What am I waiting for?

Pat McFall


"How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?" --Joshua 18:3


Joshua is now finishing the allotment of the land to the people of Israel. He starts his speech and his allotment with the question: "How long will you put off or wait...?" Basically, He is asking the people why they are waiting for their inheritance to take place. No specific order had been given yet to go and take possession of the allotted land but He chooses the word 'put off' מִתְרַפִּ֔ים "to grow slack." Why would they be growing slack? Why would they be sitting back passively? Either they were walking in passivity or there was no clear direction yet given and no clarity with which the people could move on to possess their land. I'm not sure if this was a rebuke or just a figure of speech but either way there are some lessons to be learned.


There are times when I wrestle with being passive, when I just grow slack in doing what I know God is challenging me to do. Sometimes it comes down to discouragement. Often, it is a result of not prioritizing my time with God, my time to be with Him to know His heart for me and to be challenged by His words and commands. So there I sit, waiting. Maybe I'm waiting for something easier to come around or maybe I'm so discouraged and apathetic that I just don't want to move. It boils down to disobedience, which boils down to rebellion. The allotment of land that the tribes were getting at this point were huge, why wait? In Egypt they had nothing, but now there are huge territories of land to possess. A good promise is only as good as how well it is recieved.

Or maybe the error or challenge laid at the hands of leadership. There was a command to possess the land, but what part of the land? What area? Who is there and how will we do this? Even God had to remind Joshua that there was much work to be done and he was getting too old to finish the job (Ch.13). When there is no clarity or direction from leadership, people often remain idle. I don't want to make the mistake of people being 'slack' or passive because I didn't give them a clear challenge and direction to go in. The question then becomes, "Am I being passive in obedience?" or "Am I being unclear in my leadership?"


Father, help me to have clarity in myself for what you are asking me to do. But help me even more to have the kind of clarity that will bring understanding to those who are in my influence. I don't want people to be distracted because I failed to give vision. Holy Spirit give me the wisdom and the courage to do what is in front of me.

Devotions for March 24

Joshua 18,19,20
1 Corinthians 9

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