Conquering Canaan Deut. 10, Joshua 23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When God instructed Israel to go in and possess the land [Deut 10:8-11] he gave them five things to do so that God could drive out the inhabitants of the land. He told them to fear the Lord, walk in his ways, love the Lord, serve the Lord and keep his commandments. If they would do these five things while conquering Canaan, God would bless them and drive out the inhabitants before them.
After Israel defeated Sihon, Og and 31 kings on the other side of Jordan, Joshua divided up the remaining land of Canaan and told Israel that the Lord would expel the remaining nations and drive them out [Jos 23:1-5]. However, the same five conditions imposed on Israel when they were initially conquering Canaan, are the same conditions that Joshua required.
Now imagine that your body is the land of Canaan. Your head is Dan and your feet are Beersheba. After you get saved, the Lord, in essence, seeks to conquer your land and take full possession of your body by driving out the inhabitants that were there before he arrived. If you want him to be victorious and drive out these old ways and sins, then you must do the same five things that Israel was supposed to do in Canaan. In conquering Canaan you must:
Obey the Lord – Jos 23:6 – you can’t very well obey him if you don’t even know what he said. Buy the KJV audio app for your smartphone or download an Mp3 version on an Mp3 player and listen to the Bible while you are reading it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand it. Ask the Lord to show you what he wants you to do through it. And as you read the Bible obey what it says. You can’t expect the Lord to help you have victory in a troubled area in your life if you are not obeying him.
Cleave to the Lord – Jos 23:8 – this is like the command to a husband to leave mom and dad and to cleave to his wife. To cleave to the Lord you have to let go of anything that is keeping you from the Lord. Picture in your mind a little child grasping on to Daddy’s pant leg. He is cleaving tightly to his father and at the sight of a stranger he even holds him tighter. Don’t let anything or anybody get between you and God.
Love the Lord – Jos 23:11 – you want to love him with all of your heart, soul and mind. There are many things that you loved when you were saved and over time, your affection for those things should wane and your love for the Lord should increase. The Lord truly changes the desires of your heart so that you love him and you love what he loves.
Fear the Lord – Jos 24:14 – I suppose we’ll never know all there is to know about the fear of the Lord. But one thing we do know is that if you fear anyone or anything other than the Lord, to the extent that you fear that thing or that person, you don’t fear God. God hath not given us the spirit of fear. When you fear men, as in peer pressure, you will end up trying to please them and not the Lord. And you will find that those things you allow in your life because of fear will not be conquered by the Lord. The Jews feared the gods of the Canaanites, and they feared their chariots. And thus God did not drive out those inhabitants and their land was not conquered.
Serve the Lord – Jos 24:14 – little by little as the Lord gets more and more possession of your life, he will draw you into his service. In our church, once you have gotten past the need to sit a spell, the Lord will prepare you for a small duty and he will give you that duty to do. If you handle it faithfully, he will give you more to do. He may want you to pastor or be a missionary but he won’t start you out there. He’ll grow you into service gradually as he conquers more of your land.
Conclusion: we just finished a great missions conference and many made some definite decisions and commitments to God in response to the preaching. To keep from losing the ground that was gained by the Lord during this conference, follow these five things. That way, instead of slipping back into your old ways and habits, God will take you from here on to the next mountain or into the next valley in your Canaan so that he can possess more of your land and have more control of your life to do his will.