Taking ground

I don’t know if you remember all the way back to the beginning of the story of Joshua but I was reminded of how it all began as I was looking at chapter 12 this morning. Right back at the start of the story, when Moses had died and it was Joshua’s turn to step up and lead, we saw God speak strength and courage over Joshua, and the people of Israel, and He promised them that everywhere they put their feet that God would give them the ground.

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go” – Joshua 1:6-7

By the time we reach chapters 11 and 12 the people of Israel are fighting battle after battle – and enemies (31 kings in all – you can read the list of them in chapter 12) kept preventing them from taking the ground God had promised them, but they kept fighting and God kept giving them victory until verse 16 of chapter 11 tells us;

“So Joshua took the entire land”

It’s funny how, in my head, I think about Jericho and consider the victory as complete and the promise land taken (which in one sense it was because God had promised it) but that isn’t actually the whole story.  Jericho was the first and a very important battle but Joshua had to continue to fight and take ground.  He had to continue to be obedient to God’s call in order to receive all that God had promised him. He didn’t sit back and give up but had to keep on taking ground.  Obedience to God’s voice is such a key to victory in every battle we face whatever shape that battle might take.  You know what I mean – what is the area of your life that comes to mind when you think about the word battle? It might be health or finance or relational or prayer for breakthrough in family or for salvation. When we start out on the journey into all that God has promised it can feel daunting and overwhelming but Joshua took the whole land one city at a time – and we receive all that God has promised us one step at a time.  What has God promised? What is He asking you to do today? He has small victories to give us each and every day – maybe a little prayer answered or a good choice made, but they are each in important.  And what a hope we have;

I thank God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:3-6 

Our God is a God is completion! Some things He does miraculously and instantly and it takes our breath away.  Other things He is wanting to journey through with us – causing us to continue to walk with Him and be dependant on Him. But He keeps every promise He has made and will finish all that He has started in your life.

On a personal note I started this study in Joshua as a member of my family was battling with fear and anxiety and I wanted to declare God’s strength and courage over the situation. Have we seen some answers to prayer? Yes we have!  Have we yet received all that God has promised in terms of victory and peace and joy? Not yet!  I confess I have been a little frustrated and disappointed that we haven’t seen complete breakthrough and freedom. I am so encouraged today that God will always keep His promises and we will continue to be obedient with what He asks us to do today. We continue to fight one city at a time and take ground by putting one foot in front of the other until we have taken the entire land!

Keep going friends. And remember He is with you every step of the way.

Thanks for reading.  Love Rach x

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