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God promised to give Abram the land.
God promised Moses the same.
He brought Moses right up to the edge and promised the land to Israel.
God promised Joshua the land
and asked Joshua to fight.
His promise was to give Israel the land
and He also asked Israel to fight the battles for the land.
Joshua led Israel in battle
and Israel fought for the land.
And yet God gave it to them.
As Israel fought, God caused the enemy to flee.
As Israel wielded their swords, God sent hailstones that killed more than the swords.
As Israel ran and sweat and grew bloody and bruised, God made the sun stand still.
God gave them the land
and Israel had to fight.
It is a tension within which we, too, are required to live.
God has promised to make us like Him
and He has asked us to work.
God has promised to transform our lives
and He has given us disciplines to practice.
It is by grace you have been saved, and not by works, so that no man may boast
Faith without works is dead
God, who saved us and called us…not because of our works, but because of His own purpose and grace
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We live in this tension.
As we sit in silence and solitude, God transforms our hearts.
As we meditate on God’s Words, God changes us into the hands and feet of the Word.
As we whisper faltering prayers, God grows fruit and works miracles.
God gives us our inheritance
It is beautiful, this tension in which we live.
Art credits: God’s covenant with Abraham, Bible primer; Moses Viewing the Promised Land by Frederick Edwin Church; Crossing the Jordan, Bible primer; Joshua at Gibeon, 5th century mosaic; all other photographs by Made Sacred, copyright 2018