Summary: The Book of Joshua was written to show us victory is possible by practicing the specific principles.
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Most Christians know they are called to a life of victory; unfortunately, many have not yet experienced that victory. God has called us to experience victory every day of our Christian lives. The Book of Joshua lays the foundation and basis for the life of victory in Canaan that God has prepared for each one of us.
It is more than mere history, more than a simple record of past results and rewards. This revelation is a present reality. Paul said: “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Oftentimes the Old Testament is illustration while the New Testament is interpretation. If we are going to understand all of God’s Word, we must understand both the illustrations and the interpretations of the Bible.
God has given to every Christian the promised possession of victory, to live the Spirit-filled, overcoming life. It is God’s plan. The Word of God talks about the possibility of failure, but it never assumes the necessity of failure. The Book of Joshua was written to show us victory is possible by practicing the specific principles.
THERE ARE POSSESSIONS TO POSSESS
1. The Conversion Experience.
1“Now it came about after the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, 2‘Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.’”
The Israelites were in the wilderness. They had come out of Egypt and were on their way to Canaan, the Promised Land and the place of victory for God’s people. God had said for them to cross over Jordan and possess the land, to take what He had already given them. Notice the implications this story has for us.
a. Egypt represents the state of the lost. In Egypt, Pharaoh, the cruel taskmaster, came against the nation of Israel. Egypt represents a picture of the world, a picture of the lost person who is bound by sin and broken by Satan.
b. Pharaoh represents Satan. God came to deliver the nation of Israel from its harsh taskmaster.
c. The Passover Lamb represents the conversion experience. The Lord covered the sins of His people and opened the Red Sea for their deliverance from sin and captivity. At one time, we too were bound by sin. We were slaves to sin and this world, but Jesus paid the price on the cross for our sins and set us free. He gave us a new life.
2. The carnal experience. Many Israelites who left Egypt never made it into Canaan. They wandered in the wilderness for the rest of their lives. There is a legitimate wilderness experience, but God never intended for His people to live so long in the wilderness. If a person lives in the wilderness too long, they become carnal Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1). Carnal Christians never enter into Canaan or experience all God has prepared for them.
When we first come to know Christ as Savior, the Bible calls us “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1). We are babies for a while but should not be all our lives. When we grow up in the things of God, in the principles and the promises of God, we want meat and not just milk. We want to know all the blessings and all the principles of God’s Word. Too many are content to live in the wilderness.
3. The Canaan experience. There is a conversion experience and a carnal experience, but God wants us to have the Canaan experience. Canaan represents several pictures.
a. It represents release. The people of Israel had been in bondage and slavery, but God set them free. God desires that His people be free from the shackles of sin and know victory in every area of life. That is why Paul wrote, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). The sinner is still bound by Satan and his plans for their life; but for God’s people, Canaan meant release. Not only did it mean release, but it also meant refreshment.
b. It represents refreshment. The Israelites ate manna in the wilderness for forty years. They had manna every day—seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. No one ever asked, “What’s for breakfast today?” They knew. The same for lunch. And dinner. They lived every day eating manna. Despite eating the same thing day in and day out, Canaan represented refreshment: a land of variety and plenty. It is okay to eat manna once in a while, but God’s plan is for victory in every area of our lives. Do you not want to be refreshed, revived, and touched by the power of God in every area of your life? For the nation of Israel, Canaan represented release, but it also represented refreshment.