When God gives us something, we need to take possession of it if we are going to experience it in our daily lives. Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Paul instructs us that we can learn lessons in the Old Testament that will give us endurance, encouragement and hope. Deuteronomy 1:1-46 instructs us using a real life situation. God promises us something and gives it to us. For us to benefit from what He promised and gave to us, we need to take possession of it. Read Deuteronomy chapter 1:1-46 and then come back to look at the principle being taught in that chapter. The principle: We need to possess what God has promised and given to us if we are to experience it in our daily living. Let’s look at some key verses that teach that lesson.
The LORD says in Deuteronomy 1:8,21 “See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them…21 See, the LORD your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.'” The LORD gave them the land He had promised long ago to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all their offspring. Then the LORD told them to go into the land and possess it. To possess the land the Israelites had to defeat the ungodly nations that were bigger and stronger than them. All but two of the Israelites, Joshua and Caleb, didn’t believe the LORD could help them defeat the much larger and stronger people that the LORD wanted to dispossess because of their wickedness and His promise to Abraham (Numbers 13:30-33; 14:6-10). Two men exercised faith that the LORD could keep His promise and give them victory over seven nations larger and stronger than them, but the whole nation of Israel looked at their own weakness instead of the LORD”s strength and decided to not go in and take possession of the bountiful land the LORD had given them. The result of the nation of Israel’s lack of faith was 40 years wondering under God’s protection in the wilderness and never experiencing the bountiful land the LORD had given them. Only the two men who exercised faith in the LORD got to experience the bountiful land.
The LORD has given us eternal life, every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies and certain provision of at least food, shelter and clothing for one day at a time right now (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3; Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Timothy 6:7-8; Matthew 6:11). He tells us to experience these blessings in our lives by obeying His instruction (Matthew 6:33; Matthew 28:20; John 10:10b). We tend to look at how hard what He says to do is and not how capable the LORD is to help us experience what He has given us. If we don’t, by faith in the Son, obey His instruction, then we live a stressed out, peace less, joyless and unfulfilling life. If we by faith obey the LORD’s commands, then we experience everything He has given us in Christ and live an abundant and eternal life characterized by peace, joy, hope and fulfillment.
We need to learn what we have been given in Christ and possess it by faith in the Son of God – even if it looks impossible! Jesus will fulfill our attempt to possess our inheritance with His power. One example: If we practice Matthew 6:33 by faith in the Son of God, then we will have the food, clothing and shelter that we need.
Who do you look like in the Old Testament real life example? Do you look like the nation of Israel or like the two men of faith, Joshua and Caleb? You can begin today to possess what is yours in Christ by living the truth in Galatians 2:20 and by praying the prayer in 2 Thessalonians 1:11 for yourself.