TAKING WHAT GOD PROMISED
Date: March 12
Category: Hard Work and Diligence
"And there remained among the Israelites seven tribes who had not yet divided their inheritance. Joshua asked the Israelites, How long will you be slack to go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?"
Joshua and the Israelites had been fighting for 20 years for their promise land. But according to the German translation called Hoffnung fuer Alle, (which means, ‘hope for all'), verse 2 says, "The seven tribes have yet not received a piece of land, their inheritance." So even though they fought for 20 years, they still didn't get their promise land.
Notice that the words, "has given you" is written in past tense. God has already given the Israelites their land. But it's interesting to notice that even though God promised to give them the land, they still had to fight for it. God didn't just give it to them on a silver platter. Yes, God was giving them this land but He was giving it to them through their own fight, through their own effort.
In verse 3, Joshua asked the Israelites, "How long will you be slack to go in and possess the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?" In other words, he was asking them how long they were going to be lazy, how long they were going to be afraid, and how long they were going to be hesitant. They weren't putting forth the effort needed to possess their land.
God promises us many things in His Word and yet some people have those promises and others don't. What is the determinative factor for why some receive God's promises and why others don't? Well it is our effort. If we don't have the promises of God, it's because we didn't go and get them. We didn't do what we were supposed to do in order to receive them.
In the same way God already gave the Israelites their land, God has already made so many promises to you and I. But whether or not we receive them depends entirely on our actions. God promised to answer your prayers, but are you going to pray? God said that diligence will bring you before kings, but are you going to be diligent? Jesus promised that you would perform greater miracles than He did, but are you going to act by faith?
Many people want to move ahead in life, but they don't want to move themselves in action. But it is through our actions that we move at all. Our actions will help us reach the promises of God. One thing we should always do is focus on God. Many Christians are not experiencing the happiness, peace, and joy that God promised to give. It's because they're not focusing on God. In Isaiah 26:3a we read, "You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on you." So your mind should always be on Jesus.
Your hard work and diligence and your focus on God will be what brings you to success. That's why we should always act on faith and not fear. But remember your faith is proven through your actions. So start working towards receiving the promises of God. In the case of the Israelites, they weren't diligent enough to receive their promise. So don't be like them. Have faith, work hard, and receive the promises of God. They're yours for the taking, but it's your job to take them.