Spiritual Director · April 20, 2017

Devote #15

Can I ask you something… what are you waiting for?

All of us are waiting for something. Maybe you’re waiting for a baby or grandchild to be born. Maybe you’re waiting for that upcoming vacation. Maybe you’re waiting for your house to sell. Maybe you’re waiting for that package to come in the mail. Maybe you’re waiting for your wedding day to come. Maybe you’re waiting for your loved one to die. Just think about it for a moment and you’ll find that you’re probably waiting for something.

However, the last thing you and I ever want to do is live in the land of “almost.”

“Almost” doesn’t even sound like a good word. You can’t almost hit a homerun. You can’t almost pass the test. You can’t almost get the job. But most of us are content with “almost.” At least it’s better than nothing, right?

I share that with you because of what Joshua said to seven of the tribes of Israel who didn’t settle in the Promised Land. Oh, they were there, but they did nothing to secure the land and make it their own like God had promised. Here’s what Joshua said…

“But the rest of you haven’t done a thing to take over the land… now it’s time to go ahead and settle there” Joshua 18:6

Joshua never got stuck in the land of “almost.” If you quickly scan the book of Joshua, you’ll see repeated phrases like “Joshua conquered,” “Joshua slaughtered,” “Joshua traveled,” “Joshua built,” “Joshua continued.”

Talk about a list of active verbs! What a picture of someone moving forward! In only seven years, Joshua defeated 31 kings!

So why wouldn’t these tribes want to possess their land? Why would Joshua need to prod them? Probably because these are people who hadn’t lived in permanent dwellings for more than a generation, and they were afraid of something new, even if it was good.

They didn’t fulfil what God had called them to do.

The truth is, the temptation to stay in the land of “almost” was great for some of the tribes. Partial victory is better than no victory at all, right?

Wrong! In the land of “almost” several enemies are always at your borders:

  1. Lack. You’re not walking in the full provision of God. You can pay your bills, but there’s never anything left over.
  2. Fear. You don’t trust God fully. If you truly obeyed him, the risk is too great.
  3. Sin. You learn to be comfortable living with your enemy. You let sin take root in your home and expose your children to this danger.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Ask yourself… Is there something I’m afraid to move into today? What is God calling me to? And then respond. Put one foot in front of the other and start walking it out. You weren’t meant to live in the land of “Almost.”

Today I have one simple request; please don’t allow me to rob myself of Your best. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.