Today I want to zero in on Joshua 13, verse 6. Here, God is speaking to a very old Joshua, and He reminds Joshua that there is still a great deal land to be conquered before the promise He made to Abraham, et al. is fulfilled. And then God says, “I will drive out before the Israelites all who live in (these places)…”
Now, words mean things, right? Notice carefully what God said. “I will drive out before the Israelites…”
In order to “drive out before the Israelites”, that means that the Israelites must be behind those who are being driven, right? In other words, God was not going to clear the land without the participation of the Israelite people. If they wanted the land, they had to take it. It wasn’t good enough that God promised the land. They had to put forth the effort to possess it.
Philippians 2:12 says, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Yes, we have the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ, but that salvation must be made evident by its fruit in our lives. We must participate with God. Now, please do not misunderstand me. I do not believe that we contribute to the work Jesus did to save us. I am not saying that we must, in order to be saved, must do anything of ourselves to be saved. But if I am really a new creation, if I really am saved, I cannot help but display the fruit of the Spirit in my life, no more than an oak tree can help but grow acorns or a grape vine can help but produce grapes. But if I say that I am a Christian, and there is no evidence, no work that shows forth the love of God, I am in deep trouble and probably have not truly met the Messiah.