In the first post where we talked about living in our own Promised Land here and now in this life, a life of spiritual abundance as we enjoy an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I asked the question, “Do we dare to dream of a life in Christ like that?”
That’s the first question we need to answer before we embark on this journey of spiritual abundance, because the journey isn’t easy. It will require sacrifice and there will be warfare. We must make up our minds that no matter what, we’re in this ‘til the end.
The Israelites thought they wanted out of slavery, but shortly after they set about on their journey to the Promised Land, they began to grumble and wanted to go back. The journey to freedom, they reasoned, was too difficult.
So, what say ye? Are you with me? Have you wandered long enough in a spiritual desert?
Okay, let’s go!
As God handed the reigns of leadership over from Moses to Joshua, He gave him these encouraging words,
“Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:6)
“Only be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:7)
“Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:9)
Think He was trying to tell him something? I won’t go into a whole study on the meanings behind these words, but I will say that they do not mean to find strength within ourselves. They mean to hold onto the Lord, trusting and obeying Him in all we do, and He will give us the strength and courage to do what He calls us to do.
As the Israelites were about to set out to cross the Jordan River, Joshua said to all the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."
As we set out on this journey, we must sanctify, or ready ourselves. If we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then He has already done the work to make us spiritually clean before God. But we need to make sure that we are acknowledging that fact in all we do in our everyday lives. Have we set ourselves apart from the world’s ways in order to be useful to Him?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
In our minds and in our hearts we have to set ourselves apart so that we aren’t following the world’s mindset of being cavalier about sin. Some Christians are beginning to abuse their freedoms in Christ as they turn their eyes away from the Lord and are being lured away by the world’s temptations and compromises that would lead them right back into bondage.
We have to be ready to put off the sinful attitudes and deeds that hinder us and sanctify ourselves so that we can wholeheartedly follow the Lord.
So let’s first sanctify ourselves by asking God what there is in our lives that is hindering our walk with Him. And when He shows you, don’t rely on your own strength to remove it. Ask God for His strength and power to breaks the chains of bondage.
Paul spoke words similar to those of God toward Joshua to the Ephesians 6:10 when he said, “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” He spoke these words just before his admonition to the Ephesian believers to put on their spiritual armour.
And those parallel words that God spoke to Joshua were commanded just before he and the Israelites headed into battle to fight their enemy in order to gain possession of their Promised Land.
We will, likewise, encounter many enemies on the way to our Promised Land.
We are soldiers in this King’s army and we must equip ourselves with the proper gear as we journey through this life of service, of trials, of sacrifice, of growing into a bold, courageous, faith-proclaiming, joy-filled, relationship with our Lord as we learn to abide in and trust in Him.
So sanctify yourselves, for the Lord will do wonders among you.
Next time we will begin to look at the armour that is crucial to a spiritual soldier.