A large part of the spiritual journey, it seems, is learning what it means to take possession of that which we have already been promised. God promised a land to the people of Israel. It was a land that was beautiful and abundant and fruitful. It was a land that represented his goodness and his peace and his presence. It was a land where they could grow and flourish and prosper. And yet, for so many years, and for so many reasons, they simply failed to take possession of it.
So God spoke to Joshua and encouraged him to lead the people of God into the land he had promised them. (Joshua 1:1-9) He told him three separate times to “be strong and courageous” and not let anything, or anyone, deter or dissuade him. Because taking possession of this land, even though God had promised it to them, would be no easy matter. In fact, it would not happen without a fight.
Which sounds a little odd to me, that they would have to fight in order to take possession of something God had promised them. But that’s just the way life with God is. As Richard Foster so beautifully reminded us, “It will not just fall on our heads.” We will have to arrange our lives in certain ways, if we ever hope to experience the depth and the fullness and the richness and the wholeness of the life God made us for.
The question is, are we up for it? Are we willing to fight for that life? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to experience the love and the joy and the peace and the presence God made us for? It will not come easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
Lord God, give us the courage and the strength and the grace to fight for the life you want for us. Help us to never, out of fear or discouragement or apathy, settle for less than the life and the love you made us for. Amen.
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