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365 Devotionals: The Promised Land

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP

The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series

Eyes on The Prize

“In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself”. John 1:1 AMP

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March Book Read From Read To Devotional
16th Joshua Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Eyes On The Prize

After the accursed thing was found (Joshua 7:1) and removed from the tent of Achan among the Children of Israel, God restored His favor to the camp (Joshua 8:1 KJV). The covetousness of Achan was like a tantrum of impatience. Achan felt that he could steal what he wanted since God had seemingly not appointed him a portion of his own from the spoils of war.

Have you seen others prospering around you while you seem to receive the same reward (i.e., she got a raise and you did not, or he got a better car and you are still walking)? We are not to be envious of our enemies (Psalm 37:1). Rather, we must seek God above the stuff that we could adorn our earthly presence with (Matthew 6:33). Having possessions is not a sin itself. Though if and when these things or the pursuit of them is a distraction from our first love (Jesus), then these are idols in our eyes – both blinding and not without recompense. God promises that all these things will be taken care of when He is given the first-place in your heart.

All that Achan suffered – and caused his family to suffer, was not necessary. It could have been avoided. Had Achan not been selfish and envious, he would have witnessed God’s commandment of provision at the very next battle.

And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it. Joshua 8:2 KJV

When you take your focus off of God who is your provider (Jehovah Jireh), that is when the grass looks greener in someone else’s pasture. Be careful in comparing your field of blessings to that of someone else. Sometimes, God allows by your much petitioning, an opportunity for you to live like the other half – those whose fields you covet in your heart. You may find that the Jones’ you are running to keep up with, are actually sprinting just to stay ahead of you. If you achieve the worldly gain of those you envy through evil, you will likely wish you had not. Once you realize all of the side-effects that come with your quick-fix, you will be asking God for the original portion God gave you of His perfect and divine will – not this new field of His permissive will, which has consequences you will not enjoy.

In the ninth chapter of Joshua, the defeat of Jericho and Ai by Joshua’s army (under God’s command) was noised abroad such that the people of Gibeon feared. Therefore they conspired together to become protected by this great army, rather than to fight against them. Yes, the Gibeonites were allowed to dwell among the Children of Israel – but they were not allotted a portion of bretheren. They did not live in the greener pasture with joy. Their false-witness resulted in their becoming slaves. Yes, they were spared from battle. Yet, they were not allowed to enjoy the many other benefits of their neighbor’s house.

After the Gibeonites effectively surrendered of thier own recognizance, Kings in other places also feared. In the tenth chapter of Joshua, five Kings joined forces to fight against Gibeon, believeing that any one kingdom would not be successful alone in battle. They were right. Their unity however, would not be enough to defeat the Gibeonites because these had friends in high places. Not as the world counts power – but friends of God. Yes, God has friends.

The blessing of the righteous is a blessing to those who are in their care; and to those who empower them to fulfill God’s will. Recall the Zidonite widow who was prepared to literally eat her last meal with her son. They were going to bake one last cake and together of starvation – but God had a ram in the bush – a way of escape. God had already sent for Elijah (who knew something about trusting God for everything).

8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. I Kings 17:8-16 KJV

Keep your eyes on the prize of Christ. He has no alterior motives for your salvation. He only looks for your good when you come to Him. He knows your every need and feels your pain when you do (Hebrews 4:15).

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 KJV

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