We Have A Part to Play
The first chapter of Joshua marked a new season in Israel. A divine shift was about to occur; God was changing the time and season (Daniel 2:20-21), just as He is in America. And the chapter holds several insights for us.
A short review of some things we’ve said recently would be beneficial. Scripture speaks of general time/s and seasons (chronos). Spiritually speaking (and often naturally, as well), these are the routine, mundane times of plowing ground, sowing and tending seeds, waiting, etc. They would include extended seasons of prayer, standing in faith and persevering. The season could be days, weeks, months, or years, depending on the subject.
When faithfully managed and navigated, chronos seasons will eventually result in strategic, opportune times (kairos) of reaping. At this point, we have an opportunity to reap the fruit of our labors. God has changed the time and season. An example of this would be when He told Joshua that in 3 days, after 40 years of waiting, they were crossing into Canaan to possess the land. The fruit isn’t guaranteed at this stage, but the opportunity to reap has arrived.
If we persevere in faith and implement the necessary principles, we will arrive at the fullness of time (pleroo). This speaks of a finished process. The money is in the bank, the harvest is in the barn. For Joshua and Israel, the land had been possessed. For our generation, it will mean we’re in full scale revival. We have a part to play in each phase if we are to get to the next.
As we said, in the first chapter of Joshua, God changed the season to a kairos. Israel now had the opportunity to possess. In preparation, God gave Joshua several key principles to guide him through this kairos season. In yesterday’s post we talked about Him showing Joshua this would require faith. Another principle God made clear early on was that Israel would have to fight - their inheritance would not just fall in their lap. This would not be like leaving Eqypt.
God will always faithfully do what only He can do; however, there will always be actions He requires of us. As we said on a recent post, don’t make the mistake of overemphasizing the sovereignty of God. It is deception to believe God will make certain that we reap, regardless of our involvement. The generation of Israelites who perished in the wilderness is proof that receiving the fulfillment of what God offers is not guaranteed.
Joshua 1:2 states: “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.” Moses had gone away by himself, and God took him to heaven without anyone being there to witness it. Yahweh was indeed informing Joshua of this but was also announcing to him, “It’s your time now, Joshua. You can no longer look to the man who mentored you and led the nation. You have been trained and equipped; now you’re the one. Accept the responsibility! Rise up into your place of leadership and lead these people into their inheritance.”
Not only was Joshua facing new responsibilities, however, but all of Israel was also. The word “giving” in the above verse is translated from the Hebrew word nathan, which means more than giving in the sense of bestowing something upon another. Nathan also means to give in the sense of an assignment. This is the word used in Psalm115:16: “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” In this Psalm, God wasn’t saying He gave ownership of the earth to Adam and Eve, He did not. He was saying He had blessed them with the bounty of earth, but also that He had assigned to them responsibility and authority to manage it. God’s gifts are often His assignments. He was gifting the land to Israel, yes, but He was also assigning them the responsibility of possessing and managing it.
Another picture of this can be found in the word “possess.” God told Joshua in verse 11 He was giving them the land to “possess.” This Hebrew word means “legally an heir” but also “military invasion for the purpose of conquering and settling in the land.” “This is your inheritance,” He was saying. “Now go take it.”
Still another word in this chapter confirmed this. The word “tread” in verse three - “every place on which the sole of your foot treads I will give to you” - is a warfare word. It means “to march forth; to tread a winepress.” It also means to “bend a bow,” from the concept of treading on it to bend it. From this concept it came to mean “archers” or as one lexicon said, “bow-benders.” It is still the word today in Israel for loading a gun. When the commander is ready to lead his troops into battle he says, “Darak.” God was telling Joshua, “If you are willing to take your weapons and fight, I will give you victory.”
These lessons are all true for us today. God has given us this nation to reap and enjoy its amazing bounty. But with that comes an assignment to manage, govern, and protect it. We are responsible to guard it against those who would try and overrule God’s purposes. We must not allow this rebelion to succeed.
America is our inheritance - we must yaresh it. We must be willing to use the spiritual weapons of our warfare and take back what God has entrusted to us. The church must not yield to those who would try and abort God’s purposes. He has brought us to an incredible opportunity to repossess this land. God has changed the times and seasons and has brought us to the brink of incredible revival and breakthrough. We must now seize this.
This will require darak. Load your weapons, spiritual bow-benders. Fight the good fight of faith. Take the sword of the spirit and the weapon of prayer. God has promised us victory, IF we are willing to fight. Of course, we are talking about spiritual warfare, not hurting people. We love people, but we do not love the spiritual powers of darkness that have invaded this nation, nor do we love what many people are trying to do. There is no contradiction between loving them and not accepting their actions.
We are not to be spiritual pacifists. This is a deception satan uses frequently, convincing Christians that “loving” their enemies, or those who oppose the plans of God, is to sit back and allow them to do whatever they want, that God will deal with their plans and actions when He chooses. This is NOT biblical. We are to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13, Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9; Revelation 2:6); at times we are to announce judgment (Acts 8:20, 13:11; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Timothy 4:14). And we are most certainly to resist the spiritual powers motivating and empowering evil doers. If these things were a contradiction of love, God would be violating His own nature - love - at times!
Church, this can be our finest hour. This is our generation’s time to cross over into Canaan and drive out giants. Let’s do this.
Pray with me:
Father, You are giving us an opportunity to repossess our inheritance. You have changed the time and season, telling us, “It’s time!” We will now do as Joshua and Israel did: go into the land and remove spiritual giants. As your Ekklesia, we will bind and loose, pull down strongholds and free people from the clutches of the enemy. We, Your people in America, will be what You called us to be: a light to the nations, a voice of the gospel of the kingdom to all nations.
Teach us what it means to love Your way, loving unbelievers while not accepting their actions. Give us Your hatred of evil AND Your love for the sinner. Your love is unconditional, yet Your judgments are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9).
Awaken the church. Give us a backbone of steel and hearts of love. Put Your warrior heart in us, causing us to fight for justice and truth. Give us Caleb hearts that look at a stronghold and say, “Give me my mountain!” Break off of us complacency, apathy, lukewarmness, selfishness, and fear. Free us from distractions and activities that cause us to miss opportunities and/or feel we are too busy to get involved. We ask You in Jesus’ name to do these things.
Let God arise and his enemies be scattered!
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.