Summary: We are called to possess not visit. How do we position ourselves to possess what God has for us?
“Positioned For Possession”
It was the site of the original “Shock and Awe” campaign. Lightening. Thunder. Fire. Smoke. Trumpets sounding from the summit. The people were so terrified that they insisted that Moses stay between them and God. It was the place where Moses met and had forty-day conversations with God. Mount Sinai. It was at this mountain, also called Horeb, where the Children of Israel had some of their most profound experiences and revelations about God. It was here that they gained insight into their previously nameless and imageless God as He revealed Himself as Jehovah. From these peaks they learned about God’s character through the revelation of the Ten Commandments. This was an incredibly prominent landmark both geographically and spiritually for this fledgling nation.
In Deuteronomy 1:6-7a, Moses receives a Word from God. God speaks and says, “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites. . .’” Instruction has come that it is time to make a move. God is basically forcing the Israelites to leave everything they had learned about Him. They were made to leave their greatest spiritual experiences. They had to turn their back on their comfort zone and their understanding. Remember, they had circled this mountain for 38 years. Now, they were to leave the mountain and advance into unknown, uncharted territory. God informs them (verse 21) that this move is required because He has a land, a home, an inheritance that is theirs to take.
I believe it is time for many of us to get away from the mountain. We have camped at the mountain for too long. We have circled our present level of knowledge and revelation of God one too many times. We have been content to stay within sight of the experience that we had with God five years or even five months ago. Sure the scenery is familiar. The course is certainly predictable. Without a doubt it is more comfortable to walk in the familiar shadow of what we have always known. The path is easy to find. Just follow the tracks we have left behind year after year. However, I believe He wants us to advance. He wants us to head toward our possession and our promise. We can not get there until we first get away from the comfort zone we have constructed for ourselves. It is time for new experiences, a new revelation, a new path, a new encounter, and a new summit!
So the people begin to move. Moses is taken and buried by God. Joshua is now the newly anointed and appointed leader. He mobilizes the people and they cross the Jordan. They are going a way that they had never gone before. As normal, God shows up when we step out by faith and move outside our comfort zone. The waters miraculously pile up and the people cross on dry ground. The people of Israel are now closing in on their possession.
II. Positioned for Possession
A. Possession demands purity!
The people are out of the desert and now living in the Promised Land.
However, we must remember that God is always concerned most about preparing us for what He has prepared for us. He is concerned about our preparation because He doesn’t want us to visit places we can not possess. He doesn’t want us to just visit our promise He wants us to possess our promise.
They are living, benefiting, and enjoying the provision of the promise. But Joshua realizes that something is wrong. He realizes that they weren’t sanctified.
Many of us are enjoying and obtained the benefits and the provisions of the promise. We have enjoyed victories won by others. We have ridden the backs of other people’s prayers, warfare, work, and study of the Word. However, too many of us are not clean. Too many of us are unsanctified, unholy. We are in the camp and we are blessed because of it, but we haven’t been purified.
I declare to you that you can visit the Promised Land without being holy, but you cannot stay there. It is easier to obtain that it is to maintain (i.e. dates). Possession demands purity! Purity produces power to possess. Too many of you are content with visiting your promise. You visit the benefits. You occasionally visit your destiny, but you are unable to maintain possession. You can’t settle there or inhabit that place because of lack of purity. Your talent will get you to the Promised Land but it is your character that will enable you to stay there.
Some of you are acting like you are ready to possess your promise but you need to be purified. You need to take some time and get things cleaned up and cleaned out. You will never be able to possess until you first allow God to purify! It is time for you to be sanctified. I Thessalonians 4:3-8. The day of trying to live in the Promised Land yet staying as close to the filth of this culture is over. We cannot possess without purity!