Claim Your Inheritance

"A delegation from the tribe of Judah led by Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb said to Joshua, 'Remember what the LORD said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the LORD, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God. So that day Moses solemnly promised me, 'The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God." Joshua 14:6-9

In Joshua 14 the time had come for nine and a half tribes to receive their inheritance. Two and a half tribes had already received their inheritance, designated through Moses, on the eastern side of the Jordan. Caleb came to Joshua to request his promised inheritance, the land he had been assigned to survey forty five years earlier. It had been promised him because he had wholeheartedly, or fully, followed the LORD.

As believers, we have an inheritance, too. We've been adopted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. 

"Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan...He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, God's guarantee that He will give you the inheritance He promised." Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 13-14a

Believers, Gentile and Jew alike, are heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Through the adoption process of His blood shed on the cross for us, we partake of His Holy nature. 

"By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." 2 Peter 1:3-4

"...Share His divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires."The Greek word for "share" is koinonos--partner with, partake, fellowship with. We have the nature of Jesus within us; we have His Holy Spirit dwelling in us to help us partake of Jesus. We make the choice. Do we put on Jesus and walk in righteousness, or do we keep wearing our old sin-desiring natures?

It's when we choose Jesus that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to follow through on our choice.

When we "put on Jesus," we are choosing to walk in the righteousness of God. We choose to put aside thoughts, attitudes and behavior only the world finds appealing. In their place:

"...clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." Colossians 3:12-13a

When we put on Jesus, we are clothing ourselves to please our bridegroom. I think about the preparations every bride goes to in planning her wedding day. Her choice in what she will wear is something she's probably dreamed about at some time or another from her early years. She dreams and decides. Will it be a ball gown? An A-line or mermaid silhouette? What neckline? Sleeves? Lace? Ruffles? Will there be beading? Will it be plain or fancy? 

She finally enters the bridal shop and begins to try on beautiful white gowns. She floats in one gossamer creation after another, but something is always lacking. Finally, she puts on a style she hadn't considered earlier. She looks in the mirror and she just knows. This is her. Every style she tried was pretty, but she wouldn't settle. She pursued finding the one that completed her "look," and, she was willing to pay the price of purchase.

I think of pursuing Jesus with the same single-minded purpose, adding to our gowns (lives) the adornment of love, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, purity...all the attributes our bridegroom finds pleasing and which He gave His life to make available to us.

Just as Caleb received his inheritance because he fully followed the LORD, we are to wholeheartedly follow Him, too. Just as God gave Caleb strength to defeat his enemies, God will give us strength, by His Holy Spirit, to face our battles and win. Trials refine the intricate design on our bridal gowns.

The more we choose to exercise our faith, the more the Holy Spirit makes us able to stand firm.

The more we choose to put on Jesus, the more like Him we will become.

We will have peace within. We will be ready when He comes for us. Our Bridegroom will present us--clothed in dazzling, pure raiment--to Abba Father, and we will share in His glory.

"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory." Colossians 3:1-4

by Marilyn Allison