Inheritance Does Not Guarantee Possession

By in Insights

There is a pretty apparent gap seen in the body of Christ as a whole today. This gap explains everything negative that happens to a Christian. There is a gap between inheritance and possession. Oh the tragedy of Christians living sub-par lives. The most of us just haven’t figured it out yet and some who have figured it out still lack in capacity to bridge the gap. There is a stark contrast between inheritance and possession.

Inheritance is a responsibility of God to us which He has already fulfilled. Note that I say He has already fulfilled this aspect. A man dies and leaves an inheritance for his children, the details of which are often captured in a will. That is the responsibility of a father or The Father. The lesser is blessed by the greater. God is a father and a responsible one at that. He has made provisions for every area of our lives. Beyond us, He makes provisions for generations unborn. We know from His antecedents that God is generational in His thinking. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. – Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)

The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” – Acts 2:29 (NIV)

Our inheritance in God is in the form of promises. His promises tell us what He has provided for us. The Bible, which has two testaments – the old and the new, is the “will” of God and is laden with promises which are our inheritances in God. These are always good promises which cover every aspect of our lives. His provision by way of inheritance is extensive. It is the best and most comprehensive benefits package available.

The second half of this piece is possession. Possession implies control, custody, and occupation. When something has been possessed by you, it is in your control and use. I know most Christians are familiar with the text that follows, but please oblige me in reading it with feigned ignorance and meditating on it what it actually says.

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. – Obadiah 1:17 (KJV)

As I studied this Bible verse, I asked God a question – why does one need to possess his possession? It appears tautologous that one would need to possess what is theirs but what Obadiah is in fact communicating is that they shall possess their inheritance. As stated earlier, there is a big difference between inheritance and possession.

For one, God gives inheritance but we take possession. The responsibility for inheritance lies with God while we are responsible for possession. Inheritance is intangible and of little advantage until it is converted to possession. We erroneously assume that all the promises of God concerning us will crystallize but I think it is obvious to any perceiving mind that the reality of Christians today is at severe dissonance with the inheritances we have in God. There can be no legal possession without inheritance; however there can be inheritance without possession.

Christians suffer from depression when we have an inheritance of joy unspeakable. Christians today are being shamed more than ever when it is clear God never intends shame for His people but glory. Christians are sickly when there is a provision for divine health. Christians still struggle to live holy lives when the Word of God clearly says that sin will not have dominion over us. Christians still live in abject poverty when prosperity is our inheritance. Christians are lonely when He says I am with you always. Generally, Christians are suffering the same fate and sometimes worse in almost every area of life as non believers despite the many provisions made by God in all these areas. What advantage then is being a Christian if we are not able to convert the inheritance we have into possession?

For example, salvation has been provided for all however, only some will take possession of this provision and become Christians. Christians however are guilty of stopping at salvation. Salvation is the gate which opens us up to all other promises and that is where we struggle. Perhaps because salvation is intangible for the most part both as an inheritance and as a possession, and requires only our spirits to agree with the witness of the Holy Spirit that we are sons of God. We believe that and have taken strong possession, however for other areas we seem to struggle with taking possession.

Theologians tell us that the Bible is written in a literary style that contains types and shadows. We can therefore often see patterns and draw parallels between Bible events because the theme is consistent.

See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–and to their descendants after them – Deuteronomy 1:8 (NIV)

I have given you the land but you need to possess it. The land was already theirs by inheritance but possession still needed to happen. If they failed to take possession, it does not change the fact that the land is theirs as far as God is concerned. Actually, the land was theirs as early as 400 plus years ago. Possession then requires transforming what God knows and has provided into what you now control and benefit from on the earth.

You’ll ask, ‘why doesn’t God just force the inheritance on us since it is to our advantage?’ I will address this as well as the reasons we often fail to possess our inheritance in a different post. For now, take stock of your life, noting areas where a provision has been made that you are not benefiting from and remedy that anomaly. We need to bridge the gap as much as possible. We have far more than we are experiencing in God. Shalom.