Advanced, Yet Very Much Remaining

“Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, ‘You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess..: all the regions of the Philistines, the Geshurites.., the Avvim,.. all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah.., to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites, and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath,.. to Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians. I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel. Allot the land to Israel for an inheritance.’” Joshua‬ ‭13:1-7‬

Old and advanced in years, Joshua may have felt ready to rest, relax. He was likely worn weary by his warrior work’s routine and challenges, yet the Lord did not give permission. In fact, He said the opposite: there was still land to conquer. Very much land. He knew that a life continually dependent on Him would be most satisfying for this godly commander, and would effect His purposes for Israel. Even after Joshua’s death, He would teach and test Israel’s faith through war, so this training with Joshua at their helm was key. (Judges 3:1-2)

When God calls His children to service, He expects that we fulfill that calling to the end. We might, after strenuous service or a particularly difficult or long assignment, feel it is time to retire, recreate, reinvent me and do what I want to do. Yet, while life circumstances may change, affecting our ability to remain where we are or doing what we are doing, the Lord’s call to exercise every unique gift and serve wholeheartedly is irrevocable. As long as we have breath, the Lord has land- some kind of land- for us to conquer. (Romans 11:29; Philippians 3:14; Colossians 3:23; 2 Timothy 4:5-7)

What mosts tempts us to give up in our work for the Lord? When worldly whispers tempt us away, would we retune our ears to God’s voice and realign with His call? Taking all His land in obedience and His strength brings great delight.

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From vict’ry unto vict’ry
his army he shall lead
till ev’ry foe is vanquished
and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are men now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger
and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next, the victor’s song.
To him that overcometh
a crown of life shall be;
he with the King of glory
shall reign eternally.” ~George Duffield (1858)

Lord, help me stand up and press on to follow Your call to all the land You have for me, in Your design and for Your glory.

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