Redefine Your Whine

Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, ‘Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the Lord has blessed me?’ And Joshua said to them, ‘If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.’ The people of Joseph said, ‘The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.’ Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, ‘You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.’” Joshua 17:14-18

There are times we can go so far as to understand both what we need and what God has promised, but get hung up on making the connection between the two. As Joshua allotted the promised land to the tribes, Joseph’s people realized they needed more space. They voiced their request, but with a bit of whine. They thought the taking too difficult– the topography was challenging, the country was full of trees, the plains full of forbidding chariots of iron. Enter Joshua, the bold leader of possibilities who seemed daily to live out his command to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

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The land shall be yours– take it! The forest shall be yours– clear it! The people are strong– drive them out! When God promises something, He will see through your possession of it, but it takes you setting aside your whine and redefining your attitude to one of courageous faith. His intention is not just to give us good things, but to train us in the trusting and the taking.

Where do we whine about circumstances, tripping on the obstacles and discomfort, rather than gripping God’s supply and pressing on? Where are we bemoaning inadequacies and weakness instead of seizing God’s ‘enough,’ ‘strength made perfect,’ and ‘exceedingly more’? How do we limit the effectiveness and reach of our ministry, because we deem the scope too narrow and the challenges too difficult? (2 Corinthians 9:8; 12:9; Ephesians 3:12,20)

Father, help me do my part in clearing the way for Your promises to have theirs. May I possess to the farthest borders of my mind and spirit all You intend for me. Take full possession of me as I take full possession of You, that You be glorified and Your will be done in my life.

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