“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 18:3)
Imagine if a wealthy loved one left you a large estate in his or her will? Would you dwell on doubting your right to claim this inheritance or would you pursue claiming your inheritance?
Through God’s power, Israel had finished conquering the land which God had given to them (Joshua 18:1). However, the remaining 7 tribes had not divided up the land and each claimed their individual tribal inheritances (Joshua 18:2). As the opening verse above indicates, Joshua expresses some frustration with the remaining tribes for their failure to go out and claim their inheritances so he instructs them to pick out 3 men from each tribe to go out and survey the land into 7 parts and then he will cast lots so each tribe can receive their inheritance (Joshua 18:5-6). The children of Israel do this and the remaining 7 tribes then receive their inheritances (Joshua 18:10-19:51).
As I think about this event, I wonder how often as Christians do we fail to “claim our inheritance”. For example, as Christians God has forgiven us of our sins as we repent of them (1 John 1:7-9). Do we claim that we have been forgiven of these sins or do we still carry around the guilt of these sins?
Moreover, for those of us who strive to faithfully follow God’s Will, Jesus tells us we have been saved and are assured to be given a crown of life (Mark 16:16; Revelation 2:10). Do we feel confident of our salvation or do we just “hope that God will save us”? There is a BIG DIFFERENCE in knowing we are saved and merely hoping we are saved! The apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
I am not suggesting we be arrogant about our salvation. I am not suggesting we can just live our lives any way we wish and expect God to save us. On the other hand, there is no merit in not being assured of our salvation if we are striving to faithfully follow Jesus. It is not being humble for those who are doing their best to serve God to say, “I hope He will save me?” Instead of being humble, it is being doubtful. This gives place to the devil to gain in foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27).
Do you ever find yourself dwelling on your failures in serving God? I am not suggesting we should not repent of our sins. However, as Christians it is critical that we embrace God’s love, mercy, and grace which He has shown us through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). A healthy walk with God means we are relying on in His POWER, not dwelling on our WEAKNESSES. We are all weak, but thank God He is strong. We need to reach up and take hold of His hand and trust in Him to lead us. The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Peter wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:3-5). Today, I will I claim the inheritance God has given to me through Christ!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).