Possessing the Promise

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I look at the things of God often as applying at different levels. What applies to us as individuals often applies as families and churches, and sometimes as a community or a nation.

Yesterday my pastor preached an awesome message on possessing God's promises, or put another way, seeing what God has said become reality. In the case of our church it involves coming into possession of our next building, but these principles also apply to anything God has called us to do, or in receiving any promise God has made such as healing or provision.

He used Israel's coming into possession of the land of Canaan as an example of the principles God uses in coming into possession of a promise. God told the children of Israel that the land was theirs. It was a done deal. The how-to's weren't their problem. The when and the where's weren't their concern. They were to simply obey instructions, and watch God work.

First, Israel could rejoice in knowing that God had been preparing the land for them long before this point. For generations the peoples of Canaan had been building towns and planting crops for the benefit of Israel. "No Mr. Canaanite farmer, the Israelite who will possess this land wants green beans planted, not lima beans, so plant green beans. And he wants a terrace on his house, so put a terrace on your house so he can possess it someday."

Second, they could also rejoice in knowing that God would to move the entire universe if necessary to make their promise a reality. Hornets would go before them, a river would dry up, hail would fall from the sky, and the sun would stand still. No need to worry about a wall or giants if that kind of power is on your side.

Third, God would work in such a way that Israel's faith would be built up. He let them know the land wouldn't be taken all at once, or the wild animals would become too numerous. There's also an implication that succeeding generations needed to learn to have faith too. So God would do it in His timing, and in His way, teaching many lessons of faith along the way.

It's also important that we focus on the objective immediately in front of us. Israel first needed to focus on getting across the Jordan. Jericho and the succeeding battles would not be issues unless the river was first crossed, so don't worry about those future battles yet. Concentrate on hearing God's voice for this river challenge first.

Folks, that same situation is ours today! God has been preparing the way for your promises for a long time, and He'll move Heaven and Earth to make it a reality if necessary. Once He's spoken the promise, it's a done deal. The how's, when's, and where's aren't our concern. Just listen for His direction, obey Him, and watch Him work. The hardest part for us will be not doubting when we see obstacles, or when God tells us to do something that doesn't fit the plan we think He should follow. And don't worry about the problems to be faced down the road. Those are faith builders for tomorrow. Focus on hearing from God on the one in front of you now.

Tomorrow, the power of an evil report.

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002

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