“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
The tribe of Joseph had received a double inheritance from favoring father Jacob, yet upon seeking out their allotment, feared taking hold. The Canaanites entrenched there were formidable and frightening, and Ephraim and Manasseh failed to see beyond their forest of fear. But Joshua used the very ominous difficulty to urge them to conquer in God’s strength, thus developing them as His people of faith and spiritual confidence. The Lord is most magnified when He is trusted to have His glorious way. (Genesis 48:1-5,9-16,21-22)
We encounter life obstacles that loom and threaten: relational quandaries, financial pressures, societal unrest, health issues. It may be our natural bent to avoid the conflict or resist the hardships, making every yet and but excuse. Or, we may be prone to taking on the fray, jumping in to conquer in our own strength with but I can do it! Either response omits God’s you shall in the great power He alone gives. The challenges are the very vehicles God intends for our growth if we would but tackle them His way, with His perspective!
In what situations do we get befuddled by, and trip over, buts and yets, when the Lord says though? Which infeasibles might we see as His opportunities? When God makes a promise, He has power, and gives power when necessary, to fulfill it. We miss out on seeing His magnificence and might displayed when we cower behind our yets.
How would our daily outlook improve if we said, ‘Though this conundrum is tricky, my Lord gives wisdom’? ‘Though this habit has a detrimental stronghold, greater is He in me than my enemy in the world’? ‘Though I know not the way to go, my Lord will light my path and lead’? Instead of being hindered by the buts of impossibility, would we choose to grip God’s great possibilities and so allow His majesty to shine? (Psalm 32:8; 119:105; Philippians 4:13; James 1:5)
Father, may I not put off possessing any of the land-the generous spiritual blessings- You promise. Help me take hold of all You intend with robust, expectant faith in Your word and ability, and so magnify Your name. (Joshua 18:3; Ephesians 1:3-12)