Joshua 1

Jordan is not an illustration of death, neither is Canaan of heaven. Canaan was a place of warfare and full of enemies. Heaven will not be like that. If that is what it is not, then what is it?

Hebrews 3 and 4 teach us that the land of Canaan was a place of rest and victory. Typical of the spiritual rest and victory which can be enjoyed be every spiritual believer.

The Ephesian epistle talks of the “heavenly places”; this is not “heaven”, but is a spiritual sphere upon earth in which a spiritual believer can live in rest and victory in our Risen Lord.

Canaan was the goal to which God was leading His people. He promised Moses at the burning bush not only to deliver from the bondage of Egypt, but also to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey. They could only live in one of two places: the wilderness or Canaan.

It was God’s will that they live in Canaan. Many chose to live and die in the wilderness, thus falling short of God’s ideal for them.

The personal application: if we are bon again we are in one of two places—the wilderness or the heavenly places.

1. The wilderness is a place of defeat, spiritual stagnation, it is almost joyless, fruitless and unproductive. There is little progress and there is much wandering and floundering and disappointment. Many Christians live and die in this condition, never having realized God’s ideal.

2. The heavenly places is where (in Ephesians)

    a. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (1:3).

    b. It is a place of power “at God’s right hand” (1:20).

    c. It is a place of fellowship, sitting together with Christ (2:6).

    d. It is a place of testimony. We are manifesting the wisdom of God to principalities and powers (3:10).

    e. It is a place of warfare and victory. We are wrestling against the rulers of the darkness, but with victory assured (6:12).

Look now at verse 3. God had given the whole land to the Israelites, but they could only possess the portion which they conquered and claimed. It is so with the believer—we must claim our possessions in Christ. The first thing that we have to do is “cross over Jordan”. This speaks of our death with Christ. When He died, He died to the world, flesh and the devil. We in turn have to crucify the world, flesh and devil if we ever hope to enjoy the fullness of blessing and victory.

Galatians 2:20—“I am crucified with Christ.” This is not easy, as there were seven nations in Canaan.

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of our enemies then displays for our use the armor of God which assures spiritual victory.

“Go over this Jordan”—verse 2.

As we hasten to obey this Divine command, we see the formidable enemies who will contest every inch of the way…our courage fails. “Be strong” is God’s exhortation. “Be not afraid”, “Be not dismayed”, “I will be with you”, “I will not fail you; nor forsake you.”

Joshua went on the strength of these promises and conquered. Should we do less?

Notice now the people that God can use.

1. Joshua was a “faithful man”—he “wholly followed the Lord.”

2. The second qualification for leadership is a distinct and definite call—verse 1.

3. His source of power and strength was the power of the indwelling Word of God—see verse 3.

    a. Turn not from it.

    b. Let it not depart out of your mouth.

    c. Meditate upon it day and night.

    d. Do all that is written there.