|Monday, June 27, 2022|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered. 2 This is the territory that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and the Geshurites, 3 and the larger territory of the Canaanites, extending from the stream of Shihor on the border of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron. It includes the territory of the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. “ Joshua 13:1-4
e all desire to grow. When we were young we couldn’t wait to grow older. Mothers who just have their first baby celebrate every step that shows their baby is growing, especially when the growth is healthy. In this age of camera on the phone they take pictures and videos of such growth and post it on WhatsApp group and other social platforms. They remember the first day they pronounced Daddy or Mummy! I still have on my wall the first day my granddaughter was taken to day care. Natural growth is automatic for all living things .
So we’re eager to grow from toddler, to teenager, to college, then to secure a job, then marriage, child bearing. Then before we know it we celebrate 40,50, 60 and suddenly the eagerness for growth ceases, we realize we are winding down! Some have died, some have already written their wills, death is telling us I am coming for you !
Reading the Bible especially the Pentateuch, it was God that came to announce that time is up. He did to Aaron, Moses and more. In today’s scripture he came to Joshua. But he wants Joshua to maximize the few years left vis-a-vis the work at hand.
In this age of make-up especially for the women, we are quick to tell one another “you are looking young.” The men are not left out they dye their hair to deceive themselves about their age- yet the bible says “you are growing old!”
Go past Joshua- Read the text again , put your names there - Dele Dada - you are growing old, and the land of Canada, the continent of North America,the territory of the 10/40 window, the territories ( continents) of Africa, Europe, Asia, South America are yet to be conquered!
God was telling Joshua , you have done well but you are growing old and much land remains to be conquered?
What the Holy Spirit is asking you today is what have you done with your age! You are growing old. What is your input to humanity, to Christianity, to your nation?
Many years ago, our church invited a foremost bible teacher of our time, Bro Gbile Akanni, to our church in CAC Bethel Effurun, Warri. Among his teaching then was the reference to Joshua 11: 22. “There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained” He explained the danger of the remaining unconquered land- Gaza, Gath and Ashdod. Remember in the 90s with Yasser Arafat the Gaza Strip war was phenomenally severe! Yet till today the Israelites are still battling with the Gaza situation! That Gath - produced Goliath,and Ashdod represents their love for idol worship! That teaching was in 1996! Today it is still as relevant if not more relevant.
Let us do some Life Application: Take the issue of Nigeria for instance. We learnt the first missionary landed in Nigeria 1872 in Badagry area. The church has spread in the coastal regions, South West, South East, South South South Middle Belt. But we have the North West, North East, North Central unconquered and today they have produced Boko Haram, Bandits, Kidnappers, Terrorists! This land the growing Nigerian Joshua did not conquer is now spreading its base to recover the land already conquered- that is the implication of terrorists invading churches in Owo, a city in Ondo State in recent times .
“Joshua you are growing old” what does it mean to grow? It means to mature. It means to learn how to take responsibility. We have over the years produced a church that is growing only in age but not in value. We have produced a church with abnormal growth. Produced self-centred, self- seeking , self glorifying Christianity. Responsibility malnourished. Like a child suffering from kwashiorkor our chest bones is evidence that we are dying of lack of spiritual vital resources.
God was telling Joshua it is not too late! It is a wake up alert. Do something with your remaining years. If you don’t do something you will eventually die but the territories you fail to conquer will be a problem for the next generation.
Conclusion: You are the Joshua generation! Irrespective of your spiritual age, you are not on earth only to acquire food, cars, houses or degrees. You are on earth to become a child of God and win territories (souls) to God. God was not only commending Joshua for a great job he was warning him on two levels, you are about to exit this world, and you still have so much to accomplish for me. Identify your spiritual, physical, financial, academic territories that you need to conquer and go for it- Says the Spirt of the Lord. Don’t waste your age.
Watch out for part two on how to conquer the territories! How not to waste your age!