Devotional: The Fight of Faith
Once God says, "I give it to you," God doesn't have to give it again. When God says, "I give," that settles it. As far as God is concerned, it has been given.
This principle applies to each promise God has given us. We find an example of this pattern in Joshua 1:1-3, where God says:
“Now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (NAS)
In verse 2 God uses the present tense, "I am giving," but in verse 3 He uses the perfect tense, "I have given them the land."
From then on Israel had the legal right given them by God to the entire land, but they still did not have experiential possession of the land. They didn't own any more of the land experientially than they did before God spoke.
There is a difference between the legal right and the experiential possession of what God has promised us. I think this is very important for us as Christians. I sometimes have commented that if Israel had been like some Christians, after God said to them in verse 3, "I have given you the whole land," they would have lined up along the east bank of the Jordan River, looked westward across the river into the land and said, "It's all ours." Well, it would have been true legally, but it was not true experientially. The Canaanites still dominated the land. So bear this principle in mind which emerges from the book of Joshua. It's one thing to have the legal right, it's another thing to have the experiential possession.
So let's look at the actual process by which Israel moved into the land.
Their first two successes came through miracles. A miracle opened the way for them to cross the Jordan and through a miracle they captured the first city of Jericho. But listen to this. After that they had to fight for all the rest. The only way that they actually gained experiential possession was by placing their feet actually on the ground that they were claiming. God said to them, "Every place where you place the sole of your foot, that's what's yours in experience, not just in legal right."
All this is a very close parallel for us in the New Testament as we gain our inheritance. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew name Joshua is the same in the original language as the name Jesus. There are just two different forms of the same name, and we kind of get this picture: In the Old Testament, under a leader named Joshua, God led His people into a promised land. In the New Testament, under a leader named Jesus (which is the same name) God leads His people into a land of promises. In the Old Testament, the inheritance was a promised land. In the New Testament, the inheritance is a land of promises.
Father, show me what You have given me, and help me to put my foot on that ground to actually take it into possession. Help me to not claim things or put my foot on ground you have not, or not yet, given to me. Help me to understand which are the battles I am supposed to fight, and from which I am supposed to steer away, simply because it is none of my business. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotional is taken from: Claiming our Inheritance
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