In Deuteronomy 1:8, Berean Study Bible, God told the children of Israel, “See, I have placed the land before you. Enter and possess the land that the LORD swore He would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants after them.” “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses” (Joshua 11:23 ESV). However, Scriptures like Joshua 13:1, 13:13, 15:63: 16:10, and 17:12 show that the Israelites did not drive out all the people living in the land. While they took the land and lived in it, they did not fully dispossess the people who lived there.
This caused problems for them. Constantly, they imitated the religious practices and lifestyle of the nations surrounding them, instead of obeying God’s command to keep themselves holy, devoted to God, and separated from these practices.
As born-again believers, God has given us a promised land – not just in Heaven, but here and now. “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17, Berean Study Bible). Our promised land is to reign in life through the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness Jesus has provided for us.
Our promised land is a place where, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you…” (Isaiah 54:17, Berean Study Bible). It is where “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7 BSB). Notice that the verbs raised and seated are in the past tense. It’s already been done.
"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He (Jesus) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Colossians 2:15 BSB).
Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, Satan has been defeated and disarmed. The only power he has in our lives as believers is the power we give him by listening to his lies and empty threats. Kick him out. Jesus has given us the power to do so. “I’ve given you true authority. You can smash vipers and scorpions under your feet. You can walk all over the power of the enemy. You can’t be harmed” (Luke 10:19 VOICE).
God doesn’t want us to be like the Israelites and let the enemy live in our promised land. He wants us to drive him out with the Word of God and the Name of Jesus. Force the evil one to pack up and go home. “Fight the good fight of the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:12 BSB). Possess your promised land
I recently read about a woman who received a plant from the funeral of her husband’s grandfather. Not very knowledgeable about plants, it looked like a peace lily to her, and that’s how she treated it. She moved it around her house to better accommodate the sunshine it did or didn’t like, and she watered it as if it was a peace lily. However, no matter what action she took, she couldn’t get the plant to bloom. She was under the impression peace lilies bloomed well and she couldn’t figure out what she was doing wrong. Then she thought maybe it was root bound, so she untangled its thick roots and separated it, hoping to spark some growth. It still didn’t bloom. Then one day, scrolling through social media, a picture of a plant popped up, and it looked exactly like hers.
For the past five years, her plant had been a bird of paradise and not a peace lily. She did some further research and learned that a bird of paradise plant takes ages to bloom, they love lots of sun, and they like to be root bound. Every time their roots are disturbed, the plant is set back three to five years.
When I read this, I started thinking about roots. The Bible speaks a lot about roots. Proverbs 12:3 (NLT) says, “Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.” Proverbs 12:12 (Berean Study Bible) says, “The wicked desire the plunder of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.” And Jeremiah writes about the one who trusts in the Lord like this: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV).
Jesus spoke about roots. In the parable of the sower, He said the seed that fell on rocky soil sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. However, when the sun came up, the plants were scorched because they had no roots (Matthew 13:5-6 NIV). When Jesus explained the parable, He said of those characterized as having rocky ground hearts, “But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away” (Matthew 13:21 NIV). Their roots did not go down deep into God’s Word, so when persecution arose, they fell away.
Today, more than ever, we need to be rooted in God’s Word, so when persecution comes because of the Word, we will stand. In Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV), Paul tells us, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1) and to build ourselves up in Him, we must be in His Word. Satan will try anything he can to keep us from reading God’s Word because he knows it is our life. “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life…” (John 6:63 CJB). In these last days, as Christ’s followers, let’s be rooted and grounded in His Word, so we are bearing fruit for Him when He returns.