When I’ve told fellow Christians that the Israelites under Joshua never actually took possession of all of the land of their destiny, there have been times I’ve been met with skepticism. They don’t believe me and I have to prove it to them. Why do we think they had all those fights with the Philistines down the road? It’s because they never kicked them out.
In Joshua’s final comments, he urges his brethren to finish what they started because God was committed to helping them achieve their destiny. They just had to love God. “One man of you shall chase a thousand for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you. Therefore take careful heed to yourselves that you love the Lord you God.” (Joshua 23:10-11)
God was not going to make them step fully into their destiny as a nation, nor is He going to make us step fully into our destiny as men and women. The key to their (and our) success, Joshua stressed, was to love Him. Put simply, loving God means to obey Him and not fall prey to the distractions and alliances that draw us away from Him. In their case it meant not being unequally yoked by way of marriage to the pagans of other tribes remaining in the area. Which, sadly, is exactly what Israel did and it ultimately led to their failure as a nation.
There is nothing new under the sun, as Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes. We may live in a “modern” age (as Solomon once did), but there is nothing different about us as humans – we just have different sets of idols. Anything that draws our affections away from God is nothing short of an ancient pagan tree carving on an Israeli hillside. Anything that circumvents our loving God with all our heart is a direct threat to our ability to achieve the greater destiny God is willing to give us and must be purged.
But most of us won’t. We just can’t find it in ourselves to press the pause button and live the examined life. We careen toward a different finish line than originally intended for us. We live less of an experience than He has for us.
Today is another opportunity to press that pause button and get back on track. The key to your success is intimacy with Jesus. Like every other relationship, that is a function of time, attention and commitment (kind of like with a spouse, one gets out of it what one puts into it). Consider in a quiet moment, “Am I doing the things that will cause me to enjoy all the territory – the destiny – that Jesus is willing for me to have?”
You know the answer to the question.
New Heavens, New Earth
(written as a gift to SALLT)
Music and Lyrics by:
©2015 Kyle Dillingham, LLC