I’ve just finished reading the Bible book of Joshua. I think it is one of the most inspiring books in the Bible. It starts with hope and it ends the same way. There are so many encouraging words in it God has given Joshua to share with the different tribes of Israel. The one that seems to rise to the top for me is simply obedience. The battles they have won over the many people groups is amazing. They simply had to be present, obey the commands God gave them and He did most of the destroying. The book ends with Joshua’s death and the direction to stay obedient to all that they had been taught. They were a new generation. Their parents had been the slaves to Egypt and had been unable to let that mentality go. This new generation of Israelites found it easier to obey and trust.
This book has challenged me in so many new ways as I’ve read it this time. To not have the mentality of a slave is huge. Satan so wants to keep us enslaved to the bondage of sin. Boy do I recognize that character flaw in me. I’ve fought it all my life. More recently learning to not fight it but to let it go giving it to Christ is a huge step. Fighting it is much more like hiding it. I have to do it on my own strength when I’m hiding it. I didn’t even know I was doing that for many years. However, in learning that I was, I still had to recognize that having the lie told still didn’t do away with this grueling habit. I needed to release it to God so the work His Son Jesus did on the Cross took care of it. God had to delay the Israelites entrance into their Promise Land until He had a group who truly believed and trusted Him.
The spiritual reality I am gleaning from this is that God has given to each of us a promise land. It may not be our present circumstances but it is our spiritual/mental state. When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River at Jericho they were being faced with foes all around them. Yet, they crossed believing. God is asking us to not let the foes in our lives set what we believe about Him. I’m getting a better hold on this as I continue to stay in this life of obedience and believing. I hope you will too. God is such a patient and merciful God.