Some time ago I was reading the book of Joshua as part of my quiet time. This is a phenomenal book in the Bible. After forty years in the wilderness the Israelites were finally able to enter the promised land, led by Joshua. While we might feel sorry when we read the ending of Deuteronomy that Moses was unable to enter Canaan, Joshua took us to the era of triumph for the Israelites. The Lord’s promises are finally being realised! Under the leadership of Joshua the Israelites started to gain a foothold in the cities of Canaan. This process was not smooth and still fraught with challenges. God’s promises to the Israelites required them to keep faith in God and follow God’s lead to fight for victory. While the enemy appeared stronger with the ability to fight harder compared to the Israelites, prior to the war God reiterated his promises and reminded the Israelites not to be fearful and that God will be with them and will help them defeat the enemy and bring them to victory. Therefore, the inheritance promised by God is not like a free lunch, but still requires His people to pay the price and fight bravely. We perhaps like to experience victory or hope that we will automatically obtain the blessings from God however the history recorded in the book of Joshua reminds us that even though God had promised blessings, the Israelites had to work hard to get them, and they would experience failures and setbacks during the process.
Today by the grace of God we become his children and believe we will receive God’s blessings. But we are not saying as God’s children we don’t have to contribute to obtain success. In order that our friends and family be saved and receive the Gospel we also need to pray for them or be patient and show forbearance as God’s witness. We might care more about the outcome however God’s focus is on the process in working with us God allows us to experience his faithfulness and power and leads us to change our hearts to steadfastly revere and glorify Him.