Maturing Takes Time
Joshua 13:1—““Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."”
THE INITIAL VICTORY
This passage speaks of a time after Joshua’s initial victory in the lands of Palestine. Because of the fact that Joshua and his armies had defeated those who ruled supreme in the area, it was now left to the people of Israel to settle and possess the land that had been won for them. In a sense, this is what Jesus’ victory at Calvary has done for believers. His death and sacrifice at Calvary has made it possible for us to go in and possess the land. The payment for sin has been made. As well, the power of sin’s grip over the believer has been broken. Now, with sin being dealt a deathblow and the righteousness of Christ being imputed into the believer’s account, we are ready to begin the process of spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit takes up residence within us and He will continue to perform His transforming work, as long as our faith remains stayed upon Christ’s finished work. Those who realize what Christ has done and who place their faith in His finished work will be able to enter into and maintain God’s maturing process. So, while the Cross defeats the foe, spiritual growth could be looked at as the land that needs yet to be possessed.
GROWTH NEVER ENDS
Every Christian must realize that the potential for spiritual growth is unending. We can always grow closer to God. As evidence of this thought let’s look at the life of Paul. In Philippians 3:12, the apostle Paul speaks of his unending desire for getting to know the Lord. He first states that he has not attained, which refers to the glorification of the body. Secondly, he refers to apprehending that for which he was apprehended. This statement refers to being conformed to the image of Christ. That is the reason why God saves us. Not only to deliver us from the power of sin, but also to transform us into the image of his Son, the Lord Jesus. Therefore, Christian growth and maturity is to be a “constant” in the life of the believer. So, no matter how far we have come, there remaineth yet much land to be possessed. We must live with this truth ever burning bright before us.
APPLYING WHAT WE HAVE COME TO KNOW
In the last few years, with the Message of the Cross being voiced strongly and consistently, I have seen something I feel a need to address. When one understands the Message of the Cross and places his faith in Christ’s finished work, that is when the process begins. It is a glorious day for the believer who sees the truth of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. But the revelation of the Cross is not to be learned one day and laid aside the next. Having the revelation of the Cross (how God truly works in a believer’s life) is just the beginning. After we know how God works, it will take a lifetime of applying what we know to get the job done. In this process, the revelation is experienced again and again, confirming to our hearts God’s true process of growth.
THE PROCESS TAKES TIME
Some believers get discouraged and move away from the right of object of faith. They see the areas in their lives that need to change and feel that if they really understood the way that God works, they would experience a speedy and eternal victory. I don’t know why some areas in a believer’s life are corrected faster than others. But I do know that there is only one way by which we can experience complete victory. And that is by remaining true to God’s way, even when we don’t understand God’s timing. If we will stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, we will come to realize complete victory. Just don’t quit believing. Don’t let anything other than the Cross become the object of your faith. Though it tarry, wait for it, it will come!
SEE YOUR INABILITY
The Bible says that Joshua was old and stricken in years. This indicates the lack of vitality and strength. Then, seemingly adding insult to injury, the Lord shows up and tells him that he is old and stricken with years. What did the Lord mean by saying such. I believe that He wants us to constantly realize that in our own strength we cannot possess the land. However, in the strength that is supplied from our heavenly Joshua we can rest assured. There is yet much land that needs to be possessed. I have no strength or faith in myself. But with my faith in Christ and Him crucified, I will possess the land!