The Difference Between An Inheritance And A Possession

I’m having such a blast studying through Joshua in anticipation of my next series called “Unforgettable Crossings.” One intriguing insight I’ve come across is the difference between an inheritance and a possession.


Joshua 11:23 says: “So Joshua took the entire land, in keeping with all that the Lord had told Moses. Joshua then gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. After this, the land had rest from war.” But Joshua 13:1 says: Joshua was now old, advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, “You have become old, advanced in years, but a great deal of the land remains to be possessed.”


There seems on the surface to be a contradiction here, but there is none. The contrast here is between an inheritance and a possession. The land of Canaan was their inheritance but they had to claim it by faith. The same thing is true in our lives today, we have untold riches in Christ, but we must claim them.  All of God’s economy works this way, there are two sides to everything. 


There is a reality gap in the church today just as there was in Israel.  The Bible says, “we are seated in the heavenlies”, “more than conquerors”, “free from worry”, but in most cases Christians don’t seem that way at all. The reason is, they have not appropriated their inheritance in Christ. We must conquer the land by obedience and appropriation. You cannot receive your inheritance through your own strength, it must be in the strength of Christ. You must learn the meaning of Christian rest (Zech 4:6). It means we cease to try to do what only God can do, and we submit ourselves to Christ and His power.  It is a far cry from most of our daily activities.