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Appropriating God's Promise

Appropriating God's Promise
What Is The Promised Land For Us?

Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD. Numbers 14:36-37 (NKJV)

Q:    Where is the Promised Land?

Well, historically speaking, there was an actual physical place called The Promised Land.   We can read about this "Promised Land" in the Old Testament of the Bible - it was the land of the Canaanites, and Philistines that was promised to the chosen Jewish people led by Moses. God set its boundaries from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river (Gen. 15:18-21; Ex. 23:31)

This land was flowing with milk and honey and was theirs for the taking as long as they were willing to obey God, walk in faith and lay claim to what God had promised to them.  They chose to say, "No" to God's promise, and instead they chose men to lead them back to the old life of bondage.  But these 10 rebellious leaders were punished for their sin and it cost them their lives, while the Israelites spent the next 40 years wandering about in the desert for their lack of faith in God's promises.

If we were asked where is the Promised Land today, I am sure that many would say it is heaven.  All too often, I hear people equating heaven to the Promised Land - they say The Old Testament story of the Promised Land was a type of picture of us going into heaven one day if we have faith.  I don't believe this to be true.  We must understand The Promised Land in the Old Testament was filled with challenges, struggles, and people who went to war - there was death, sorrow, pain and suffering in this "Promised Land."  Nowhere in Scripture do we see these things being a part of heaven - in fact we see just the opposite.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

Q:    So is there a Promised Land for Christian believers living today, and if so, where is it, and what does it mean to us?

A:    Well, the Promised Land for us as believers represents the promise given by God for Christians to have a life full of Joy even while living here in this land known as earth.  It's that abiding relationship spoken of in John 15.

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11 (NKJV)

This abiding relationship happens once we are saved by God's amazing grace (Eph. 2:8-9), and are given the gift and help of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16).  Once we receive this great gift, we are freed from the bondage of sin, empowered to be victorious against the schemes of the enemy and against all spiritual warfare (Eph 6:12-18). We will have joy when we choose to seek God and His will for our life (Rom. 12:1-2), and by facing life's challenges head on with confidence, knowing God is on the throne and is in control.  So our Promised Land isn't so much a physical place as it is a place of submission in our hearts and mind to God and His will for our lives.  

We must choose whether we will submit to God, or to walk independent of Him - whether we will abide in Him, or whether we will seek to do what our flesh desires and choose to follow our feelings.  This is exactly what the Israelites did when they refused God's call to enter into The Promised Land, and instead chose to wander around in the desert.  If we choose this path, we too, will just wander around and never experience God's joy in the fullness He desires for us.  It starts with faith.

Maybe you aren't feeling the joy God intended - maybe you want to, but you cannot see how it would be possible from where you are.  Let me encourage you, we appropriate God's promises by believing them and walking in faith. I like what Corrie Tin Boom said, "Faith sees the invisible, believes the impossible, and experiences the incredible."

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 15:10-11, what must we do if we are to experience the fullness of God's joy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you in submission to God's will for your life.  Are you experiencing an abiding relationship with God?

APPLICATION: Seek God daily through prayer and the reading of His Word.  Ask God to show you how to live, and to help you make wise choices that coincide with His Word and will.  

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit.  Help me to walk in Your will today, and to make good choices.  Give me wisdom and discernment and empower and fill me with Your Holy Spirit today.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000