Summary: Every generation has an opportunity to step up and be everything that our heavenly Father has made it possible to be. How will we respond?
2 There remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?
(Joshua 18: 2 - 4)
Let me ask a simple question. Where does this scripture pIace the responsibility for failure to possess the land? I meet a lot of people who according to what they say seem to think that they can operate contrary to God’s Word and yet still accomplish his will. Lest we suffer under a similar delusion / deception and fall prey to the same spirit of unbelief it is time to study the methodology of the kingdom.
Firstly, we need to familiarise ourselves with God’s original plan for the earth because he never deviates from that plan regardless of how many generations of people fail to walk in it. He continues to believe even if people don’t. He believes in his ability to save, to heal, to deliver, to prosper, etc even if people don’t!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Planet Earth would be an insignificant blob in the universe if it hadn’t been singled out by the LORD for a very specific purpose. Scripture tells us that the heavens are God’s throne and the earth is his footstool. The Lord has obviously always had a very special plan for the earth, because Scripture also tells us that we worship at his footstool. The heavens declare the glory of God and so there is always supposed to be a response from the earth that acknowledges his glory!
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give us some insight into the pre-human history of the earth, with an account of the rise and fall of the original worship leader, and an explanation of why the earth is described in Genesis 1:2 as a formless, chaotic mess, a worthless thing, a place of emptiness and desolation, a scene of disorder and confusion. But God had a plan and a purpose for the earth that could not be thwarted and so he spoke into the darkness and said, “Let there be light”, and there was light!
And so began the restoration of his plan to populate the earth with a worshipping people who would colonise the earth and influence the earth with heaven’s culture! The first Adam blew it, and so the LORD started again with Noah. There was a betrayal in Noah’s family, that intoduced a curse and so later on the LORD found Abraham and started again with him.
Remember - the LORD said to Abraham, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to take possession of it.”
The LORD told Abraham:
Genesis 12: 1 - 3
1 ... “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The LORD was telling him that his descendants would invade the earth with the culture of heaven - with the blessing of Almighty God! We know the checkered history of God’s old covenant people, but then the second Adam - the Lord Jesus Christ - came and announced the arrival of the kingdom of heaven in the earth. Since then there has been a commission given to everyone who is born again into that kingdom to advance the plan of God by colonising the earth and influencing it with kingdom culture.
This was never supposed to be about religion, but about the government of heaven being established in the earth. Every kingdom desires to extend its influence. A perfect example is the British Empire - the largest empire in history. At one point it covered 13,000,000 square miles - almost a quarter of the Earth’s entire land area, and governed a quarter of the world’s population. Not bad for a tiny little nation. Much of the world still experiences its cultural influence and a number of countries - including Canada and Australia - still have the Queen’s head on their currency. What most people might not know is that in many of the countries that made up the empire the advance parties were Christian missionaries preaching the gospel of the kingdom!
From a tiny beginning in the garden of Eden Adam was commissioned to extend the influence of heaven across the earth. Then, from the only son of an impotent and barren woman God promised that the influence of heaven would be a blessing to all nations. From tiny beginnings in a Jewish backwater the influence of heaven has spread all over the earth as Jesus is building his church. And it’s not over yet! God’s plan and purpose have never changed! Let’s look at a prophetic picture of how it’s to be accomplished!