“But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him… And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to take possession, that you may occupy his land.’ Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. And the Lord our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people. From Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. The Lord our God gave all into our hands…
“Then we turned and went up the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites.’ So the Lord our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people. And we took all his cities —sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages… I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’” Deuteronomy 2:30-33,36; 3:1-5,21-22
We face formidable enemies every day, sometimes everywhere we turn — voices that say just this one piece of gossip you must tell or know, foes of sloth, taking glory, belittling a fellow image-bearer, choosing my advantage over another’s, the glitter of idols. When God brings us into fellowship with Jesus, He presents a new land of holiness, a world not different from where we have always lived but in which we are free to say yes to Him, and He calls us to fight and possess this land of faith. He knows the wiles of our enemy and works to give us victory. We are strengthened with each win over the enemy’s pull, and gain spiritual muscle to be able to do it again.
Climbing a steep slope can be likened to this walk of faith, requiring gumption and commitment, then a putting of one step in front of another, over and over, with complete victory– the summit– as the goal. Any time we give in to lethargy, half-heartedness, a nodding of the steeled mind or closing of the ready eyes, we risk the enemy’s sneaky toe-hold or slipping back in spiritual maturity. Our mighty God Who fights for us and has won our hearts will continue to infuse His strength and resolve; we need yield to Him and keep on.
Lord, keep me pressing on to take possession of the victorious life You have for me. Yours is the greatness and power and glory and victory. (1 Chronicles 29:11)