Joshua: Entering The Life Of Victory
"Now it came to pass after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Josue the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, and said to him: Moses my servant is dead: arise, and pass over this Jordan." Joshua 1:1-2
It was God Himself Who exalted and appointed Joshua to be the leader after Moses. Leadership cannot be exercised effectively, if God Himself has not appointed us to that position, and also if the Church has not tested and confirmed Gods calling of leadership on our lives.
The Lord told Joshua that every place on which his feet trod would be given to him (verse 3), and that no man would be able to stand before him throughout his life (verse 5). This is symbolic of the New Testament promise given us in Romans 6:14. "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace." The land of Canaan had been ruled by many giants in the past. But they would all be defeated. not a single sin (however powerful) will be able to overcome us. That is Gods will for us. But Joshua had to actually put his foot down on a piece of territory and claim it in the Lord's Name. Only then would it be his. So with us too. We must claim our inheritance by faith. If we do not hold God's promises as ours, they never will be fulfilled in our lives.
Paul claimed his rights in the gospel in Jesus' Name, and as a result came into a glorious life. he says in 2 Corinthians 2:14, "Now thanks be to God, who ALWAYS maketh us to triumph in Christ Jesus." "ALWAYS maketh us to triumph" ALWAYS leads us in victory was Pauls' psalm of triumph and that can be our song as well.
But most Christians never enter into this life of victory. 600,000 Israelites came out of Egypt; but only two of them- Joshua and Caleb- entered Canaan. About the same proportion of Christians (2 in 600,00) enter into a life of victory today also. Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land because they had this attitude: If God has told us to occupy the land, we can do it." That is faith. Faith reckons only with the promises of God, and never with the difficulties facing us. The other Israelites said, "This is impossible. The giants are so big and powerful." Today also Christians feel it is impossible to overcome anger and lusting with the eyes, because these lusts are so powerful and have ruled them for so long. Such believers remain defeated all their lives and (spiritually speaking) perish in the wilderness.
The river of the Spirit that flows from heaven through us must not find a polluted channel in our heart, to flow through- a channel polluted by dirty thoughts, murmuring, complaining, and the love of money. No, it must find a clean, pure channel that is free from sin. Then that river can bless people around us with the clear water from heaven. The great tragedy in Christendom today is that its priest and deacons are not pure inside. They have not overcome sin in their hearts and in their personal life. They have not overcome the love of money, the lust of the eyes, bitterness, the spirit of competition with others, jealousy, telling lies, shouting angrily at their wives, and unrighteousness in many other areas. yet they preach to God's people. What can they teach God's people? Only what they are practicing- namely, how to be angry with one's wife, how to be bitter, how to be jealous, and how to compete with others!
Anything else they teach will be hollow theories. All the Bible-knowledge that you acquire through study is useless if you are not an overcomer in your life.
The Lord assured Joshua "I will be with you" This was why no man would be able to stand before Joshua. We do not overcome sin through believing some doctrine or by having some experience. No. It is the constant presence of the Lord with us, through his Spirit, alone, that can enable us to overcome. God is looking for such leaders in Christendom today whom he can support and endorse, because their hearts are pure.
The Lord told Joshua: "You shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them" (verse 6). We are not to be afraid of any sin. We are to go out and enable God's people to overcome sin in their bodies-bodies that have been ruled by sin for years. It's not enough merely to bring them to faith and the two baptisms-putting the blood on the doorposts, crossing the Red Sea, and being enveloped in the cloud. That is just the beginning. That is only the kindergarten lesson. Do we stop our children's education once they have passed the kindergarten class? No. But that's what's happening in Christendom today.
The pillar of cloud came to lead them into the promised land. They should have entered in, in 2 years, but they didn't enter for 40 years, because their leaders were unbelieving. "Faith cometh by hearing" (Romans 10:17). If believers are not taught these truths how can they believe? Then how can they overcome sin?
The Lord told Joshua: "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left." (1:7). If God's Word says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you" (Romans 10:17), believe it and confess it. Don't turn to the left or to the right. Don't reduce it to include only some sins. At the same time, don't make it to mean more than what is says. It is referring only to victory over what we know to be sin. (conscious sin). We can be fully like Christ only when He returns. I John 3:2 is very clear on that. So lets not go beyond Scripture, and let's not believe less than what Scripture promises.