“I am handing over to you every place you set foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3
Beside the literal ground, unoccupied for Christ, there is the unclaimed, untrodden territory of Divine promises. What did God say to Joshua? “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you,” and then He draws the outlines of the Land of Promise—all theirs on one condition: that they shall march through the length and breadth of it, and measure it off with their own feet. They never did that to more than one-third of the property, and consequently they never had more than one-third; they had just what they measured off, and no more.
In 2 Peter, we read of the “land of promise” that is opened up to us, and it is God’s will that we should, as it were, measure off that territory by the feet of obedient faith and believing obedience, thus claiming and appropriating it for our own. How many of us have ever taken possession of the promises of God in the name of Christ? Here is a magnificent territory for faith to lay hold on and march through the length and breadth of, and faith has never done it yet. (Streams in the Desert)
What is it that delays us from appropriating what the Father says is ours to possess? The only possible reply to that question is unmitigated fear. We fear the unknown, we fear sacrifice, opposition, and perhaps more than anything else, we fear what we know to be within ourselves. Fear is fostered by repeated conviction without corresponding action. It is not enough to have your heart moved; you must move your feet. Take the first step or take the next step, but move forward. Conviction from the Holy Spirit is a moment of holy discontent when the curtains draw back to reveal the chasm between who we are and who the Father has created and called us to be.
Fear in and of itself is not the culprit; what we do with it is the litmus test. Only two responses are open to us when gripped by fear—seek safety or seek courage. In other words, we will either plead with God to make safer situations or we will petition to become braver people. Jesus relentlessly offers us unsafe situations to make us braver Christians. He wants us to be brave for us. This is actually His love gift to us; God knows there is no joy in fear. We suffer sad and small lives when we are afraid. Almighty God seeks brave hearts to do His work in the world. This will be dangerous because following Jesus eventually demands we be brave or safe–we cannot be both. Choosing to be brave means choosing not to be safe. The goodness of God shows through the courage of the people of God. The next time you hesitate on the brink of dangerous adventure and seek an easier or safer way, listen carefully and you will hear the Father say, “But if I do that, I wouldn’t have to make you brave. I love you more than that.”