After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua and said, “Moses my servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise and go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I give them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast” (Josh. 1:2-4).
Everyone who has studied the geography while reading the Old Testament story of the conquest of Canaan knows that Israel never took all the territory that God told Joshua to take. They never possessed and dwelt in the part of the Promised Land that was farthest north, the land which reached the Euphrates River. King David and King Solomon forced the people living in that territory to pay them tribute, but even they never took possession of the land for Israel.
Did the New Testament people of God do any better? Has the body of Christ attained to the power and wisdom that rightly belongs to it? Obviously not. I believe that someday it will; at the same time, viewing the confusion and divisions that exist among those who belong to Jesus, I have to say that the New Testament family of God has not attained to its potential in Christ. How patient God has been with us!
The same, no doubt, holds true for individuals. Each born-again soul is given the power through the Spirit to fully conquer their old, sinful nature. But how many actually fulfill that potential in Christ? That is a sobering, humbling question. May God grant all of us, and all His children everywhere, the grace to conquer the entire land of our lives, and to make all of it a dwelling place for Jesus!