people may or may not do God promises us as He promised Joshua “I will never leave you or forsake you…”

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