My dad used to say, “prior planning prevents poor performance.” As I read Joshua 18, it seems to me Joshua learned the importance of planning from his mentor, Moses. The land the Lord had promised the Israelites was now theirs. Their inheritance is guaranteed, but it is left unclaimed. Of the twelve tribes, seven tribes are living haphazardly, without receiving their inheritance, their land. So Joshua steps in. He puts a plan in place so that every Israelite gets his or her inheritance.
In the New Testament, we read that each of us who believed in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit in us, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:14-15). While God has secured our inheritance, are we intentional about receiving it? Then, we will listen to the Holy Spirit when He guides us to trust in the Lord and to put our hope and confidence in the Lord and not on any man or woman or ourselves (Jeremiah 17:5-7). The Lord searches our hearts and examines our secret motives. He rewards us according to our actions (Jeremiah 17:10). God has called us to freedom – to freely walk in the truth, freely love one another, freely forgive, and the list goes on.
Just as Joshua put a plan to survey the land, we need to plan to listen to the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Part of that plan is to know and understand what the Bible says (2 Timothy 3:16, Hosea 4:6). Another aspect of that plan is to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and examine our thoughts (Psalm 139:23).
As we begin each day, I pray that we will plan to draw close to God, listen to His voice, and obey Him.