Scripture – Deuteronomy 7:1-2
When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction.
1. This is a relationship. God does his part, we do ours.
God likes leading his people. He says “when” which is a promise. He says he’s going to do things (bring them to the land, clear away many nations, give them over to the Israelites). He’s doing the “hard work”. The people of Israel just have to walk behind God and finish the work (devote them to destruction).
This is faith and deed. Learning and doing. Community on mission. Relationship.
2. The promises and blessings of God are more than we could ever hope to imagine.
Each of the seven nations of people were individually more numerous and more powerful than the Israelites. So in total, the people who were occupying the promised land were more than seven times as numerous. The Israelites were being given an incredible land, vast and spacious, cultivated and developed, “move in ready” (just had to kill the tenants).
God has blessings and promises beyond my imagination. It is going to require relationship. It is going to require being on mission with God leading and me putting my faith in action. It will be messy and it is going to take courage. Jesus said, “take heart, for I have overcome the world”. I need to lead people into taking possession of the land (the territory of our lives, our communities, our businesses, our families) because God has already gone ahead of us and given things over to us to devote to destruction. In our society and in our region, the main tenant of the land we have been promised is thought and understanding. We need to lead people into repentance, a complete rethinking of their lives, their purposes, their roles in the kingdom of God, their attitudes and understandings so that we might occupy the abundant land we have been promised.
Practically: this is discipleship at it’s core. Hear the word of God, let it change my mind, put it into action and let my heart be changed. God discipled his people in the desert so they would follow him into the promised land despite the opposition.
Father, I desire to grow as a disciple like never before. I want to be changed day by through your word and through my personal experience of putting it into practical, tangible action. Develop a community of disciples at Evergreen who live out their discipleship on the mission of the kingdom of God. I’m excited to follow you. In Jesus’ name, amen.