© 2017 Lynn Abbott
God promised the land of Canaan to His people. But the realization of that promise required perseverance and ongoing faith.
Perhaps, like me, you love to read of God’s promised blessings. But perseverance? Not so much. If it were possible, I’d fast-forward to the fulfilled Promise.
Could God have simply swept Canaan clean, and moved Israel into the land? Of course.
But God values our progress as much as its reward. Our heavenly Father desires more for us than simply the fulfillment of big dreams.
In the past, I have skimmed through Joshua 11-22. After all, a catalog of Israeli battles and conquests appeared to have little personal application.
But I was mistaken. I missed the big picture of Joshua’s life.
As I read more carefully, I discovered that despite the victories at Jericho and Ai, the conquest of Canaan required many years to accomplish. In chapter 11, we are told that a large assembly of Canaanite kings and their armies allied against Israel.
Scripture describes it in this way: “And they came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots… to fight against Israel,” (Joshua 11: 4-5).
Talk about a Colossus! Had I been in Joshua’s position I certainly would have questioned my calling.
God values our progress as much as its reward.
“Perhaps,” I might reason, “God only intended for me to go this far. Maybe, I dream too big.”
Understandably, discouragement threatens to take the heart captive.
Yet, spreading our aching hearts and frail faith before the Master, we hear Him gently whisper, “Do not be discouraged. The battle is Mine.”
Joshua’s book repeats this truth lest we miss it.
“Then, the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel…” (Joshua 11:6).
It all happened because Josh trusted God and made the journey one step at a time. And God took care of everything else.
Tired? Overwhelmed? Do you doubt your calling? Do circumstances seem to mock you? Do you wonder where to go next?
Yahweh longs to direct you. He has promised and He is faithful. And although we may not be able to see our way clear, we can trust Him because we know, as David said to Goliath, “the battle is the LORD’s,” ( 1 Samuel 17:47).