Step into Your Promised Land Today!
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29 KJV)
Just the other day, I was thinking about the Israelites and the long trip they made to the promised land of Canaan. A covenant God made with Abraham long before the trip, victory was promised before they even struck out for the land of milk and honey. It just needed to be claimed. However, it would have only taken 10 days at the most to reach Canaan from where they were. So why did it take 40 years to reach the Promised Land?
A lot of times I find myself in 40-year mode. A journey that could take me 10 days presses on and on, all because God just can’t get me to listen up! “Hey, Brooke.” God calls. “Pay attention! You missed the Canaan exit yet again!” (Oddly enough, God sounds a little like me when I do my best backseat driving.)
Do you ever find yourself there too? Missing the exit to the good things God has in store for you? If so, you know it’s not our feet that keep us from Canaan. It’s our minds.
The Bible says “For as he [a man] thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
If we are stuck in a sour mindset, our lives are going to produce sour fruit. If we are focused on the negative, no matter how in tune with God we are, we are going to miss that exit time and time again until we get our thinking in line with God’s.
God could have easily given up on the Israelites. He could have looked down and said “Sheesh, people. This is getting old. Canaan is 10 days away and this is plain ridiculous.” But He didn’t give up on His promise no matter how off course they were.
What are the thoughts you are dwelling on today? Are you living the kind of life that gets you to the Promised Land in days or years? If you’ve been struggling to get ahead for years and you haven’t seen much luck, maybe you are just going about things the wrong way, maybe you are in a 40-year mentality mode.
There have been moments in my life when my thinking has been so out of tune with God that I felt like I was on a carousel! I would get so close to the Promised Land exit, God would just about have me right where I needed to be and then I would get distracted with negative thinking. Alas, there I’d sit on that up-and-down pink horse just watching my exit pass by.
If you are so far stuck in negative thinking that you think God doesn’t have a promised land for your life, go back and read Jeremiah 29:11.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)
Note the ninth word of that verse: YOU! “For I know the plans I have for YOU!”
God has a promised land in store for all of His children and He wants to see us enter into that covenant He has with each of us. Your Canaan could be the renewing of your marriage, the salvation of your children, being set free from the bondage of illness, or just all-around freedom from negative thinking in general. Only God knows what that Canaan is for you. He wants to see you through to the Promised Land!
The first step to leaving Egypt will be the same step that carries you into Canaan — you have to get your thinking in line with God’s. But how do we do that? The amplified version of 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us this,
“[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…” (AMPC)
God tells us right there in black and white that if we are going to be obedient to our Father and stand up to the whiles of the devil, we have to take every thought, every reasoning (doubt, unbelief, excessive figuring things out) captive and then turn it around to match His Word.
When you are walking through Egypt and pressing for Canaan don’t let your feet get weary. God will carry you safely in His arms. He only asks your mind to do the walking. If you are battling unforgiveness, doubt, fear, anger, illness — whatever is taking your thoughts captive, remember, just like the Israelites, God has promised you freedom from that captivity. When Jesus hung His head on the cross, you were set free. You only have to claim your freedom.
Don’t spend 40 years in the wilderness. God wants you to step into your promised land today!
The Happiest Place on Earth
by Ryan Duncan
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2
When I was in the fourth grade, my parents decided it was time for that rite of passage all families must one day undertake. On Friday morning, as my sisters and I prepared for school, they informed us that we would be leaving class an hour early today. Naturally, my sisters and I were excited to get a jump start on the weekend, but we also couldn’t help but wonder why.
“It’s a surprise,” was all my parents would say. That gave us pause. In my family, a “surprise” could mean anything from a baseball game, to getting our Hepatitis B shots at the doctor’s office. So it was with more than a little trepidation that we entered our family van that afternoon and began speeding toward the city. After about forty minutes of driving, my Dad pulled off the road into a crowded parking lot.
“Where do you think we’re going?” he asked with a huge grin on his face. We looked around at the city, the solid concrete parking lot, and the planes soaring overhead.
“Camping?” guessed one of my sisters. My mother reached into her pocket and produced several tickets that all bore the unmistakable image of Mickey Mouse. That’s when it hit us, WE WERE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD! Normally I avoid talking about Heaven, I feel like it distracts Christians from living in the here and now, but I can’t help seeing a glimpse of our final home in that old vacation. There was so much awe, wonder, and sheer joy at just being a child in Disneyworld.
Best of all, we had no idea what was waiting for us. We all knew of Disneyworld, but we had never experienced anything like it until that trip. In much the same way, Jesus has prepared a place for us in a world we cannot begin to comprehend. Just look at this verse from Revelation,
“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.’” – Revelation 22:3-7
I’m going to restrain myself from using a “Whole New World” joke. Rather, I’ll simply close with this message: This world is not our home. God made us to be a part of this world, but it is not where we truly belong. One day we will go home, and when that day comes, it will be quite the adventure.
“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB
Although born blind, William Walford was determined to lead a productive life. He memorized large sections of the Bible and quoted the Word whenever called upon to preach. He also wrote poetry.
When he met Walford in England, New York native Thomas Salmon described how Walford shared a few phrases he had written. Walford didn’t think they were particularly memorable, but Salmon immediately recognized their value and copied the lines.
After returning to the US, Salmon submitted the words to the New York Observer. Eventually Walford’s words were published as a poem called “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” which became a hymn that’s still sung worldwide.
Walford described how that sweet hour “calls me from a world of care, and bids me at my Father’s throne make all my wants and wishes known.” His soul found relief in God’s presence. This helped him escape “the tempter’s snare.” In his time of prayer, “The joys I feel, the bliss I share, of those whose anxious spirits burn with strong desires for thy return!”
He hastened “to the place where God my Savior shows His face.” God waited for him, and he realized how much he looked forward to spending an eternity with the Father when his blindness would no longer matter.
Don’t let other priorities squeeze prayer out of your time. Long to be in God’s presence. Spend quality time with Him. Let Him take away your burdens and change your life.
Storming the battlements
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end; take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.” Jeremiah 5:10
Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 5:25-6: 5
We sometimes trust too much in evidences and good works. Ralph Erskine did not say amiss when he remarked, “I have got more hurt by my good works than my bad ones.” That seems something like Antinomianism, but it is true; we find it so by experience. “My bad works,” said Erskine, “Always drove me to the Saviour for mercy; my good works often kept me from him, and I began to trust in myself.” Is it not so with us? We often get a pleasing opinion of ourselves; we are preaching so many times a week; we attend so many prayer meetings; we are doing good in the Sabbath-school; we are valuable deacons; important members of the church; we are giving away so much in charity; and we say, “Surely I am a child of God—I must be. I am an heir of heaven. Look at me! See what robes I wear. Have I not indeed a righteousness about me that proves me to be a child of God?” Then we begin to trust in ourselves, and say, “Surely I cannot be moved; my mountain stands firm and fast.” Do you know what is the usual rule of heaven when we boast? Why the command is given to the foe—“Go up against him; take away his battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.” And what is the consequence? Why, perhaps God suffers us to fall into sin, and down goes self-sufficiency. Many a Christian owes his falls to a presumptuous confidence in his graces. I conceive that outward sin is not more abhorred by our God than this most wicked sin of reliance on ourselves. May none of you ever learn your own weakness by reading a black book of your own backslidings.