Possessing Our Promised land

2 Peter 1:2-4  “[We have been given] exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
1.  God has given to us great promises from His written and spoken Word.  However, some find it difficult to know how to possess and walk in those promises.  (Hosea 4:6a; 2 Peter 1:2-4)

2.  First of all, we must understand that what God promises only He can fulfill!  (Romans 4:18-2)  Notice the three below…

  • To Abraham:  Genesis 13:14-18
  • To Moses & Israel:  Numbers 33:50-56
  • To Joshua:  Joshua 1:1-5

3.  Israel was called to possess a land that God would give them. 

  • Numbers 33:50-54  On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the LORD said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.  Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess…”

4.  The word for “possess” is the Hebrew word “yaresh” meaning to occupy by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place; to seize, to expel, to destroy, to enjoy.  (Numbers 33:50-56; Deuteronomy 1:6-8; Joshua 1:1-9)
IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES

Many of God’s promises are based upon/conditioned upon our active faith.  They never seem to simply  tumble out of Heaven in finished form.  Just as Israel had to cross the Jordan and aggressively appropriate the land so we must be aggressive with ourselves to appropriate our promises.  As the Promised Land was occupied with enemies who were to be dispossessed, so our enemies (doubt, fear, unbelief, etc.) must be dispossessed.  Here are a few steps to consider…

1.   CONFESSION – Confessing His promise is based upon the foundation of Godly integrity: we believe, live and say the same message.
  • (Romans 10:9-10)   Some believe that receiving a promise is to simply confess it into being and are discouraged when they realize that they must partner with God in the process and see that promise become a reality.  The heart must believe God’s promise before the mouth makes a confession.
  • Confession begins the process of the promise becoming a part of you.  It brings accountability to wait for it (Habakkuk 2:2-4).
2.   CONDITIONS – We receive His promises by meeting His conditions.
  • Promise:  “I have given you the land…”  (Numbers 33:50-56)
  • Condition:  “Drive out all the inhabitants of the land.”
  • Promise:  Prosperity and success (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
  • Condition:  “Fully obey the Lord and His commandments.”
  • Promise:  Knowing and understanding God’s will.  (Romans 12:2)
  • Condition:  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.”
3.  CONFRONTATION – To receive the “Promised Land,” we must fight to possess the land. 
  • Possession is an aggressive act.  (Numbers 33:50-56)  Promises are not received passively but by living in daily partnership with God (Deuteronomy 8:1-9)
  • When God gives us a promise it is in its “raw” form.  The “enemies” of doubt, fear must be subdued and overpowered.  It is a continuing fight as the book of Judges teaches us.
GOD’S PROMISES & TRANSFORMATION
1.  As we come into a relationship with Christ the Light is turned on and we see not only His beauty but our own sin and shortcoming as well (Isaiah 6:1-8).  Because of this we may begin to perform His Word and His promises in their own strength (Galatians 3:3).  However, there IS a better way.  God’s Word has power in itself (Hebrews 4:12) to bring about change in us.  He simply needs a willing and a patient believer!
2.  We see the powerful truth of this principle in the life of Abraham as God called him, gave him promises and then promised to fulfill them Himself.
ABRAHAM’S CALL & GOD’S COVENANT
Read Genesis 12:1-5 (The call of Abram) & Genesis 15 (God’s Covenant with him)
1.  God called Abraham, a pagan who worshipped pagan gods, to move away from his country, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), and go to the land He would show him (Genesis 12:1-5; Acts 7:2-4).  God gave him a promise that He would make him into a nation and be the family through whom the Messiah would ultimately come (Genesis 12:2-3, 15:5).  Abraham’s total inability to perform God’s Word because of age AND the magnitude of the promise allowed him to do only one thing: BELIEVE (Genesis 15:4-6; Romans 4:18-21).
2.  But God went a step further.  God “cut a blood covenant” with Abraham stating that He would not only promise but He would fulfill the promise as well!  In ancient times the blood covenant was common among almost all of the people of the middle east. It was a way of establishing a binding contract between two parties.  Animals were killed and cut down the middle and the two halves were laid opposite each other. The two parties then passed between the two halves of the animal and said, “May God do so to me and more if I break this covenant. This was a binding blood covenant, and could not be broken.
HERE ARE A FEW PROMISE GOD HAS GIVEN TO US
1.  We are Children of God.
  • John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
2.  God has promised to provide.
  • The Tithe assures provision  Malachi 3:10-12  “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts; and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.
  • Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
3.  God has promised to give us strength in times of need.
  • Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
  • John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart ! I have overcome the world!
4.  We have Eternal Life & His power to keep us.
  • John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • John 11:25 Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…”
  • John 10:27.28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
5.  God’s faithfulness
  • Deuteronomy 7:9  Know therefore that the Lord your God is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
  • Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be moved, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.
6.  God promises to guide us when we ask.
  • Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
  • James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
7.  God promises us peace
  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8.  God answers prayer
  • Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
  • 1 John 5:14 This is the assurance we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
9.  God promises to protect us
  • Isaiah 43:1-2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR THINKING –  ROMANS 12:1-2
1.  We begin by offering our bodies as living sacrifices to His purposes.  Live for Him in spite of shortcomings!  This changes the direction of our life (Acts 2:37-41).
2.  We are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world.  This literally means to not be connected to the fashion, behavior and priorities of this world.  We must determine not to be shaped by the world and its system of thought and behavior. (1 John 2:15-17)
3.  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our thinking.  This is the same word used of Jesus’ transfiguration on the Mount in Matthew 17:1-3; Mark 9:2-3 and means to change from an earthly to a supernatural (spiritual) way of thinking. 
For change to occur we must train our thought life to think the way God thinks – to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  Our perception of reality must be based upon the Word of God.
We believe His Promises without reservation.  This may require us to silence doubt, etc. by tearing down those thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

QUESTIONS…

1.  What has God promised to you? 
2.  Where are you in the process? 
3.  How will your life change when He fulfills that?
4.  How will God be glorified?

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About Jack Lankhorst

Jack Lankhorst d.Min.
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