Deuteronomy 1:8: See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’
This is the call to take action based on the word of God; to realise His plans and purposes, bringing them to fruition in our lives, in our world. The children of Israel were not to allow themselves any excuse against forging ahead. There are lessons for us.
I have set the land before you
The “lands” we are supposed to possess are not the figments of our imagination. They are ordained from the foundation of the earth. Paul said that God has preordained that we should walk in his plans which he has made for us before the earth began (Ephesians 2:10). Our mission is not to try to get just anything done; we have specific things he has eternally outlined for us.
God, in the focus verse, was referring to a specific land mass that he has given to the children of Israel. For the purpose of taking over the land, they were to embrace the fact that God is with them and that he has given them the land, even before they saw it of made any effort at possessing it. That should build confidence in them. They were supposed to move forward with that confidence and not be chicken-hearted. They were supposed to have in mind that the earth is the Lord’s and fullness thereof, and nothing can stop them from taking it over.
“I have set the land before you” is a statement of divine purpose, of divine target. There were certain people that should be displaced for you to come into your possession; there are certain influences that you need to put a stop by casting your own divinely ordained influence and create a change in the spiritual topography of the earth. That is what it means to take possession of the land that God has set before you, by displacing the prevailing influence with what God has ordained through you. Taking over is the name of the game.
There is a race set before you; there is a distance you must cover. The bible says that we should run the race “set” before us (Hebrews 12:1). That is also specific. Jesus said that he has to do the work of him who sent him. That is also about a specific divine calling (John 9:4).
A group of Antioch prophets and teachers were praying and the Holy Spirit said that Paul and Barnabas should be separated for a specific work (Acts 13:1-3). Paul was described as the apostle to the gentiles with Peter was described as the apostle to the Jews (Galatians 2:8). Those are the lands set before them, which we are to conquer for the sake of Christ, with his truth, righteousness and power. They have the call to bring change in their appointed spheres of influence.
The first word in the focus verse is “see.” The same way God told Abraham: look (in all direction) as far as your eyes can see have I given to you (Genesis 13:14-17). You cannot possess more than you can see, more than the vision God has created in you. You have to see it as a possibility first with the eyes of your heart then you can move in its direction, energised by the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul prayed for the Ephesians that the eyes of their heart need to be opened, to be enlightened so that they may know the hope (possibilities) of their glorious calling in Christ (Ephesians 1:15-23), because without that, there can be no walking in them.
Go in and take possession
Even though God has already given you the land, there are things that you should do in real time to bring the plan of God into fruition. And that process is a developmental one for you.
You have to have practical plans for making those things to happen, which also involves taking advantage of every opportunity to be trained in that direction.
It takes your obedient actions to bring the word of God to pass. Note that God had promised an earlier generation of Israelites that same the land of Canaan, but they refused to do anything about it (Numbers 13-14). Rather, they chose to yield to fear and decided that move in the opposite direction. And the promise of God did not come to pass in their lives. God did not force himself, his will on them. They still had to cooperate with it.
We need to move along with an obedient heart, in what we know as our path along the will of God. Understanding the will of God is not because there is a theoretical exam that we would have to do; it is because it should guide our action of obedience.
We merely disqualify ourselves from hearing from God, if the last time He told us something, we disobeyed him. Ask King Saul. He was instructed to wait for seven days for Samuel to come and make a sacrifice, he did not. He yielded to fear and he made the sacrifice himself in a big breach of divine protocol (1Samuel 13:1-15).
The second time, he was told to destroy the nation of the Amalekites, but he had a different idea (1Samuel 15). That was the last communication he had from God (1Samuel 14:37, 28:6). God would not waste his time with the stubborn. That is why the bible says: today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart (Hebrews 3:15). Do not say no.
“Go in and take possession” is a call for courage. There are giants in the land place; there are experienced soldiers there. But in obedience to God they had to move in and take over those territories. Joshua, who would lead them in that charge, was told to be fearless and always recognise that God is with him and to make him successful in his campaign no matter what (Joshua 1:1-9). You should have the same mind.
What territories are you suppose to go in and possess? What are your considerations before doing so? Too much analysis surely leads to paralysis. We should be able to recognise the time of preparation and differentiate it from the time of action. It is time for action!
During a marriage in Cana of Galilee, the wine ran out and Jesus told the servant to fill up certain pots with water. That did not make sense but if they wanted to go in and “possess a new batch of wine” without money, they had to be obedient (John 2:1-11).
When Peter had toiled all night and had caught no fish, he had to obey. Jesus said that he should launch another effort at fishing, if he would “possess another batch of fishes” and not go home empty-handed, unaccomplished (Luke 5:1-0).
“Go in and possession the land” is a call to obedience, it is a call to courage it is also a call to strategy. Every battle has a strategy; our effectiveness depends partly on our strategy. God gave Solomon the power to get wealth, and he put in certain strategies to ensure that the flow of money does not cease (1Kings 10:22).
- The Salvation History of All Mankind As Revealed in the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
- Focused on Your Inheritance or Your Legacy? (storywritingstudio.wordpress.com)
- – Our Choices & Consequences – (hiseternalword.wordpress.com)
- The Will of God (prayercommunicationwithgod.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of the Holy Spirit – Part 3 (thevinevigil.wordpress.com)
- God’s Offer of Life or Death (deadtosinaliveinchrist.com)
- Father Abraham (tc518.wordpress.com)
- The Hidden Message in the Story of Abraham and Lot (handsofclay.wordpress.com)