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Eternity 57 - The Sole of Your Foot
Joshua 1:3 LITV Every place on which the sole
of your foot shall tread, I have given it to you, as I spoke to Moses.
Joshua, Caleb, David and Paul got an inheritance by venturing forth and fulfilling their calling. The soles of our feet must move. We have to walk through the land, fight the battles, take the inheritance, and show we want it by going after it - with God helping us every step of the way.
In today's verse, if Joshua's feet had stayed by the River Jordan, Israel would have been a pocket handkerchief nation, the inheritance required action.
Stationary, passive Christianity is not scriptural. Men and women of God are people of action. Each of us has a life-calling, a purpose that we are to enter into one step at a time. Sometimes, as with Joshua, it will seem to be "walking into trouble", but as Joshua walked into his God-appointed troubles he also walked into his inheritance and the inheritance of his nation.
The sole of your foot determines the destiny of your life. The inheritance
of God went as far as Joshua would put the sole of his foot. Destiny was
limited by activity.
Life is actually much easier for the bold, the strong and the courageous. But it is paralyzing for the fearful. Career counsellors ask their clients "If you were guaranteed that you could not fail - what would you do?".Well.. What would you do? Well ? Why aren't you doing it? Why are we staying by Jordan?
The answers often involve feelings of inferiority, fear of ridicule, and past experiences of failure and disappointment. There is a right kind of bold, spiritual ambition. I'm not talking about "haystack building" - huge ministries made of straw; but about possessing an inheritance. About being faithful in a bold, soldierly kind of way.
Sometimes we lock up as soon as we start to move. An inexplicable and great fear seizes us like the fear you may have felt when being out of your depth in a swimming pool - but even more intense. That is a Satanic attack. That mind-numbing fear, the sweaty terror that overwhelms faith and logic is not from God - for He has not given us a spirit of fear.
The only answer to that fear is to "bind the strong man" in Jesus
name. To pray intensely and strongly and to get others to agree with you.
Fear can be broken by intercession and by faith in the Word of God. Thus
it is good to venture forth as part of a group - to be part of a team that
can pray with you and for you.
What is your "promised land"? For me it is mission, I know there is a world out there that really needs Jesus and which will only hear about His love and salvation from cross-cultural missionaries like me. For you it might be as simple as starting a kids club or a neighborhood bible study or as complex as planting a church. Your calling might be to the inner city or to the steppes of Khazakstan. But your feet must move.
Sometimes we cannot imagine ourselves doing anything big and bold and brave.
Move anyway. As you walk on in the Lord gradually your vision will expand.
And beware of substitutes - it is not your tongue that possesses the land
- or your imagination, but your feet. You must walk through the land, go
there, be actually part of the adventure. Virtual adventures get virtual
rewards and real adventures get real rewards!
But does it make any difference? Will our adventures change the world? Will our risks pay off? That is to question the calling, counsels, wisdom and justice of God. If God has called you - then you must diligently, boldly and strongly carry out that calling - not sit back and question its pragmatic value (which was what the one talent servant did).
Of course the risks will "pay off" in eternal terms. But often they pay off in temporal terms as well. The pastor who launches an evangelism program and persists in trying to reach his community may not see fruit for a few years but in the end the converts tend to come, the church grows, those who witness are strengthened in the faith and the gossip is less when people are focussed outside of themselves. Thus boldness pays off in many ways.
There is a humble necessary boldness that is a part of carrying out whatever God has called us to do. A boldness to extend the Kingdom, take the fort, stand up for Jesus. As John Ortberg says "If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat."
Gaining our inheritance involves walking, treading the soil, plodding on in a steady direction, even "walking into trouble" - in the direction of giants, so we can inherit the promised land.
I'll finish this devotional with a question: If God said to you - "Every
place on which the sole of your foot shall tread, I have given it to you..."
what would you do? And where would you go?