Let us next look in detail at the seven enemies of the Joshua Generation that we must overcome.
1. Materialism (Canaanites)
The Canaanites were merchant traders, known for their business skill and material possessions. The first enemy, materialism, is one of the greatest enemies of God in the earth today, especially in the western church that lives in a society that has an unquenchable lust for wealth and possessions.
The spirit of covetousness will rob you from your promised land in God. The nation Israel in the wilderness is a type of the Church of God. (Acts 7:38) The Bible says that their clothes and shoes never wore out in the forty years they were in the wilderness.
We see how God supernaturally fed and protected them. We also see how God gave them the wealth of the heathen when they left Egypt. The children of Israel took all the gold and silver out of Egypt. “Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:35, 36)
This is a picture of God’s desire and ability to provide for His people. God doesn’t delight in His people being poor and living in lack. He delights in the prosperity of His people! According to Psalm 35:27, “Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, ‘Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant…’”
The Lord wants us to look to Him for all our needs, and to overcome the spirit of materialism. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
You cannot serve God and money both. Don’t let your heart’s desire be in money or possessions. Let it be in the true and living God. It is God’s desire to care and provide for you, but He can’t until you seek Him first and place His kingdom first in your life. “‘Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’” (Matthew 6:31-34)
Jesus said that if we seek first His kingdom, that everything needed shall be added unto us. God is not against us having things. He is against things having us! Remember: a kingdom vision produces kingdom provision!
We read in 1 Timothy 6:6-13:
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Those that have set out to “get rich quick” have fallen into a snare of the enemy. That lifestyle will cause you to drown in stress and sorrow. However, it is not money that is evil, dear saint. It is the ruthless pursuit and love of money that is evil.
Money can be a great blessing or a great curse in your life. The Greek word “coveted” means “to stretch out one’s self in order to grasp something.” The picture this word gives me is of a little child reaching for the cookie jar that is just out of his reach. Materialism and the possessing of things will not satisfy the longing of your heart. Don’t be seduced by the spirit of materialism and covetousness. That spirit will put you in debt, ruin your health and break up your home. God wants to bless you with His blessing. He wants you to be a giver and to have a vision for helping to finance world evangelism. He wants you to live a contented life. He wants you to trust and believe Him to meet your every need.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
2. Fear (Hittites)
The Hittite tribe was a fierce nation that brought terror and fear into the hearts of its enemies. The spirit of fear is an enemy of the Joshua Generation because fear has the power to literally destroy your life. The spirit of fear is not a benign, innocent little problem. Fear is an evil spirit from hell, and it will steal, kill, and destroy your life if you let it. Fear is the product of thinking on thoughts of failure. Fear is the “devil’s faith.” It causes things to come to pass the same way that faith does. For example, we read, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25)
Job literally said, “I feared a fear and it came to pass.” Fear is an invitation for Satan to work in your life, just as faith is an open door for God to work. Proverbs 10:24 says, “The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.”
We can overcome the spirit of fear and drive it out of our lives by God’s Word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Fear is a spirit, but it is not from God. It will hurt you unless you conquer it in your life. The above verse gives us God’s three keys to overcoming the spirit of fear in our lives.
The first key to overcoming fear is to receive a revelation of the power of God that is in us! God has given us His power! “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
We have received the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and God wants you to know and believe in His power in you. Jesus said that He has given us “the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt” us. (Luke 10:19)
Ephesians 6:10 tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” We have overcome by what Christ has already done, and He wants us to experience that victory on a personal level. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
The second step to overcoming fear is to receive a revelation of the love of God. Love is greater than fear, and as you receive and believe in God’s love for you, fear will leave! 1 John 4:16, 18 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him…There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” God’s love drives fear out of your life!
Fear will ruin your health and shorten your life. God wants you to conquer fear by receiving and believing His great love for you. Romans 8:35-39 reads: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The third key to overcoming the spirit of fear is to receive a sound mind. The Greek word for “sound” means “discipline and self-control.” God has given us a disciplined mind, a mind that can filter out the garbage of the world and the attacks of the devil. An undisciplined mind is incapable of maintaining victory, and it will keep you in a circle of failure and fear.
We have the mind of Christ as believers. “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16) You don’t have to receive every thought Satan throws at you. God wants to make your mind sharp and active and filled with His Word. According to Paul, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) Cast down wrong thoughts and attitudes. Bring all your thoughts into alignment with God’s Word.
God has given you self-control as a part of the fruit of the Spirit. He has given you the mind of Christ. He has given you a disciplined mind. Use this wonderful gift of God to drive out fear!
God has called you to conquer the power of the spirit of fear. As the world continues to become an increasingly fearful place to live, guard your mind and heart from fear, and stay in God’s Word by meditating day and night on His precious promises. According to Isaiah 43:1-2, 5: “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you…Fear not, for I am with you….’”
And Isaiah 41:10 says, “‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
3. Humanism (Hivites)
The Hebrew definition of the Hivites is “to live a life, openly shown, a serpent.” This tribe is a type of the spirit of humanism. This spirit is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, of all evil spirits at work today in the world. It is the exaltation of man to the place of God. Humanism and Christianity are opposites, and they will war against each other until Christ comes again.
The spirit of humanism is the reason for the fall of man: Adam and Eve’s desire “to be like God.”
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (Genesis 3:1-7)
You can hear the sound of the serpent’s hiss when Satan tells Eve, “And you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” That is the lure of humanism — to be a god. Here, Satan delights in deceiving God’s creation into ignoring their Creator, and exalting themselves in their hearts and minds. The devil used this same approach to try and tempt Christ: “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’ Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’” (Matthew 16:22-25)
Satan had filled Peter’s heart with the spirit of humanism, and when Jesus told of His upcoming death, Peter answered and said, “Far be it from You, Lord.” The Greek literally reads, “Think of or pity yourself.” The cross of Christ was a death to His “self-life,” and Satan tried to stop the cross by causing Christ to “pity Himself.”
Satan will try and stop you from fully following God by tempting you to “think of yourself” or “pity yourself.” But Christianity is a death of our “old man” so that we can live as “new creatures” in Christ Jesus. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus went on to say in Matthew 16 that if any man would follow Him, He would have to deny his self-life. You can and must control your “old man,” — your Adamic nature. Your “fleshly nature” must be continually subdued and conquered by your new man.
Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. Our cross is to follow God’s path for our lives. As Christ prayed, “Not my will but Yours be done,” we, too, must overcome our flesh and follow the path of Christ. Our cross means this: