But the descendants of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who inhabit the valley area have iron chariots, both at Beth-shean with its towns and in the Jezreel Valley.” – Joshua 17:16
Though God had promised the Ephraimites (one of Israel’s twelves tribes) a possession in the Promised Land, they were one of the last tribes of Israel to obtain it. Their excuse for their disobedience was creative, but also revealing. They explained to Joshua that the land they had been allotted was insufficient for their needs, but only because they wanted to live where they would not encounter any conflict. You see, the “valley area” of their land (probably the most fertile) was inhabited by a strong, fortified enemy that the Ephraimites preferred to avoid. They desired the promise, yet were not prepared to fight for it.
Do you see yourself in this story? We often desire the “easy” gains afforded to us as servants of the King … land that may be possessed without a struggle. Whether it applies to personal, spiritual growth or the external, corporate growth of God’s global Kingdom, we often avoid the fierce struggle required to obtain territory (unconquered areas of our personal lives or even unevangelized areas of this world) that God has already promised.
What part of our lives … what territory in this world … have we forsaken, simply because we do not wish to pay the price to obtain it? If we truly want the victory, we must be willing to fight the good fight to win it.
We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower