Verse of the Day

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”

2015 - New Year Promise "GO AND POSSESS THE LAND"

To many people who call themselves ‘Christians’ church is just a place to visit once a week in order to just attend the ‘worship service’. Everything is fixed, programmed, and routine. They sit, stand, listen and sing religiously, and at the end, happy with themselves, they receive the benediction with a great “Amen”. But where is the victory? Where is the growth? Where is the productivity? As they leave the church they look the same! They feel no difference! They live as usual!

  Why, what is the problem? The problem is that when we are satisfied with what we already are or have, then there is no more room for anything more. If you don’t desire to grow, you won’t grow! If you stop desiring for productivity, your life will produce nothing worthy for you to rejoice. So tonight I want to challenge you to stop being satisfied with where you are and what you are doing. God has a message for us and all that He is clearing saying is: “Go up! Possess the Land!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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God’s people don’t have to stay where they are; they must be going forward. The church must not be satisfied with what she already is or has, or she closes the door for greater experiences. The church is not a dead monument; it is a living, dynamic organism. If you look at our text, God spoke to His people through Hisservant saying, “Enough of your stay here! Go up and possess the land!” God said to possess the land. In fact, it's quite a job to try and count the number of times, just in the book of Deuteronomy alone, that God told them to possess the land. To possess means to seize, to get, to lay hold of, to grasp, to dispossess our enemies. Listen: If we want the promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives, we have to start possessing. It's aggressive. It means to lay hold of the promise. It means grasp the promise and occupy by driving out the tenants. It means cast out, destroy, and fight.Israel wandered in the desert for forty years; and now they wereon the plains of Moab, The Israelites were to cross the Jordan and enter in and possess the land of Canaan.

So, Deuteronomy 1:8a reads, "See, I have placed the land before you." This was God's word through Moses to Israel! The people of Israel had seen the Lord perform some very amazing miracles on their behalf

• He delivered them from bondage in the land of Egypt through many miracles, signs and wonders.,,

• He led them through a harsh wilderness journey during which they saw Him move and bless them in miraculous ways.

• He fed them Manna and gave them quail to eat.

• He provided them water from a rock.

• He protected them from their enemies.

• He provided shade by day and light by night

• He even allowed their clothes to last the entire time they wandered in that wilderness.

• He gave them His Law to instruct them in the ways of the Lord and to govern their lives.

Israel were the people of the Lord; the people of the Law; and now they are about to become the people of the Land. The great promises God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are about to be realized by the people of Israel. They are finally going to possess the Promised Land. Their days of wandering are over. The days of possessing the land have arrived. What is the implication of this command of God to His people? What is its significance to the church? I. IT IS A CALL TO COME OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. God wants His people to advance, to take the step and grab hold of His promises. To do this, His people must come out of their comfort zone.

In this passage, God says, “You have stayed long enough in this mountain…now set up your journey. Go up and possess the land.” It is both a command to leave the place where they were staying – a place they were already accustomed to, and toadvance toward the Promised Land. God does not want His people to stay in their comfort zones, satisfied with what they have. Instead, He wants to see His people progressing greatly in their lives.

a) FIRST, God wanted to see the intensity of His people’s emotion toward Him.

As the Israelites lived long in Mt. Horeb their passion for the Promised Land had grown cold. Their emotional fervor, their excitement and their enthusiasm to see the fulfillment of God’sPromise had to be rekindled. “It’s okay here. We’re already accustomed here. We have adjusted well here.” The promise that God made to them was still in their minds, but the intensity of their passion for it had become less. So God came to renew their emotions. “Go up and possess the land.” · God dislikes half-heartedness, lifelessness, and, as the Spirit of God says to the Church of Laodicea, “lukewarm” spirituality. · Both Peter and Paul understood this and said: “continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior and Lord.” · There must be an increase of devotion; there must be more passion, more fervor, more joy, and greater willingness to sacrifice and serve the Lord! So, you must have a passion to see the promises of God fulfilledif you are to secure the land flowing with milk and honey. Do you see what that means? You are going to take the land by doing it God's way, not your own way. It is His agenda and His timing by which you are going to possess the land. You need to be committed to Him and to His Word. You need to live in belief. You need to be as Caleb who followed the Lord with his whole heart. That is the condition for subduing your 'land'. If you do not wholeheartedly follow the Lord, most likely you will continue to wander in the wilderness. You cannot be distracted by the pleasures of this life. You cannot be preoccupied with the issues of this life; you especially cannot become self-preoccupied. God wants us to be filled with enthusiasm for Him and His promises. Never let the passion for God and the things of God die. Be fervent…be full of God.

b) SECOND, God wanted His people to come to a new level of experience.

The Israelites were becoming accustomed and contented with their stay in the mountain. What more could they long? They had comfort, ease and safety in that mountain. Everything is fine, why should they go up to another place? First because that was not the place where they should be. Next, they can never come to that place until they leave the place where they were. This gives us the principle that “what has been should not determine what will be.” So for them to be in the place God wants them to be, they must go through new experiences in their journey. Exactly true with us. If we want to be a person God wants us to be, we must be willing to go through new experiences, be willing to step out of our comfort zones and follow God with all our heart. That’s why Paul said: “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching…let us press on to maturity.” How fresh is your experience with God? Are you stilling living on yesterday’s experience or do you long for something new? ·

I want to say this: A crumb of fresh encounter with Christ is better than a feast of stale experience. As we begin this new year, my prayer is that, you will realize that you have dwelt long enough in your barren place, and that it’s time to get up, go in, and possess the land that the Lord has promised to you. I don’t know what your mountain is. It could be depression, sickness, fear, poverty, or addictions, but the Lord is saying that it’s time to take hold of what is rightfully yours, what God has promised you: healing, deliverance, peace, abundance, freedom, purpose. Are we as a church obeying the command of our Commander-in-chief with all our energy? Have we been advancing toward the fulfilling of God’s purpose and goal? God says, “It’s now about time to advance. Go up! All of you. Possess the Land.” Did you notice? God did not say, “some of you will go and some will stay”; all the people were told to go. Isn’t God calling for corporate and unified effort? Isn’t God calling for everybody to help set the journey? God expects us to say, “Let’s do it”. Let’s advance in fulfilling the commission of our Master, as a church together! It has been long enough. Respond to the call to advance! II. IT IS A CALL TO CONQUER. To possess the Promised Land the Israelites must first conquer it. In most dictionaries, ‘to conquer’ means, “to take over an enemy’s territory by force”. This is the picture of Israel taking possession of Canaan. Of course the Canaanite people will not easily hand their land over to the Israelites. There will be resistance. Since God had promised the land to Abraham, the land belongedto the Israelites. Nevertheless, the Canaanites knew nothing about God’s covenant with Abraham. Therefore without a doubt, until the last drop of their blood, they will resist any invader and defend their territory. This leaves the Israelites with no other option but to take the land forcibly! They must conquer it as implied in God’s command. From this we can see that: a) God wanted to see that His people forcibly fulfilling His purpose. God gives the promise, He gives the inheritance but His peoplehave to fight the good fight of faith to possess the land and to dwell in it. It is not easy. God is with you all the time, but you have a part to play. Deuternonomy 26:1, ‘And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and you possess it and dwell in it’. Notice the words, “possess and dwell”. God wants us to ‘posses’ the land. What does He mean? He means that we need to cast out the previous tenants and make their possession ours. What previously belonged to previous occupants now belongs to us.

Secondly, God wants us to ‘dwell’ in the land that He gave us. The word ‘dwell’ means to acquire the land. He wants us to make our habitation there. In the Bible we notice that when someone dwells in a land, he digs wells and begins to cultivate crops. If you want to dwell in the Promised Land, begin to sow some seed and get ready for the harvest. There is a purpose for which we are called to attain; a purpose for which we are to become. To the Israelites, it was to possess and become possessor of the Promised Land; to the church, it is to bring the Life-changing message of Christ to all lands and become God’s Catalyst for the transformation of people’s lives. Let us conquer the land!

b) God wanted to see His people experiencing victory. · To possess the Promised Land, the Israelites will have to fight against the inhabitants of it and should defeat them. Though God Himself had told them to do it giving them the assurance of victory, yet it takes great faith, courage and confidence to “go up and possess the land”. Isn’t it better that they would stay where they are? For God it is not! He wants His people to leave their comfort zones to a life of victory.

Staying where they are would spare them from battles and challenges, but they would never experience victory either. · To experience the fullness of victorious life, God’s people must be willing:

1) First to “go up” – that is to leave the life they used to live. Enough of the life of pretensions, of emptiness, of dead formality, of mediocrity, of mere religiosity, of defeat and disobedience! Rise up! With great courage and confidence in God, go up and advance victoriously!

2) Second to “possess the land” – that is to face the challenges ahead with great courage and faith. Possessing 'the land' will not be easy. God never promised that it would be. You will find various obstacles, and be confronted with different challenges. You will engage in 'battle' and 'warfare'; and that is why you must be fearless and strong.

You will need discipline and resolve to possess your 'land'. In being occupied with God and 'the land' that He has set before you, you must be courageous. You are to go in, not fearing, nor being discouraged. Deuteronomy 1:21 reads, "See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed." It is not going to be easy in taking the land, and that is why God says, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12) It’s as simple as that – you’ve got to take it by force. First you’ve got to want it, and when you want it bad enough, you’ll get mad enough to snatch everything God has for you right out of the enemy’s hand. Sure, he’s going to fight you,but that’s okay because you have power over the enemy. (Luke 10:19) Take what belongs to you! Victory is sure! Victory does not come by way of human competence and capability, but by way of man’s dependence on the Omnipotent God Who is faithful to keep His promise.

Let us rise up in victory, for God calls us to conquer! III. IT IS A CALL TO CLAIM. When God came and told them to go up and possess the land, God had also reminded them that they have something to claim from Him. What was that something? His covenant to them. The Covenant that even goes far back to their Patriarch Abraham. Along with this Covenant were the blessings, promised and prepared, that include the Promised Land (the Land of Abundance), Victory over the Enemies, Becoming a Nation, and Becoming a Blessing to all Nations. When God says to go in and possess the land, do you see what is implied? The land is already yours; and God says, "Go and get what you already own." God’s promise is yours. Now, go in and appropriate it; go and enjoy it. Go and claim it! This fact simply points to the grace and mercy of God. Deuteronomy 9:4-6 reads, "Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people." God is pleased to give the land simply because He wants to. God has given you 'the land' because He wants to; and your response should be that of thanksgiving and humility. God has made the covenant. God has given the land but the people of God must rise up and claim the covenant blessings.And I must confess that the cowards, the doubtful, the hesitant, the lazy, and the unwilling have no part of the claiming party. One must be willing, ready and prompt to obey the voice of God. One must be diligent to follow God’s direction. One must have great faith and courage for whatever challenge he is to face.

Two words are appropriate to characterize him: “Obedience and Dependence.” If we walk in total obedience and dependence to our Master, we will enjoy the fullness of the covenant blessings. Having placed the land before His people, having promised it, God said, "Go in and possess it." Do you notice that it is a command? God now commands you to enter and possess your 'land'; and because He commands, it becomes a question of obedience. Only in faith and obedience do you enter in and possess the land. You enter and possess the land by remaining faithful to His Word, by being true to His standards, by seeking only to do His will. Deuteronomy 4:1 reads, "And now, O Israel, listen to the statues and the judgements which I am teaching you to perform, in order that you live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers is giving you." Deuteronomy 8:1 reads, "All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers." Enough of that survival mentality. We don’t have to stay living in pretension, in want, in defeat and in disobedience. Go up! All of us! •Let us rise up and possess the land! •Let us experience and enjoy the covenant blessings in Christ! •Let us experience and enjoy the Life of abundance and victory, and become a blessing to the world! Are you going in and possessing the land? Israel heard that command from God; and the first time, they said, "No! We are not going in." And God said, "Fine, you will not go in, and you will die in the wilderness." And yet He is a God of grace, and He came again to Israel and offered them another chance. And maybe God is coming to you again, and He says, "Will you go in now?"

Myfriend, do not hesitate. Go in and possess the land, which already belongs to you. None of God's promises will fail. He is faithful. Do you believe this? God is more than able to sustain you through anything that He leads you into. •Look at Noah. God sustained him and his family through a worldwide flood - Gen. 6-9. •Look at the firstborn of Israel. God protected every Israelite who was under the shelter of the blood of the lamb - Ex. 12. •Look Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God kept them alive in a fiery furnace - Dan. 3. •Look at Daniel. God protected him while he was in a den of hungry lions - Dan. 6. •Look at Elijah. God fed him with ravens by a brook, and with meal and oil at a widow’s house - 1 Kings 17. What I am trying to tell you is that you can depend on the Lord. He is still the same God He has ever been! He is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever! In humility and obedience let us claim all that God has given us.

CONCLUSION:

God says to you, "I set the land before you. It is yours." He has promised it to you; and you know what the land is in your life. Yes, you do. What is the land that God has set before you? What is God saying to you? What is the land He wants you to conquer? What is the territory He wants you to subdue? God doesn’t want us to stay where we are in our spiritual journey – to look the same, to feel no difference, and to live as usual. He wants us to rise up from the life of pretension, want, defeat and disobedience to a life of abundance, victory and blessing. Declare today that it’s been long enough, and make up in your mind that you will no longer dwell at your mountain and allow it to keep you from what God has for you. Resolve in your heart that this is the year, the month, the day, the hour that the cycle of circling ends. There is such abundant life that God wants to give you. You don’t have to continue to sit back and watch everyone else walk into their promised land while you’re stuck in the same place. God wants us to advance, to progress, to grow in our passion for Him, for His purpose and goal. He wants us to experience the blessings of His covenant with us in Christ. Deuteronomy Chapter 1, presents us two things: God’s Commitment to us: •He places the land before us and promises to give it to us (v. 21). •The land God gives us is good and fruitful (v. 25). •The Lord commits to go before us, fight on our behalf, and show us the way we should go (vv. 30-33). Our Responsibility and Response to God: •Go up and take possession of what God has promised (v. 21). •Don’t focus on the obstacles or let them stop you (v. 28). •Be courageous and do not fear (v. 29). •Remember the Lord’s past faithfulness to you, and trust Him now (vv. 30-32). •Follow Him fully (v. 36). As a Church, we are getting ready to advance, to conquer and claim all that God has promised us. What about you? As individuals? As families? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone, trust God and take Him at His word? Can you honestly say that you are relying completely upon the Lord in every trial, through every battle and in every situation in your life? Are you walking by faith? That is the key to victory! We need to have faith in His Person, His Power, His Purposes and in His Promises. Go up and possess the Land! Come out of your comfort zone, conquer and claim the land God has promised you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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