PACKING UP COMFORT CAMP
In the last blog we explored the thought camped in comfort. It was a thought sparked by the Israelites and the battle of Jericho, as told in the book of Joshua.
As a ‘sequel’ to that blog, this week we are continuing our Jericho journey, diving into what it looks like to pursue the promises of God for your life.
We’re still in the book of Joshua and I particularly love the way my bible describes this book saying: “Joshua clearly shows how a leader’s obedience to God results in divine help in the face of overwhelming odds.”
What a description and insight in to the very nature of God and what awaits those who are obedient to His ways.
Okay, let’s jump in.
SETTING THE SCENE
Joshua chapter 1 starts with God telling Joshua that Moses has died and it is now time for Joshua to step up (aka, Joshua needs to lead all the Israelites).
What a Word from God!
Here is an interesting fact that makes this word from God all the more poignant – no man ever saw Moses die nor did any man bury him. To this day, no one knows where Moses is buried!
Take a look at what is said in the final chapter of Deuteronomy (34) regarding Moses’ death:
“So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. He [The Lord] buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor, but no man knows of his burial place to this day.” (Deuteronomy 34:5-6 MEV)
Why am I telling you this? To make this point: when we turn the next page to see God telling Joshua of Moses’ death, calling him into the position of leadership over the Israelites, imagine how Joshua must have felt!
Saddened at news of his beloved leader’s death? Yes.
Overwhelmed at the responsibility now on his shoulders? Probably.
Excited to hear that God was now leading the Israelites into the long-Promised Land? Absolutely!
Here’s exactly what God says to Joshua in Joshua 1:1-9 (MEV):
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses:
“Moses My servant is dead, so now get up and cross over the Jordan – you and all this people – to the land that I am giving to the children of Israel.
“I have given you every place that the sole of your foot shall tread, as I said to Moses.
“From the wilderness and this Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Mediterranean Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.
“No man will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not abandon you. I will not leave you.
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall provide the land that I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance for this people.
“Be strong and very courageous in order to act carefully in accordance with all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, so that you may succeed wherever you go.
“This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Mediate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
What a word from God!
In short, this is what God is telling Joshua:
- Your beloved leader and teacher, Moses, is dead
- It’s time for you to go forth and claim the Promise Land that represents a 600+ year-old promise made to the Israelite forefathers
- Know the Word (Law) inside and out and don’t stray from it [be obedient!]
- Be strong and courageous [did you notice that this is said three times!]
- I am with you always.
There’s so much that we could unpack from this scripture, like the use of the words “be strong and courageous” three times; the importance of knowing the Word of God and how obedience to this brings life and success; and how God is ALWAYS with us.
All very good points. But today we’re diving into this one: pursuing the promises of God.
PURSUE THE PROMISES OF GOD
The revelation that I want to share with you from this passage of scripture is this: look at what it reveals about the nature of pursuing God’s promises on your life…
See WHAT God is telling Joshua to do: go forth and claim the Promise Land.
“…so now get up and cross over the Jordan – you and all this people – to the land that I am giving to the children of Israel.” (Joshua 1:2 MEV)
God is not telling Joshua to stay where he is, inactive, and wait for God to hand deliver the promise to the Israelites.
God is instructing them to MOVE forward, in faith and obedience, and CLAIM the promise!
He’s calling them out of the camp of comfort, into the active stance of promise-claiming.
This reminds me of the age-old adage: It’s not going to come and knock on your door.
The same is true for God’s promises. He’s instructing you to step out, in faith and obedience, and claim them in the Name of Jesus!
The Israelites in the book of Joshua did what God instructed them. And they did it in His strength, His ability and His strategy, not their own. It was all God!
Their role was to be active in moving forward and claiming what was promised.
A REVELATION AND A RELIEF
For me personally, this revelation also brought great relief.
Originally, after receiving the Word around camping in comfort, my quick counter-thought was: what if I leave my camp of comfort and pursue something that I’m not meant to?
How do I know when to move forward and claim the Promise?
How do I know HOW to do this?
So many questions!
But this revelation also graciously gave me the answer to them all: in the book of Joshua, look at what ALWAYS preceded a promise-advancing action – A WORD FROM GOD!
Joshua always went where, when and how God told him!
That’s how Joshua knew what to do!
Joshua knew that God wasn’t going to knock on his door and hand over the Promise. Where’s the faith and obedience required in that?
Rather, Joshua waited on the Lord to provide instruction, then He followed, obediently and promptly.
Once Joshua received instruction from the Lord, he and the Israelites marched forth in faith trust and hope in God who was their Deliverer and Victor, no matter the odds.
In fact, the odds didn’t even factor in to the equation!
God told them to go forth, claim and conquer, and so they did under the banner of His Name.
WHAT PROMISES ARE GOD CALLING YOU TO CLAIM?
So, if you’re camping in comfort in an area of your life, and perhaps selling yourself short of what God has Promised you, don’t stay there a moment longer.
Pack up your tent and pursue the fullness of the Promises that God has spoken over your life.
Need a refresher on what these promises are? Look to the Word of God. They’re everywhere! Promises of love, righteousness, grace, faith, wisdom, blessing and so much more.
Look at Genesis 12:2-3 when God speaks promises of life, blessing, multiplication, health, prosperity and hope over Abraham.
These are the same promises God has given to you.
If there are areas in your life where you’re camping short of the Promise Land, step out, in faith and obedience, and claim the promise!
If you’re unsure how, my encouragement for you is this: turn to the Word of God. It’s your strategy. The lamp to your feet. The light to your path. Your roadmap.
See what the WORD says about your situation. Get it in year ears, eyes and heart and speak it over your life in faith!
In proverbs Solomon refers to the Word of God as Wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). What better source of direction is there than Wisdom itself!
Step out in faith and obedience and claim those promises in the Name of Jesus.
It doesn’t matter what the odds are! When you are being obedient to God and you are claiming His promises for your life, the odds don’t even factor in to the equation.
God’s far greater than the odds! He’s far greater than your circumstances!
Step out and march forward in the confidence that comes from knowing this truth.
Be strong and courageous.
And know that God is always with you.