Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 24, 2016

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9

The journey to the Promised Land has historical significance, biographical significance, geographical significance and theological significance. This story really matters!

Egypt is an illustration of the sinful life, the unregenerate life, the unconverted life where we are held captive by the bonds of sin and shame. You were born in Egypt but you cannot afford to die there. The only way out of Egypt was for God to send a deliverer who was greater than the Pharaoh. That deliverer was Moses, the one who God referred to as “the greatest prophet”.

In your spiritual Egypt you are a prisoner to sin and held against your will by guilt, shame and evil desires. Your only hope of escaping Egypt is through faith in Jesus, the “second Moses” sent by God to set His people free from sin and death.

Outside Egypt the wilderness awaits!

The wilderness was the 250 miles of desert and barren land that separated Egypt from Canaan. In the wilderness you weren’t in Egypt but you weren’t in the Promised Land either.

Spiritually speaking, the wilderness represents the carnal Christian life. You have been brought out of Egypt but Egypt has not been taken out of you. God has placed the Holy Spirit in your life but you have not yet displaced the selfish sinful nature.

Moses led God’s people OUT of Egypt to lead them INTO Canaan!

A future in Canaan was their dream and God’s desire for His people. It was to be a place of faithfulness, fruitfulness, and freedom. But before they enjoyed their peace in Canaan they had to defeat the Canaanites and destroy all their idols. Only when their victory was total and complete would they know the rest God called them to enjoy.

Canaan, in the spiritual analogy, represents the Spirit-Filled life. In Wesleyan terms it is called sanctification and leads to holy living. John Wesley referred to this Spirit-filled state as “perfect love”. As in Canaan, there must be a consecration, a cleansing of all idols and a surrender of all that stands in opposition to God’s will. Once the consecration is complete the Spirit of God can come in with His full presence and power to take possession of that life.

Like the journey from Egypt to Canaan spiritual growth is a journey, a progression, a process that begins in Egypt (salvation) and leads through the wilderness (carnal Christianity) and then into Canaan (Spirit-filled life).

Where are you on your spiritual journey?

Where should you be?

What is your plan to get there?