top of page
  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Possessing and Dispossessing

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Chronicled in Numbers 33:1-50 are the places and stages of the forty-year journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the brink of the promised land. Even having seen the amazing acts of God on their behalf, they did not allow God to shape their hearts, but they became hardened and refused to hear his voice (Ps. 95:8-20). Thus a whole generation died without entering the promised land. Now in verses 51-53 Moses is speaking to those with whom Joshua is poised to cross the Jordan River. They had been led to this point by the Presence and now they needed instruction about how to live in the land. When they finally arrived on the plains of Moab by the river the Lord gave four important instructions to Moses for the people:

1. Cross the Jordan into Canaan, and when you do:

2. Drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you.

3. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.

4. Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.

First, crossing over the Jordan is for us today a call to the Lordship of Jesus, to come out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the beloved Son (Col. 1:13). This begins the first steps of living in his promises and bounty. When we step in, then time, grace obedience are necessary to be established in the new kingdom.

Second, drive out the inhabitants already there. These may be generational influences, lies and thoughts and emotions we have learned to trust, unhealed memories, crooked ways of unbelief, false or undue allegiances, shameful habits and addictions, painful experiences…all that has made a dark impression on our soul. These need to be “driven out” by repentance, healing and all the means God has wonderfully provided for our freedom.

Third, destroy and demolish the things we have set in God’s place. These may be patterns and habits that have become strongholds, co-dependencies and fear of others. These hinder our ability to hear and to walk in freedom. There is war within us as to who will govern and a decision only we can make.

Fourth, take possession and live in it. We must learn to fully live in our true self, the one He has created us to be, with His Presence filling us.

After the rich promise that the land is ours to possess, then comes the warning in verse 55: “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.’” If we don’t drive them out, if we allow them to remain, distortions and hindrances torment us in three ways. The pricks in our eyes hinder our vision; we are unable to see with the eyes of our heart. Eph. 1:18 is our inheritance, that we have eyes to see, but if we don’t let the Lord transform us, we see in distorted ways. How can we walk in the Spirit if we are unable to see? Then, thorns in our sides where is constant pain, constant pressure, if we don’t move into the land of our inheritance. Finally, trouble in our land so that chaos, upset, instability, relational disability, financial disability, same patterns keep repeating and troubling us .

As we have closed out this year, this decade, and are stepping into a new one, let’s ask the Lord how we can more fully enter and live abundantly in the land He has given. And in asking, we are also asking what previous inhabitants need to be displaced so that idols and high places are destroyed, clearing the way to live fully in the land of our inheritance. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt to bring them into the good land and possess it. In Deuteronomy 7 He promised to clear away the enemies “little by little.” When we invite Him to do this for our land, we find it’s a joint, collaborative effort! He fights for us and we defeat our enemies within. God’s pattern is for us to take the land he has promised and in collaboration with His instruction, to drive out the enemies. We dispossess in order to possess! And this transformation is possible because we have His promises, grace and Spirit moving on our behalf.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page