Tag Archives: the Promised Land

Genesis 12&13 – Possess It

If God gave Abram the land, why haven’t they always lived there? Does this prove Scripture can’t be trusted? God even said He was giving Abram the land forever. Is God unable to keep His promises?

Did God fail? The failure lies right smack dab in the lap of His people. God may have given them the land, but they failed to possess it. They got side tracked. They deserted God and worshiped idols. The land was their’s forever, if they’d possess it. But they didn’t possess it.

I see a New Testament parallel here. It’s salvation, bought by Jesus’ blood, a gift we all have at our fingertips. But we need to possess it. God didn’t hold His people captive in Canaan. And He doesn’t force us to accept His grace. Just like the Jews, we have to defeat the enemy, clear the land, till the soil, repent, flee the devil, grow in grace, put on that armor of God.

Then we can live forever in the land.

March 29 – Come On In

Joshua 22-24

They built a replica altar. The two and a half tribes that chose to live close to, but not in, the Promised Land built an altar as a sign to those in the Promised Land that they were their equals. They wanted everyone for generations to know they had the right to worship at the tabernacle, that they were the children of Israel, too.

They were. And they did have the right to worship with their brothers. God hadn’t forced them to enter the land. And He blessed them with their own land on the other side of Jordan.

But they had settled for second best. They never experienced the abundant riches living inside the Promised Land afforded. It wasn’t that they weren’t happy, or that they couldn’t call themselves Jews. They just missed having everything God wanted them to have.

Is it possible to be a Christian and not experience the abundant life? I believe Scripture tells us it is. Can you be a Christian and not read your Bible every day or pray? Can you be a Christian and not be involved in a church fellowship? I believe so. But hear me when I say non-Christians don’t read their Bibles, either. They don’t pray. They don’t go to church.

Can you be obedient to God as His child, and not nurture a close relationship with Him?? I don’t see how.

God wants you to live in the Promised Land of fellowship with Him, enjoying the abundant blessings that come when you walk with Him. Why would you be satisfied living within arms reach and not grabbing hold of the best God has to offer?

God won’t force you. But that door is wide open, and He’s standing there inviting you to come on in and be blessed beyond what you can even imagine.

Ans speaking of blessings… Thank you for praying for Sheri yesterday. Her daughter reports that surgery went better than they had hoped. There will be radiation and chemo for Sheri in the days and weeks ahead. But God is in this and we are just praising Him today for answering prayers with this successful surgery.

Sheri lives in the Promised Land. She faces her cancer with hope and confidence and assurance beyond what many people can imagine. She walks with Jesus. And she knows she’ll walk with Him today either here on in eternity.

I trust you can say the same.

March 9 – Clear The Land

Numbers 33&34

Be honest. Do you have a secret sin you are holding on to? An ungodly TV show that makes you laugh? An internet site that you find interesting although it dishonors God? Someone you refuse to forgive? Drinking alcohol to excess even if its just within your home? Anger? Jealousy? An obsession with a loved one?

When we become Christians, God demands that we confess our sins – all of them – and repent. That means we lay it all out there, drop those sins at Jesus’ feet, and walk away clean.

God told Israel that, when they went into the Promised Land to take it for themselves, they needed to drive out the inhabitants. He warned them not to let anyone stay because if they did, those who remained would end up being “pricks in (their) eyes and thorns in (their) sides.” He said those people would trouble the Jews in the land God had promised to them.

That same God is saying to us today to get rid of all sin. All of it. If you insist on holding on to something – even if you think no one on the earth knows what you are doing – it will end up biting you.

God doesn’t demand we be holy to prevent us from enjoying this life, our own Promised Land of fellowship with Him. He demands holiness of us so that we can enjoy life to the fullest!

No thorns in our sides to take away our joy. No pricks in our eyes to distract us and cause us pain.

There is no sin I can think of worth holding on to if it prevents me from receiving all God intends for me in this life while I wait to join Him in the next.

Step Aside, Satan

Some areas of the Promised Land were more difficult to capture than others, as we read in the book of Joshua. Sure, Israel’s reputation for being God’s chosen people was well known and God’s miracles on their behalf was legendary. But let’s face it. There were people who owned land there, who lived and worked in those cities and not everyone was ready to just step aside and let the Jews take it all. Satan had a foothold in that area and he was not giving up without a fight.

And he hasn’t changed.

When we accept Jesus as Savior we are offered a relationship with God himself, our own private Promised Land. And God wants us to enjoy it all. However, sometimes sin is so deeply rooted in our lives we have trouble conquering it and we miss out on the blessings that are intended to be ours. An addiction or an ungodly relationship pulls at us. A vice, a hobby, a lifestyle is so important to us we don’t want to let go. Jealousy, hate, pride, anger are so ingrained in us we don’t recognize ourselves without them. We end up trying to live with that sin right inside the Promised Land. Satan loves that.

The truth is if we want everything God intends for us in our relationship with him we need to defeat the enemy in our lives. It’s a matter of choice. And often a very difficult daily choice.

God told Israel: There is the land I promised you. Go clear it out and enjoy living there. Defeat the enemy, rid yourself of him. I’m right here with you.

He’s saying that to us today, too.

So step aside, Satan. Or get ready to battle. God and I are taking the land! 

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

A new generation of Jews was given the privilege of seeing what their parents and grandparents had seen at the Red Sea. In the book of Joshua we read that God allowed them to cross the Jordan River on dry ground and witness God’s power first hand. The Jews walked into the Promised Land and the people residing there were terrified of them because of God. As they should.

The first city, Jericho, was taken by unconventional battle strategies. But it was God who instructed the Jews to walk around the walled city in silence once a day for six days. Just walk. Say or do nothing else. I can imagine the people of Jericho being terribly afraid the first time they witnessed the silent march around their city. But nothing happened. After the third day of the same thing, the people inside the walls were probably confused. And by the sixth day they were most likely amused. (There go those crazy Jews again. Pass the potatoes)

Here’s the thing about God. He’s not on the same time table we are on. And his ways are very often not our ways. But obedience will always produce the results that bring glory to God and point people to the Savior.

Obedience might not look like that of the priests who took those first steps into the chilly waters of the Jordan River. It might be another difficult first step for us like changing careers, befriending an enemy who needs the Savior, uprooting our family to serve God in another part of the world, or something else God has laid on our hearts. Whatever God is asking you to do, that first step can be a tough one.

Obedience might look like Israel’s army. Silently obeying God, doing the day-to-day things that have no immediate effect. It could be praying for a loved one for years to find the Savior. It might be living a life separate from the world, loving our neighbors and doing good to those who aren’t so good to us. It might be the ordinary every day things that we do in the name of Jesus that draw people to him.

As we read in the book of Joshua, obedience results in blessing. The walls that would keep us out of a close relationship with Jesus come tumbling down when we obey the Father. It might not be easy. And it might not always make sense according to the world’s viewpoint. But if God is in it, what we do in his name will bring about amazing results for our good and his glory.

Father, may you find your people ready and eager to obey you. Even if we don’t understand the logic. Even if what you are asking is outside our comfort zone. Help us to recognize your voice and to block out the voice of the enemy by praying, being students of your written Word. And when you nudge us into action, may we take that first scary step and allow you to do great things in and through us for Jesus’ sake.

Living in the Promised Land

Deuteronomy begins with Moses reminding Israel of their history and the amazing ways God had brought them to the Promised Land. He wasn’t going across the Jordan with them but he wanted them to go knowing how important it was that they continue to obey God. Follow God, he told them, and you will inhabit the land. Turn from him and you will be driven out. 

Moses predicted that the nation of Israel would lose the land, then said that at some distant time they would return to the Lord and the land would be restored to them. Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.”

What is the spiritual application? If the Promised Land represents the sanctified life and a close walk with the Lord, then we are warned that when we begin to drift, when we neglect time in his Word and prayer, when we allow our thoughts to turn to sin, we will lose that sweet fellowship with the Savior. We may even wonder where God is or why he’s deserted us. 

But here’s God’s promise: If we seek him with all our heart and soul – truly seek him at the exclusion of all else – we will find him waiting with open arms. He’ll forgive our sins and hold us close as long as we let him.

God wants us to inhabit the Promised Land every bit as much as he wanted Israel to inhabit the land. And he’ll take us back when we seek him with all our hearts and souls, no matter how far we’ve roamed. 

I’m praying that you and I will seek God and enjoy the blessings of living in the Promised Land. That we will know a right relationship with the Creator and the joy that comes from receiving his grace, forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, Dear Lord, let it be.

July 3

2 Kings 17:3-23, 18:9-12, 17:24-41, 16:19-20, 18:1-2; Isaiah 5:1-30, 2 Chronicles 28:26-27, 29:1; 1 Chronicles 4:34-43

They couldn’t keep the Promised Land. The Jewish people had been given such an amazing gift but they squandered it away. God’s condition for living in Canaan was to worship him only. They didn’t do that and God removed his protection and blessing and the Jews lost the land.

God won’t make us worship him. He didn’t create strings on us that he could manipulate to make us do what he asks. He created us with the ability to choose and he wants us to choose him.

He’s very clear about the consequences that come from rejecting him. And the nation of Israel’s example here in the Old Testament shows us what happens when we try to live with one foot in the Truth and the other in the world.

Making it personal, I bet you can identify times of God’s blessings of peace and joy and equate them with your choice to follow him. And you can probably identify times of struggle when you tried to hold on to a sin and worship God, too. I have experienced both.

Our spiritual Promised Land of forgiveness, love, hope, faith, joy was given to us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. It’s where God wants us to live. But living there requires a daily choice to obey him. It takes a conscious walk with the Lord, communication, a willingness to deny self and be the people God would have us be.

May you walk with God today and know the blessing that comes from living in the Promised Land.