In January, I did something I don’t usually do on a Saturday night; I watched an NFL football game. It was the wildcard playoff game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, and at half time, the score was Chargers 27, Jaguars 0. That game was over!
But when the second half started, something shifted. By the end of the game, Jacksonville ended up coming back and won the game. When the Jaguars kicked the final field goal with 3 seconds left, my son, Jimmy, and I looked at one another and, unscripted and simultaneously, said, “Unbelievable!”
I’m telling you this story because I believe God will do the same in your life! It may seem like you’re losing in the present, but God will cause something to shift in your life so that you will be ahead. And it will inspire people to look at you in wonder and exclaim, “Unbelievable!”
The Chargers thought the game was over; they thought the game was in the bag. And the result? They eased up, neglecting what they were supposed to do. Somebody failed to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, and they lost the game.
For some of you, you are like the children of Israel; you have not reached your destiny yet. And because of that, you have neglected to do what it is God has called you to do.
Condition (vs. 2)
“But there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance.”
Joshua 18:2, NKJV
In Joshua 18, the children of Israel have retreated out of slavery, God has raised Joshua to be their leader, and they are in the process of conquering the lands God has given them. But the problem is, of the twelve tribes, seven of them had not received their territory and were not in a place of becoming what God had called them to.
Maybe that is you; you have not come into the place of your destiny, and you have become content.
Seven of the tribes have not experienced a place of dissatisfaction with their circumstance and, like many of us, have become content with our broken homes, raggedy children, tight finances, or accomplishing less than what we are capable of.
Wake up! God has so much more in store for your life than what you are presently walking through.
How long will you stay satisfied with the condition you are in?
Cause (vs. 3)
“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, NKJV
The English dictionary describes neglect as paying little or no attention to, to omit, or being indifferent. It is the act of being careless or failing to carry out or perform.
Neglect can also be described as sinking down, becoming disheartened, withdrawing, or letting go.
What Joshua is really asking in verse 3 is, “How long will you be satisfied with not being everything God has created you to be?”
How long will you be satisfied with your sons and daughters not being saved?
How long will you be satisfied with paying your bills late and robbing Peter to pay Paul?
This is how the Chargers responded during that January football game. Many of the players on the team eased up and stopped being aggressive. They became content and satisfied with where they were in the game.
God has a place waiting for you, but you haven’t acted on it. You are sitting idle. Maybe you have neglected your gift, going to Bible study or praying on a daily basis. You have compromised these things, laying them to the side.
It’s easy to live with someone instead of going out and getting your own job. It’s easy to claim the benefits of someone else rather than going out and attaining what God has called you to have. God has something much greater for you!
I declare and bind the spirit that has engulfed our country of people who want to sit home and achieve status and success while sitting idle at their house. You want the easy route and the benefit without the sacrifice, but God is telling you to get up and do something!
Are you willing to do whatever God wants you to do to be who God wants you to be?
Cure (vs. 4)
“Pick out from among you three men for each tribe, and I will send them; they shall rise and go through the land, survey it according to their inheritance, and come back to me.”
Joshua 18:4, NKJV
In verse 4, Joshua encourages those who haven’t received their land yet. In doing so, he sends his men out to survey those places. He is teaching us that it boils down to strategy and planning. They scoped out the land, came back with a report, and strategized and planned how to take over that land.
Anything I have accomplished in life, I got there because I strategized and planned. Recently, I received an award from the President of the United States. Do you know why they recognized me? They did so for the volunteer service we have done for our community. Do you know what it involved? Strategizing and planning how we can best make an impact to those in the vicinity.
Whatever is in your future will require you to scope out the land.
What classes do you need to take?
What people do you need to meet?
What do you need to do to get yourself ready so that you can get to the next dimension of what God has for you?
There was a season of my life when I was happy just being an evangelist. I was content to go around preaching at churches, and when I finished, I grabbed my coat, my hat, my Bible, and my check, and I was out of there! But then something began to stir in my heart where I felt God calling me and giving me the desire to want to be a pastor. I soon got tired of preaching in churches where I would see numerous people get saved and then leave. God gave me the heart to want to pour into people all that He desired them to be!
When I think of the goodness of Jesus and all He has done for me, I can’t help but praise Him. And what He has done for me, rest assured He will do the same for you!
All you have to do is change your mindset, be proactive, and strategize and plan.