Taking Possession; May 22, 2017


Joshua 18:3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?

Quite a few of the things God provides for us come under the same category as the land for the Israelites. That is, it’s God’s provision, but we have to be active in taking possession or we won’t have it. It is a well known but often ignored truth that we tend to devalue things we haven’t worked for. God is too good a Father to let that happen without a fight. Of course His grace and love are things we could never earn, but even there we have to choose to receive them. Why we put that choice off is sometimes a real mystery! We often dread the work involved in laying hold of certain things, but once we have them, we discover that the process of getting them was as valuable as the thing itself. I think these words of Joshua apply to many of us far more often than we would like to admit.

Of course this shoe fits me as well as it does anyone. I have a real tendency to spiritual – and physical – laziness, wanting God to hand me things rather than actively pursuing them. Sometimes that is wise, rejecting human ambition in favor of waiting on the Lord, but all too often it is simply inertia, failing to get moving. Right now I have two major projects that come under that category: finishing the book I started and implementing a regular tracting program in this part of town. I don’t know what God has for me personally in getting the book out, but I feel sure it will be a blessing to the Body of Christ. I don’t know when or whom or how many people God might bring in through the tracts, but if I don’t distribute them, I am denying those people an opportunity to enter God’s family for eternal life as His children. Yesterday God brought someone to this church whom we knew nothing about. He was baptized as a young man, but hasn’t been to church in 30 years. In his late 50s, he is hoping to be involved in active evangelism and ministry after his retirement. That’s not something we worked for, but I’ve got to be active in helping him grow spiritually so that he and we may take hold of that which God wants to provide, to him and to us. It looks like the feeling that God was going to change a lot of things in this fiscal year is certainly accurate! I am not to hang back, but move forward in faith and obedience on every front to indeed take hold of that which He has provided.

Father, yesterday was quite a day, not only with the man showing up but with people staying around until after 5, talking about the wedding coming up next week. Then there’s the man who’s been coming for years who confided to one believer that he wants to be baptized. He hasn’t worked up the courage to say it to me yet, but You have him firmly in hand! Thank You for all that You are doing. Help me indeed be active in my part, not running ahead or straying to the side but certainly not lagging behind. May Your will be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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