Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Living in God's Promised Land Today

Hello, I am a guest blogger and Laura’s sister! She has shared with me the awesome power that God has been revealing in her life and the lives of those who have gathered for Power Source. I have been studying the book of Joshua in recent weeks, so I wanted to blog a little bit about what I have been taught about the power of our God!

I love the book of Joshua! The book begins with God giving Joshua a serious pep talk about what is coming as he leads the Israelites to the Promised Land. God repeatedly encourages Joshua with the words “Be strong and courageous.” (I don’t know about you, but if someone says that over and over to me, then sends me out, I’m thinking that I may be in for a tough time!) The story continues as Joshua willingly follows God’s leading to cross the Jordan, conquer Jericho and Ai, and finally to defend the Gibeonites against the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon who had all joined forces against them.

Joshua then continues his conquest over all the area until finally we read in Joshua 10:40-42:
So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

Wow! Be honest. When you read stories like this, do you feel like that was a little bit of overkill… literally! I mean, really… did Joshua and the Israelites really have to completely destroy everything in all of those cities? Couldn’t they just take over the cities and make the inhabitants their slaves? It seems so violent, right? Besides, they could use some of the good stuff that was in the cities, right? (To see how well that turned out, check out chapter 7!)

Fast forward to my life. What can I learn from a story of utter destruction, killing, burning, etc.? First, I have to ask, “What is my promised land?” What has God promised me? It is the abundant life that I am living right now in Jesus Christ! Remember when Jesus said in John 10:10 that he has come that we may have life and have it abundantly! I believe he is talking to his chosen people (us!) and that he is talking about NOW! We don’t have to wait until Heaven to live in eternity with God. We can start right now! 

God called Joshua to action when it came to defeating the enemies in his promised land. So why wouldn’t he call us to action to do the same in our promised land (our abundant life right now with God beside us). God called Joshua to defeat Jericho and Ai. He then was to destroy many other cities in the land. What are some of the enemy cities in our promised land? Where has satan held you in defeat, whispering that you will never be free? Pride City, Hidden Addiction-ville, Greed City, The City of Bitterness, Anger City...

I believe it is time to take no prisoners and utterly defeat those cities. But beware… do not try to simply take the inhabitants of the cities captive. They must be destroyed. We are asking God to remove them from our lives. They may seem too big to defeat or you may have been beaten up after trying to defeat them in the past. Take a look at Joshua 1. Read the words of the pep talk that God gives Joshua, and then take action! You never know, once God and you have conquered one of your “cities”, the others may follow. Rest assured, it won’t be easy. It was a lot of work for Joshua and the Israelites, but it was definitely possible. And it is for us too!

“Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:9 (MSG)

Shared by Paula Holsberry, Wichita Falls

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