“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in who also having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” [Ephesians 1:13]
Have you ever received something as a gift and although you appreciated it and was thankful—you never really used it? Also if it was something you had not received before perhaps you didn’t even know how to use it. I remember going to Honduras and our hostel was so glad we had come. One reason being that now there was someone who could show her how to use the small appliances that friends had sent her. You see she had become the proud owner, but it was not activated, she didn’t ‘possess’ the gift.
When Joshua entered into the ‘promised-land’ it was an extraordinary time of miracles. They were God’s people and God had given them the land; now they had to possess it, like our hostel in Honduras they needed to know two things. To hear and understand the language of the instructions—and how to be plugged into the power source.
Without following the proper instruction it wouldn’t work. Joshua found this out later when they were defeated at Ai [Joshua 7]. You see the gift and the source cannot work unless they are joined together, and then the power to possess becomes the power of personal reality. Ownership is a positional reality—You trusted in Him. Possession is gained by being ‘joined’ and continually receiving power from the source of the gift.
When we speak of the gift of God, God always maintains ownership. It is the process in the trenches while man possesses the land that man must bow the knee and accept the fact that he cannot possess the gift, but that the gift possesses Him and the One who has stamped His seal of ownership on the gift is God Himself.
Further Readings: Ephesians 1