Joshua asked the Israelites, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” Joshua 18:3
This question indicates that the people of Israel had some choice in the matter of when they could take the good gifts God had waiting for them. Why in the world wouldn’t they want to get right to the business of establishing their homes in this new land? Could it be that they were still hanging onto their wandering nomad status or perhaps vestiges of slavery still lay claim to few of the nooks and crannies in their souls? Whatever the reason, Joshua made it clear that the time for dreaming about their new home was over. It was time to take hold of the life God wanted for his people.
I am convicted by the same question. I can read all the Christian books in the world, go to wonderful retreats, listen to incredible teaching and still fail to step into the fullness of life God has promised for me. I can get so easily distracted by the simplest of things, even very good things and miss God’s call for me simply come to him and be in his presence. Why is it that recently I have found myself reading about prayer more than actually praying?
The invitation to make faith a reality came earlier this week in another passage of Joshua (5:13-15):
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as the commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.” Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15.
So today, on this Good Friday, I stop what I am doing, take off my shoes, humble myself and am awed by God’s holiness and his love for me. I repent of my distraction and failure to behold him and his goodness. I thank Jesus for his suffering and death on the Cross for me, undeserving as I am. I confess my ingratitude and feel his grace and forgiveness wash over me. I thank God for the infinite number of ways I see his love at work in my life. In this quiet moment, I put all else aside and enjoy actually being in his presence. Thanks be to God.