FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Start Possessing Your Inheritance
Jerry A Collins
Are you complaining about where God has placed you in life?
How determined are you to move forward in faith?
Is humility characteristic of the way you manage your life?
By far, the most disappointing thing in ministry is people either slow or hesitant in getting started in possessing their inheritance—that is, in developing their calling, their gifts, their abilities and their opportunities. This reticence is most likely a major reason why the NT constantly exhorts us to pursue a worthy walk with God (Eph 4:1). It is too easy to fall away—to become preoccupied with other pursuits or to procrastinate with what it is God wants for us. The reason we can become sideliners is because what God calls us to is (1) Demanding. The life of a disciple means that one’s whole life must be given attention to whole-hearted devotion to the Lord. (2) It is costly. There will be a price to pay for this. The demands of discipleship will require me to sacrifice and not indulge. (3) It’s other side of the grave living. I must be willing to postpone reward. There will be little of it here. In our passage 2 problems are confronted during settlement in the land. One has to do with complaint and the other with procrastination. Then 2 faith responses counter these problems. One is a determined faith and the other a humble faith. Each of these pairs of responses teach us of 2 kinds of people—those who are reticent to possess all God has for them and those who are determined to take possession of it.
1. WE MUST BE DETERMINED TO POSSESS ALL GOD HAS FOR US
In 17:3-6 is the story of the faith of the 5 daughters of Zelophehad (Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, Tirzah). This is the second time this group is mentioned in Bible. The first is in Nem 27:2-8. Because their father had died without sons, they appealed to Moses and requested that inheritance be passed onto the daughters. In the nation it was always the sons who inherited property from the father. Moses took their case to the Lord and God told Moses to change the property laws of the nation not only for these daughters but for other woman in similar circumstances. Now over 20 yrs later these women approach Joshua and remind him of that decision. He assures them that they will get the inheritance. This is similar to Caleb’s daughter, Achsah, requesting land and receiving it (-19). (1) God wants all of us, men and women, to pursue our possessions—the fullness, richness and completeness of our calling in Christ. With boldness they were not fearful of doing that. That worthy walk includes being conformed to Christ’s image—building the kingdom of God—framed by our physical situation—blooming where we are planted—tuned to our personality—considers our talents & spiritual gifts—includes our Godly desires—outlined by our opportunities—expanded by our convictions—sensitive to what’s going on in our generation—looks for opportunities to serve God! (2) God wants all of us, men and women, to develop the depth of whatever you have been given. Let God be in charge of the breadth of what you are given—more people, more talents, more gifts. You must work out your salvation with fear and trembling—your must walk in a manner worthy of your calling.
2. COMPLAINT WILL HINDER YOU POSSESSING YOUR CALL
An amazing contrast here between determination of the daughters and the self centered complaining of the sons of Joseph 14-18. They felt their allotment of land was too small for their numerous population. That God had not given them enough room. Joshua firmly tells them to clear the land they already possess and there will be plenty vs 15. Note 2 things in their response that Joseph really struggling with: (1) Not interested in clearing the land—heavily forested country will require hard physical labor. By the way, this is exactly the same thing Caleb & Josh both had to do for their land. (2) They are fearful of the Canaanites in their territory. Perizzites mentioned by Josh as are the Rephaim giants. So they do not want to try and conquer the territory allotted to them. They do not want to work and they do not want to fite. If they are so special, now is great opportunity to show it Josh says. Let them do what Caleb did—go up into the hills and claim their land-defeat the giants and expand their territory. They do not have to go outside their allotment to do it either. But will necessitate discipline, faith, determination. Josh tells them they can do it. We should never complain about our circumstances. Quit complaining about your lot in life. God determines that. Instead, when you bare strong, use your strength to drive out the things in your life that will cause you to sin. Don’t hesitate and complain. It requires courageous faith to possess God’s upon your life. And your circumstances and opportunities no matter how threatening are a part of that. If you allow fear and complaint to enter into your spirit, you will hesitate and hold yourself back from where God would have you to go in faith. You will miss out on possessing God’s calling upon your life.
3. MAKE PLANS TO OVERCOME RETICENCE TO POSSESS CALL
The last 7 tribes had not even
begun to possess their possessions. It took some time for the people to
assemble themselves in a new center of the land in
4. GOD’S CALLING APPREHENDED WITH HUMILITY
possessing your possessions then must have confident conviction that God is in
charge and takes initiative with us. Joshua waits until everyone else in
(1) If you are going to determine to pursue God’s calling upon your life, then make sure you have no rivals to it. (2) You can never afford the luxury of complaining when you pursue God’s call upon your life.
(3) Set up a plan that keeps you studying God’s Word so you can stay on track with God’s calling for you. (4) Remember that God always has your best interests at heart so you can humbly trust Him with your life.