Joshua 24:31: Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.
What happened to Israel after Joshua and the elders died? They fell into sin and disobedience. Joshua had a clear call to occupy all the land God promised to them. They only occupied part of the land God promised them. After Joshua and the elders died, the leaders thought “Hey, we’ve arrived; we live in the Land of milk and honey. This is cool, let’s just occupy and not push to occupy the rest of the land."
The assignment they were given was not completed; not completed for almost 500 years up until the time of King David. In their complacency, they forgot about their God given assignment and just loved to occupy the land.
The purpose of war is to gain victory. When victorious, we are to occupy. What’s the purpose or reason we occupy? Its purpose is to promote advancement.
We are in spiritual war; God versus the devil, good versus evil. God has equipped us for victory but before we have complete victory we decided to occupy. We rub our fat bellies and almost totally forget our assignment to advance the Kingdom of God… We love to sit and occupy.
Joshua reminded the leaders who would follow of God’s complete and total provision in Joshua 23:14 ("Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”) Every one of God’s promises has been kept/fulfilled; kept to the full. God has, God will, and will forever accomplish all His purposes and He has called us to be tools used of Him to participate in the accomplishment of our assignment. Our assignment is to take the love, hope, and freedom of Jesus Christ to the hurting world. BUT the church, the Bride of Christ, seems more interested in occupation rather than advancement. We sit because we have become aware of whom we are rather than who God is! We want our agenda not His. We are self centered, self consumed, occupied, and we love it.
The safest place for Christians to be is on the front line not sitting and protecting what we have. We must become like the first “fisherman disciples” who when they met Christ abandoned their boats. We need to pull our boats of self sufficiency, pride, and self-confidence onto the shore and burn them.
In Luke 10 Jesus commissions the 72. He sends them out and tells them “you will be like lambs among wolves.” Not a reassuring statement as wolves like to eat sheep. But the disciples come back…Luke 10:17: The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
The Lord issues the assignment and provides the means to accomplish it. Pull the boats onto the shore, burn them, and go to the front lines. For the only thing that is truly safe is what God protects. Rise up, Church. Go to war, fight until there is complete victory, never quit, occupy where you can but never be content to sit. Advancement of God’s Kingdom is our assignment. Let’s go do it! “Go into all the world…”