I’m a little behind on my Bible study homework (One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, by Priscilla Shirer), but that doesn’t make it any less good.
In the place I’m at, the Israelites have come under the new leadership of Joshua, and it is time to go claim what is already theirs. But they were only able to claim as much of the Promised Land as they went forward to get. It was all theirs and they had full access to it, but if they only went a few miles in, they would only get a few miles of the Promised Land. If they wanted all of it, they had to walk into all of it.
Isn’t this how it works with us as Christians today? God has given us so many gifts, so many promises, and so much access to Himself through Jesus and by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Timothy 1:7 & 9-10; James 1:5; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 3:1), but we don’t even begin to start walking towards those promises. We don’t walk in faith, and we don’t walk in the Spirit. Sometimes we don’t walk at all.
The Christian life is one that requires something of you. It’s not just a “name it, claim it” kind of life. Just like a loving parent must teach a child and make a child do certain things for themselves, so God must do to us. If God did everything for you, you wouldn’t learn trust or faith or patience, you wouldn’t learn love and compassion, you wouldn’t learn mercy and grace, and it would harm and weaken you in the long run. You would be lazy and unproductive. If you want to claim God’s promises, you have to actually go get them. If you want to take full advantage of your full access, you have to walk to the Throne. So many things are already yours, but until you walk over there and stand on that land, you won’t move forward. Until you walk over there and grab that promise, you don’t get to hold it.
Don’t settle deeply into the cushiony comfort on the recliner of complacency. Go have your cake and eat it, too. While there is a time for resting and letting God work, there is also a time for you to play your part.
Go read Joshua 1:9-11. While it was spoken to the Israelites, the principle applies to us: God is with us, so we should get ourselves ready and go get what God said is already given to us! So gettest thou over there and get your promises!
If you want more on how we can limit our experience with God, you can read As Much As You Will.