Have you ever heard some of those old hymns about crossing over to the Canaan land? They make it sound like the Promised Land is either heaven or heaven on earth. The lyrics are all about finally possessing peace and rest. Actually, that’s not how the Bible tells it.
The book of Joshua describes the crossover into the promised land of Canaan, after forty years of wilderness wanderings by God’s people. This was the land promised to Abraham’s seed but even though the land was a gift, it would be hard won.
Three times in Joshua Chapter 1 God tells him to be “strong and courageous.” He wants Joshua to convey that sentiment to the people. Why? Because they are about to enter into battle – not rest. In fact, even though it was a bummer wandering around in a desert so long, it was a relatively peaceful time with very little fighting.
All that was about to change. First there was Jericho to deal with followed by battle after battle. They didn’t always win and then they had to fight another day. They had to press hard to remove the current inhabitants from their territory and most of them never fully possessed it all because they gave up or settled for co-habitation.
What a lesson to us! We have inherited all the promises of God in His Word but many will have to be hard won. As soon as we begin to claim one in particular it may set off a huge fight. The devil will not want to give up any territory to us which we are trying to possess. Determine to make him the loser in that battle.
Don’t forget: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS “…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)