The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from THE WEEK ENDING:
January 23, 2000
The Doctrine of A Personal Sense of Destiny
We continue our study of Joshua and his personal sense of destiny: JOS 3:10 "And Joshua said, By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite."
We noted that the seven evil nations mentioned here are analogous to seven assaults against the believer's soul in the present dispensation of the Church-age and they are correlated for us in the book of Ephesians. The seven nations are analogous to the battles which take place in the soul after we go forward into our own promise land, and receive escrow blessings for both time and eternity. A quick review:
1. The Canaanites, analogous with the sin nature competing for control of the soul, EPH 4:22.
2. The Hittites, analogous to the cosmic systems competing for influence of the soul, EPH 2:2-3.
3. The Hivites, an analogy of Satan or the devil and his plan and demonic attack made upon the soul, EPH 4:27.
4. The Perizzites, analogous to false doctrines assaulting against the soul, EPH 4:14.
5. The Girgashites, analogous to those defense mechanisms that constitutes a life-style of fear, EPH 5:18a.
6. The Amorites, represent external adversities of all kinds which can overwhelm the soul's line of resistance if allowed, EPH 3:13.
So a few principles concerning these analogies:
JOS 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
c. Confidence and courage from doctrine precedes successful conflict, conquest and possession of what was promised, JOS 1:6-18.
d. Demoralization and fear precede dispossession and defeat. This is what happened to the enemies of Israel. Remember what the spies said when they came back from Jericho? Rahab said to the men in JOS 2:9 "I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you."
e. Authority-orientation is imperative for preparation for conquest and is also needed in the Church-age.
One of the things we learn over and over again concerning our personal sense of destiny, is that vulnerability still exists even after we have discovered our personal sense of destiny as a part of the adult spiritual life. This is serious vulnerability because the most dangerous time of the spiritual life is the adult spiritual life because it is then that you are perceived by the kingdom of darkness, the principalities and powers as a threat. As we look at Joshua and see him leading the Jews into the promise land, the further the Israelites, under Joshua's command advanced, the more the kings of Canaan confederated and began to perceive the threat of Israel coming into the promise land. Israel entering into the land is a picture of the New Testament believer entering into the adult spiritual life.
But Joshua is another winner believer who, as we will see, fulfilled his personal sense of destiny.
These kings are analogous to the principalities and powers that we face in the Church-age of Ephesians.
King of Jericho-----Named after a moon god
King of Ai-----Heap of ruins (analogous to false religions)
King of Jerusalem-----Peace
King of Hebron-----Association
King of Jarmuth-----Elevation
King of Lachish-----Invincible
King of Eglon-----Calf-Like
King of Gezer-----Portion
King of Debir------Sanctuary
King of Geder-----Wall
King of Hormah------Devotion
King of Arad-----Wild Ass
King of Libnah-----Rock
King of Adullam-----Judge
King of Makkedah-----Place of false shepherds
King of Bethel-----False Temples and Churches
King of Tappuah-----City of Produce and Materialism
King of Hepher-----A deep well
King of Aphek-----Strong fortress
King of Lasharon-----A plain or level
King of Madon-----Strive
King of Hazor-----Castle
King of Shimron-meron------Height
King of Achshaph-----I shall be bewitched
King of Taanach-----Sandy soil
King of Megiddo-----A place of crowds
King of Kedesh-----Holy one
King of Jokneam in Carmel-----The people lament
King of Dor, in the heights of Dor-----Each generation
King of Goiim in Gilgal-----The masses
King of Tirzah-----Delightful one or favorable one.
If you go back to those definitions and assigned the principalities and powers to each one of these kings, you would see the type of battles you will face in the spiritual realm if you discover, execute and continue with your personal sense of destiny. As we have seen, vulnerability still exists even after we have discovered our personal sense of destiny. In Joshua 12:7-24, these kings are analogous to the principalities and powers that we face in the Church-age of EPH 6.
In Joshua 11, we have what was known as the northern campaign, which is analogous to the spiritual maturity phase of the adult spiritual life, and it was a long and hard campaign. JOS 11:18 "Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings." It is a picture of the principalities and powers that are arrayed against the believer in spiritual adulthood. Entering into the adult spiritual life and dealing with spiritual warfare will take a long time. Don't expect the way to be short to spiritual maturity and then to maximum glorification of God. Even in spiritual maturity a believer can be tempted with discouragement. When you're a mature believer the battles are longer and you begin to feel weaker as PSA 102:23 says "He has weakened my strength in the way;" But remember God's power is perfected in our state of weakness.
Don't expect it to be easy and don't expect a shortcut because the longer you progress and remain in the promise land, the longer these believers in spiritual adulthood. Entering into the adult spiritual life and dealing with spiritual warfare will take a long time. Joshua 12 actually pictures the demonic activity we will have to face as we go forward into the promise land. And we have the fact that there was a long and hard battle trying to keep Joshua from his personal sense of destiny.
That is why Satan and the kingdom of darkness will do whatever they can to stop you from going forward into the promise land and fulfilling your personal sense of destiny. Joshua's personal sense of destiny was not only that of a conqueror but he was also given the job to distribute the land or allocate the inheritance to Israel. He not only allocated the parts already conquered, but he had gotten old and all the land was not yet conquered.
And this was analogous to the fact that in spiritual maturity we only receive a partial distribution of the escrow blessings for time. The full distribution of the escrow blessings in time comes after spiritual maturity, after evidence testing and when we enter into the maximum glorification of God in time. This is very significant because Joshua allocated parts that were already conquered but he also made references to parts that were not yet conquered meaning, "if and when you get to spiritual maturity, it's not over."
In fact, at the end of his life as a great leader, he had to deal with the apostasy that hit Israel again even after God had done so much for them and after all these victories (DEU 6:10-13 or DEU 8:6-14).
How quickly people forget the source of their prosperity.
As Joshua was about to die, he warned Israel in the beginning of a crisis of Jewish apostasy, in JOS 24:14. "Now, therefore, respect the Lord and serve Him in integrity and doctrine; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River [Nile] and in Egypt, therefore serve the Lord."
Then in totally fulfilling his personal sense of destiny, he said in JOS 24:15 "Furthermore if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River [Nile], or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua learned from Moses that you cannot force people into a course of action when it comes to doctrine.
Like Moses, Joshua had a personal sense of destiny and a life to match that personal sense of destiny. A personal sense of destiny recognizes in grace that God does the work and we cannot help God. A personal sense of destiny never loses sight of the fact that God does the work. He doesn't need our help, we need His. So the character of Joshua therefore, needs to be stated. It is difficult to form an estimate of Joshua's character, because the man is overshadowed by the greatness of the events in which he was placed. Through it all, his life is recorded with no stain. By the faithful serving of his youth he was taught to command as a man; as a citizen he was patriotic in the highest degree; as a warrior, fearless and blameless; as a judge, calm and impartial.
He was quite equal to every emergency and task, which he was called to. He was valiant but not impulsive. He was active without rushing into things. He continually looked to The Lord Jesus Christ and obeyed divine direction with the simplicity of a child and the great power given to him. He did so with calmness, without swerving, to the accomplishment of a high, unselfish purpose, fulfilling his personal sense of destiny. He learned by strength and courage to live a quiet, honored life and retained his faith and loyalty, exclaiming, in almost his dying breath, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."