Friday, March 13, 2009

The Promised Land

How would you like to go on a journey through the Old Testament with God’s chosen people? Would you like to see the Israelites set free from captivity and enter into their Promised Land? I hope so. God has many lessons for us in the Old Testament. Of all the things the Lord has done for me – setting me free from captivity has got to be the greatest! This isn’t about me though – it is about what God has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do!

Let’s look back to Genesis chapter 12 where God first promises Abram the land of Canaan. I will paraphrase; but I welcome you to read chapter 12.

(v. 1) The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. . . . (v. 4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him. . . . (v. 7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”

The Lord spoke to Abram. Abram didn’t question Him – he just obeyed! God also made a promise to Abram – his offspring would inherit the land. This is why it is called the “Promised Land.”

The Israelites Promised Land was a physical place. We will be using the term Promised Land in this series to refer to a spiritual place that God has for each of us. When we read God’s Word we must ask Him to open our eyes to see spiritual things. So many times what was written as literal is meant for us as spiritual. We can not hold spiritual things in our hands, but trust me – you can take possession of them! You can inhabit your Promised Land!

Beth Moore talks about our Promised Land in the first chapter of her book, Believing God. It is an excellent book if you ever have time to read it. I will quote her as she makes four parallels between our promised land and the Israelites Promised Land.

1. God promised us a place of blessing. When you and I find our places in Christ where God can freely fulfill His promises to us, we will also experience immeasurable blessing.

2. God promised us a place we could live. He did not promise the children of Israel a place they could visit. Our personalized lands of earthly promise are places we’re invited by God to dwell in Christ. It’s high time we stopped dropping in and started taking up residency.

3. God promised us a place where He brings forth a great harvest. John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Not some fruit. Much fruit. . . your heavenly Father wants to show His glory through using your life to bear tremendous fruit. Your personalized Promised Land is the abiding place where you get to see God keep the promise of a great harvest through your life.

4. God promised us an abiding place of great victory over our enemy. Like the Israelites, you and I have been promised spiritual ground for great and abiding victory on a turf where our enemy stands in defiance. If you’re not presently occupying your Promised Land, rest assured the devil is. (Beth Moore, Believing God, pgs. 5-10)

I don’t know about you – but if the devil has taken something from me – I want it back! He is ruthless! Remember, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). But – here’s the Good News – I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10)! Praise God! He has come to set the captive free! Come with me. . . .


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