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March 3, 2008

Claiming God’s Promise

Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. Joshua 1:3

God commanded Israel to walk through the Promised Land and claim it as theirs, but they never did it. They went so far and stopped. Consequently, they never gained more than a third of the promise. Have you ever done the same thing? You sense God directing you to take full advantage of His blessings, but you stopped short. Disappointment, discouragement, pride, anger, or any number of imposing enemies battled against you and you quit. Some people go “just so far” and then reason that it is enough and never continue to the point where God says, “I have given to you all of this.”

The people of Israel entered the land with great enthusiasm. Their victory at Jericho was an awesome reminder that God was working on their behalf. But soon they allowed feelings of complacency and sin to creep into their lives. They compromised their convictions and were drawn off course by the lifestyles of their enemies. Eventually, they abandoned their full devotion to God. The outcome was devastating. Because they disobeyed Him, they never experienced the fullness of God’s blessing.

In 1952, Dr. Forrest asked Esther Voelker to join the staff of Toccoa Falls College. Her husband had died, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to serve the Lord. Shortly after her arrival, Dr. Forrest made an interesting request, “Can you survey our property?” He asked. “Survey it from end to end—not just the boundary lines but also the buildings in relation to each other. I have walked over every square inch and claimed it for the Lord, but I have never asked anyone to survey it.”

Mrs. Volker agreed. In an interview in 1985, she said, “I found Dr. Forrest to be a very godly man, but I was amazed that he did not have a survey of the property. He lived by faith and believed God would not let him down. All these years, he had trusted the Lord for the entire scope of the land because he knew it was his.” We still have Mrs. Voelker’s survey. But even if we didn’t, we would know that the land is ours because God said, “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.” Have you taken possession of the land that He has given you? If not, start walking!

Old Boundary Line
A hardwood on the hill behind Forrest Cottage bears the marks of the original TFC boundary line.

(Taken from the online devotional book Grace in the Wilderness © 2008,