The inheritance of Israel, the promised land, was going to be a cooperation between the God of heaven and the Israelites' sweat and sacrifice. As Americans we see inheritance as our dad and/or mom working really hard, saving a bunch of money and giving it to us at their death. We did nothing for it; we just inherit or receive it.
God promised the people of Israel the promised land as their inheritance. However, God didn't just give it to them; they had to kill and be killed to inherit God's promised land. In the multiple battles, there are many heroes and those who lost their lives to see this inheritance come to pass for those they loved.
Our soldiers today are a prime example of this. I live in a military town with two Air Force bases, an Army base and the Air Force Academy. I see these brave men and women everywhere: restaurants, malls and at church. They are fighting to maintain our freedom. There are days the news reports the deaths of those who were stationed locally who died that day. They died for our freedom, and that is the greatest sacrifice of all—to give your life for those you love.
In the book of Joshua, we are also introduced to such men. These men had already received 100 percent of their inheritance from God. These men already had their new home; and their wives and families were excited about all that God did. They had some cows, goats, chickens and neighbors to tell stories to in the evening by the fire.
After many years in the desert eating manna, they were now cooking steaks on the grill. Life couldn't be any better for the two and a half tribes that inherited their land on this side of the Jordan. However, there was a significant problem. Their brothers had not yet received their inheritance. Their brothers, not having all that God has for them, were their concern. Let's go to Scripture and read this detailed part of the story of inheritance.
This part of the story is where God parts the Jordan like He did the Red Sea and the tribes were crossing over to do battle. This is what it says of those two and a half tribes of men who already received their inheritance, "The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle formation in front of the children of Israel, according to what Moses had said to them. About forty thousand battle-ready men crossed over before the Lord for battle on the plains of Jericho" (Josh. 4:12-13).
This is amazing to me that 45,000 men decided to leave luxury, their wives, their children and their new land and home to go fight for a land that wasn't ever going to be theirs. They fought so their brethren could have a home and land. They fought for the inheritance of others. To me, that is masculinity at its finest displayed.
You might be asking yourself what does this story have to do with me, or even better what does this have to do with men living a clean life? This story has a lot to do with men today living a clean life and it may have a lot to do with you helping your brother live a clean life.
In the Old Testament the gift or inheritance of God was the promised land. This inheritance had to be fought for and people had to die. It's not like the Israelites showed up and said to all the local people, "God said this is ours, you have to move now" and the people just moved. They fought the Israelites till the death to not let them take their homes and land.
This inheritance in the Old Testament is symbolic of the inheritance of the New Testament. In the New Testament our inheritance is not a portion of geographical land. In the New Testament our inheritance or gift from God is the very nature of Christ. He died, not only to give us eternal life in the future, but also to have his nature of love, purity, gentleness, meekness, here on earth.
He died so we could become like Him in His loving nature. However, just like in the Old Testament, our flesh doesn't just walk out when Jesus walks into our life. We have to kill our flesh to inherit our inheritance of His nature. We have to kill our sin nature and walk by the Spirit like Paul admonishes us in Galatians 5.
Definitely part of killing our flesh is walking in the Spirit, which is love. Love is the absolute opposite of lust. Lust and love cannot exist at the same place at the same time. Lust and love are as polar opposite as light and darkness. You have to leave light to enter darkness. You have to leave darkness to enter light. In the same way we have to leave love to lust, and leave lust to love.
Paul addressed this issue when he told us to, "the elder women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, with complete purity" (1 Tim. 5:2).
Here Paul gives us some insight into leaving lust and entering love with all women. Paul was telling Timothy when it comes to women, and men for that matter, to put them in a relationship context.
When you look at a woman lustfully, you're looking solely at physical features. You have to reduce her to one dimension to be able to lust. When you look at a woman, if you put on your relational lens, you will have a much harder time lusting than if you don't.
When you see a woman, and you feel yourself sliding toward lust, you can put the brakes on by putting her in a relational context and begin praying for her.
I hope you are encouraged by the promised land of Christ's nature that He has died for you. For some of you, your flesh or sinful nature needs to be killed in order to walk free from the chains that may have held you.
You can put women in a relational context and pray for them as you navigate an average day filled with opportunity to lust. You can be victorious. You can also lead men to victory one at a time. You decide what policy of engagement you want to follow in your life and in your church.
We are the first generation carrying porn-stores of the worst kind in world history in our pants pocket. I think the enemy has upped his game and it's time for us to up our game. I say, game on!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Clean. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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