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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Mar
23

Faith Isn't Served On A Silver Platter

Jon Burgess

Scripture
16The descendants of Joseph responded, “It’s true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shan and its surrounding settlements and those in the valley of Jezreel. They are too strong for us.”
17Then Joshua said to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph, “Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion.18The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.” Joshua 17:16-18
Observation

Joshua gave the descendants of Joseph more room while leaving no room for excuses. They said, "They are too strong" and Joshua said, "you will drive out the Canaanites... even though they are strong". He heard their complaints, honored their request, and challenged them to action. It was a both/and scenario. Joshua would answer theirrequest and they would answer his. The Promised Land would not be taken without a fight. They were commanded to drive out their enemies not abide with them. They were called to conquer all their enemies, not just the ones with no iron chariots. Would this be difficult? Yes. Would this be quick? No. Would it be easier just to stay in the hills? Yes. Was this an option? No. The Canaanites had iron chariots. God had heavens armies. What the descendants of Joseph needed was an iron determination to not back down until the battle was done. The fruit of faith doesn't come without a fight. They wanted their land handed to them on a silver platter. They felt entitled to an easy win and therefore chose avoidance instead. They had forgotten, that, as descendants of Joseph, they would have to endure the hardship to attain the promise, just as Joseph had done before them.

Application

Joshua is a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus. How Joshua works with the descendants of Joseph is how Jesus works with us. He hears our prayers, gives us what we need and then calls us to do face down our biggest fears. If we aren't careful we expect the fruits of faith to handed to us on a silver platter without a fight. The entitlement of our current culture doesn't mix with the endurance of our Christian faith. The definition of entitlement: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges). This is how the descendants of Joseph felt and how many of us in the faith live. Entitlement offers a shortcut to sacrifice and excuse from the fight. It says, "youdeserve it easier. You deserve it better. Why should you have to wait? You can have all this." Why do we need to kick the enemy out of our lives no matter how many iron chariots he threatens us with? He may say, "I'll stay in the valley", but make no mistake, he will come after your hill. Give him the closet and he will take the castle.The Devil isn’t omniscient. He’s just very persistent. We must be more persistent in our resistance and more dependent upon God’s omniscience. We need to make the shift from “I deserve” to “I serve”, from "I can't" to "I will", from "silver platter" faith to "iron will" faith.

Prayer

Father, I don't know why I always think this life is going to come without a fight. Like the descendants of Joseph I come with my hand out and you take it, and fill it and then call me to fight. I want to stop looking for the easy way and start looking for Your way. I want to stop looking at my enemies as so large and my Savior as so small. Forgive me the entitlement that says "I deserve" instead of the endurance that says "It's a privilege to serve You Lord".


Devotions for March 23

Joshua 15,16,17
1 Corinthians 8

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