Summary: If we want to walk in the land of victory, there comes a time when we need to wait on God.
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The principle of preparation is one of the keys to possessing the land of victory. Joshua had been communing with the Lord and now tells the Israelites, “Canaan is ours. All we have to do is go in and possess it because God has already given it us.” Can you imagine how excited the Israelites must have been about entering the Promised Land? They had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Joshua was now telling them to get ready to enter and possess the land about which they had been hearing, talking, and dreaming.
Joshua said, “You need to hold up and prepare yourself before you can possess the land.” They had to prepare before they could possess. We, too, must first wait on the Lord before we can walk in the land. We must understand that waiting time is not necessarily wasted time. We live in a society in which we think everything has to be done in a hurry.
However, we must understand: There is a secret to waiting on the Lord. If we want to walk in the land of victory, there comes a time when we need to wait on God. We must always remember God never gets in a hurry and God is never late; God is always on time. If we learn to wait on Him, learn to walk with Him, and learn to worship Him, we will come to the place in our lives where we shall daily live the life of victory.
We must prepare before we can possess our land of Canaan. If we are not prepared to possess, we may enter Canaan for only a little while and then go back to failure and defeat. That is what often happens to someone who is saved at a Christian summer camp. They are energized and revitalized by God’s power; but after a few months, they are no longer excited, serving, and living in victory.
Too often many do not wait on God and say, “God, prepare my life, prepare my heart. Speak to me so that when I leave youth camp and am back in school, I can serve Jesus day by day.” A time must come when we learn to wait on God and let Him prepare us to possess our possessions and live the victorious Christian life.
God has called us to exit Egypt, leave the wanderings of the wilderness, and conquer our Canaan. The Promised Land is a gift. Even though God has already given us the land, we must still fight for victory. There is no contradiction here. Even though the Holy Spirit is a gift, we still need to tarry and benefit from His presence. We know we do not have to fight all the time for victory because now we are fighting from victory. We are not fighting a fight that is lost but one that is already won.
Just as God spoke to the nation of Israel, He is speaking to the Church today saying: “Prepare your heart. Prepare your life so that I can move and do mighty exploits in your church and among your people.”
There are three major elements that relate to the principle of preparation.
THERE IS A NEW DIET
The first element is the new diet:
10“Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11‘Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people saying, “Prepare provisions for yourselves.”’”
The Jordan was at flood stage. You might have thought Joshua would say, “Prepare a bridge or a boat,” but he said, “Prepare provisions.” A proverb that has been attributed both to Napoleon and Frederick the Great is that an army travels on its stomach. The Word of God tells us they needed proper nourishment; they needed a new diet. The wilderness food was not good enough to give victory in Canaan. “Prepare some food. Prepare your life so you can live victoriously in Canaan.”
In Chapter 2, The Possession for Victory, we saw some of the ramifications as it relates to manna. Manna was a strange kind of food—a course and dry wafer. Manna means, “What is this?” For forty years the nation of Israel said, “What is this?”
Manna was something God had given to sustain them in the wilderness. Manna was never intended to be their permanent food, only to get them through the wilderness and to the other side. Yet many of God’s people are content to live with manna in their bellies instead of the meat of God in their hearts. They will not come to the place in life where they get so sick and tired of manna they change the way they live. Numbers 11:8 tells us that manna tasted like oil while Exodus 16:31 tells us it tasted like honey. Note: it tasted like oil and it tasted like honey. It was not oil; it was not honey. You see, it was designed to whet their appetites and cause them to want more of the produce of Canaan.