Joshua 18: How Long Will You Wait?

 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” -Joshua 18:3

Joshua was a man of action. When war had ended, the next step was division of the land. By chapter 18, seven tribes still lacked their allotted portion. In his words, “How long will you wait…?” He was ready to get the job done.

Two extremes often find popularity among Christians. The first approach is to work constantly, more serving, more attending, more learning, more, more, more, and then some more. In this approach, actions are a badge of godliness.

The other extreme involves ceasing from activity. We pray, contemplate, reflect, worship, “enjoy grace,” and rest in God.

There are times for both of these approaches, but an unhealthy focus on either one leads to problems. Joshua addressed the lack of action among seven tribes and encouraged them to act. At other times, God used leaders to tell people to stop and worship the Lord, ending dependence on human strength as the key to success.

The Bible reveals that both action and reflection are needed. When we choose the approach we like best, we miss out on the other aspects of growth God desires for our lives. Instead, God desires an “activist faith,” one that trusts in him as well as diligently serves him.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at Find out more about Dillon at or


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