Summary: A casual reading of Joshua might well be viewed as a military conquest. There is another meaning...

Facing Our Obstacles by Gerald Van Horn

The Victory Side of Life #1 of a series

Joshua 1:2-9

A casual reading of Joshua might well be viewed as a military conquest. We feel that there is also another meaning, as we will discover in this message. So many illustrate the crossing of Jordan as death and Canaan as heaven. Early on in our Christian walk, we discover that our walk is a place of spiritual warfare. Behind this historical record in the book of Joshua comes the truth that we will be dealing with.

In the New Testament, especially Ephesians, we are given a glimpse that Canaan is a place of conquest and rest. While Canaan is not mentioned by name, there is much said about entering into a Canaan type experience. The principles are there supporting and undergirding our journey. I have seen the most remarkable growth to take place in peoples lives as they grasp these principles. Canaan was a place for Israel to enjoy. There is a place of conquest for every child of God. In Hebrews chapters 2 & 4 we are challenged to enter into the rest that Christ alone provides for us.


1. We must realize that Canaan is the place where God is leading His people.

Some go willingly while others are forced to go.

God promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey. To the New Testament believer the milk is the Word of God. The honey is the gifts of the Spirit. He not only told them that He would deliver them but He would bring them into the land.

Exodus 3:7-8 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt and have heard their cry by reason of their task master; for I know their sorrow; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; into the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Egypt was only the preparation for the enjoyment of Canaan. The passing over, the crossing of the Red Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh’s host, all would be useless unless they lead to the rest of Canaan. The possessing of the land was also the fulfilling of the promise to Abraham. Genesis 14:13-17.

It is also true that the Bible is written for the perfecting of the Saints and building them up spiritually. Our regeneration and justification is but the groundwork for sanctification and holiness. It is true that through the Word of God sinners also see their need of a Savior and come to repentance and begin a new life in Christ.

Why are so many content to live in the wilderness? Why are they not enjoying all their full inheritance?

2. We must realize that the law cannot lead us to our Canaan experience.

Moses is dead. v.1. He represents the law. See Romans 8:1-4

There is therefore NOW no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending

his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

In Romans 7 we read of the account of a converted man finding that he is warring against two laws. vs. 21-23 says, “ I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

. We cannot experience a life of victory by prayer alone. Fasting, consecration and good works are not enough. The Christian does not work toward victory but he works from victory. He does not struggle toward it but stands in victory through the cross and the empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. We must realize that the entrance into our Canaan experience is entrusted to one person.

In Joshua 1:1, Moses is dead and Joshua becomes the chosen one to lead God’s people. He was made the trustee for the people.

vs. 2. He was to divide the land and assign the land to each tribe. They had to come to him for their claim. The land had to be possessed.

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