Athlete, Possess What Has Been Given
Deuteronomy 1:8 (NIV)
See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore He would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them
Some things are given. Some things are stolen. Some things are earned.
Some things we think we’ve earned may have actually come our way because something else was given to us first (1 Corinthians 4:7 states, “What do you have that you did not receive?“).
And some good things we’ve been given may not be fully possessed. What range there is in what we have!
Learning to properly possess what’s been given is something God talks about a lot. In fact, the word “possess” is referenced 250 times in the Bible. It started “in the beginning.”
God provided a garden for man. And a woman, not just Eden. And God gave more. He gave promised land. He gave rescue, freedom, forgiveness, atonement. He gave His Son … and His Spirit.
All of it was promised and delivered. And He’s promised and provided even more, 2 Peter 1:3 says so. More “buckets” in life await.
Here are three possession pointers Scripture brings to center court for our attention:
POSSESS what you’ve been given.
Just because something’s provided doesn’t mean it’s possessed. Accept. Activate. Leverage the gift for all it’s worth.
Cash the check. Take possession. Own the land. God has given all of us so much.
Failing to receive is an offense to Him and robs us of our greatest joys. Humbly, confidently receive what He gives and get to work. Don’t leave the gift on the table.
Don’t possess MORE than you’ve been given.
Stealing in our world abounds, whether the valuables stolen be money, merchandise, secrets, votes, power and glory, children for sex, another man’s work or his wife.
Ask God to keep you humble and in check, trusting Him to provide what’s enough, what’s best. His help is crucial to slaying the coveting, two-headed monster that rages in all of us — Envy and Selfish Ambition. Our appetite for entitlement must die.
Don’t possess LESS than you’ve been given.
For 40 years the people of Israel failed to possess the land God promised them. It was good land. It was exactly what they needed and dreamed of. It was “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7-8).
Yet their unbelief in what was promised robbed them of tasting its fruit for 40 years (Numbers 13-14).
This is a struggle for many of us too. Fear of our own giftings, fear of responsibility, fear of failure, fear of “giants in the land,” fear of the unknown, and even fear of the personal cost of chasing greatness can paralyze us and leave us under-possessing, under-performing, underachieving.
Pride can also choke the flow of God’s provisions to our lives. So can pity. They tell us we can either do without the gift or don’t deserve it.
So don’t disqualify what God has qualified. Settling for less than what God promises and provides is committing the sin of unbelief, the thing that hurts God’s heart most. The best example of this is choosing not to follow Jesus, God’s greatest provision for mankind.
So let’s possess all of whatever God has given with great assurance, confidence and fearlessness. Fullness of joy awaits.
Reflect: How well are you possessing what you’ve been given, maximizing it for God’s glory and your joy? What God-given opportunity might you be leaving on the table? Is there anything you’ve presently taken that doesn’t belong to you?
A prayer to consider: LORD, You provide so much, starting with Jesus (1 John 5:11-12, 20). By your Spirit’s power, help me possess all that I’ve been given.
I want to own it and care for it, stewarding it for Your glory. This is my endless honor and joy. Keep me from theft and covetousness. Arrest my envy and selfish ambition.
To have You, and whatever You promise and provide, is enough. What a powerful possession You are! No question. Amen.