What possessing the land calls for

  1. Stretching as opposed to inflexibility.
  2. Uncomfortable as opposed to settling for what you are used too.
  3. New battles as opposed to just waiting for something to happen.
  4. A new mindset as opposed to a negative mind set (The spies).
  5. Hard work as opposed to resistance to effort
  6. The ‘land’ is usually occupied as opposed to as opposed to the wilderness.
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Courage as opposed to fea

Joshua 3:14-16 When the people set out to cross the Jordan, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. Now it was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water began piling up at a town upstream called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the city of Jericho.

God wants to lead us. He wants His presence to go before us. The Ark represented the presence of God. Don’t go anywhere, if you are not sure that the presence of God is leading you in that direction. Without the presence of God in our lives, no land is worth possessing!

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The danger of looking too far ahead

Sunrise

The Red Sea can only be parted when you get there. The Israelites could not expect the Red Sea to be parted while they were still in Egypt. The future may not be as easy as was hoped. After all, the Promised Land was occupied and in order to possess the land there were some major challenges and battles.

There is a lady who works at my place of work. For all her life she has lived in a small, self-constructed, wood and iron house. Recently the government built her, as part of the government’s reconstruction campaign, a complete brick and mortar house. But even after it was completed she did not move in. She was so concerned about getting curtains and cleaning the windows and packing her goods that she, in the process, continued living in her wood and iron home, when, just a few meters away stood her new home. She was waiting for the Red Sea to part (all problems solved) before moving.

You cannot see everything that lies ahead, you cannot prepare for every contingency that may be ahead. Don’t let that stop you from moving into the future and don’t let that stop you from possessing what God has for you!

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The danger of looking back

Sunrise

Looking back robs us of what God has prepared for us. Looking back has the potential to bring us back to a place of bondage. Regret is a debilitating emotion. The ‘good old days’ always look good, because over time we have conveniently remembered the positive and overlooked or forgotten the challenges.

With God the best is always ahead of us. We have to believe that the best still lies ahead, no matter what the past may have looked like.

The ‘rear view mirror approach’ is not where things are happening. That should be your concern. The size of the windscreen in a car is much larger than the size of the rear view mirror. The reason for that is that there is far more ahead than behind and that should be our focus and priority.

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Living in no-man’s land

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This is the stage just before possessing. You are standing on the edge and the future looks daunting and the past looks more secure. We can even begin to long for Egypt!

Quote from Robert Schuler: ‘How sweet it is to stand on the edge of tomorrow!’

But, and here is my quote: ‘How disappointing it is to STAY on the edge of tomorrow!’

We can’t camp at the Jordan River forever. At some stage we must cross and enter and take the ground and possess the land. Sometimes we get so close. The Promised Land lies right in front of us but for whatever reason we hesitate and hold back and this can cause us to miss the opportunity.

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Don’t get used to the wilderness

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The wilderness was never meant to be the final destination. God uses the time we spend in the wilderness. In the wilderness – God provides. But we must move through the wilderness.

Don’t get used to or become comfortable in the wilderness. But your destiny and goal is ‘THE LAND’ and possessing it! You are not meant to live in the Wilderness forever. The Wilderness was a place of movement without progress. There is nothing more demoralizing than movement without progress. Don’t get used to the wilderness!

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Moving from a “dispossessed” mentality to a “possessing the land” mentality

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Dispossessed means to be deprived of homes, possessions, and security. To be deprived means to have something taken away from you. That which you are entitled to has been removed. This is something people seldom recover from. We have some family members that were disinherited many years ago. It dramatically affected their lives and left them with a ‘dispossessed mentality’. To be disinherited means to be deprived of natural or human rights or of previously held special privileges.

We need to move from the one mentality to the other. People who have a ‘dispossessed mentality’ display attitudes like these: negativity, being critical, moaning and bemoaning life, they feel they have been ‘short-changed’, bitterness, hardness and regret and opportunity is seen as an impossible challenge. People who have a ‘possessing the land mentality’ display attitudes like: courage, boldness, constantly expecting breakthrough, hope, expectation and forward approach and they usually see opportunity and believe they can do it.

When the spies were sent into the Promised Land, these two attitudes were displayed. The majority of the spies said:

Numbers 13:27 This was their report to Moses: “We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of its fruit as proof. But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large, and what’s more, we saw giants there’.

But Joshua and Caleb saw things in a different light:

Numbers 13:30 But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”

Can you see the difference between the two mentalities?

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We have a God in Whom we can trust

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There is a blessing waiting for those who will place their trust in God.   Just listen to this promise that God offers to all those who will place their trust in Him.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with its roots reaching deep into the water—a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought. Its leaves stay green, and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit.

If we are trusting God we will be able to face anything that comes our way. We have a God in Whom we can trust.  Our God is a rock. A rock in the storms of life.  We must grab hold of this rock and hold onto it as we face what life may bring our way.

2 Samuel 22:47 The Lord lives. Blessed be my Rock. Praise to Him—The Rock of my salvation.

Psalm 28:1 I plead with You to help me, Lord, for You are my Rock of safety.

Psalm 61:2 When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety.

Make God your rock of safety today!

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The role of fear

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We will face fear.  When we are confronted with troubles and we have to make decisions there is a very real possibility of an element of fear creeping in.  This is all the more reason to trust God.  When we feel afraid it should encourage us to trust God even more.

Psalm 56:3-4 But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in You. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting Him, what can mere man do to me?

It is as we return to trusting God that our confidence can be restored.

Isaiah 30:15 For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says: Only in returning to Me and waiting for Me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength.

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Don’t give in to discouragement

Overcome! Don't give the devil a footholdThe third weapon we have is to resist discouragement. (See the two previous posts for the first and second weapon)

Discouragement is the entry point for even greater destruction.  We need to allow God to renew us from the inside out.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.

GOD IS A GOOD GOD!

Not only does God want us to escape the onslaught of the enemy but He also wants us to experience His abundance and freedom in every area of our lives.  God has abundant life available for each one of us.

John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

God wants us to know and experience this abundance. As we learn to identify the attacks and resist the devil and not allow him to have a foothold in our lives, then nothing stands in the way of enjoying all that God has prepared for us.

Ephesians 6:16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.

1 Corinthians 2:9 No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

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Renewing our minds

Overcome! Don't give the devil a foothold
The second weapon we have is the ability, with God’s help, to begin to renew our minds.  (See yesterday’s post for the first weapon)

You see, in many cases the devil has already gained access and has a foothold. As we resist and reject him, the process of renewing our minds begins.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Colossians 3:10 You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you.

Ephesians 4:23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]

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