A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
REACHING THE PROMISED LAND BY FAITH
Deuteronomy 6:23-25; 10:11; Numbers 10:29
Many believers are ignorant of the purpose and plan of God for their lives, families and church like many of the children of Israel were. But God reveals through their pilgrimage that He has a destination in mind for us. And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. Not realising this, many people feel contented and continue with unending celebration of spectacular miracles of crossing the Red sea, eating manna, provision of water from the rock and meat from heaven which they have experienced.
As believers, miracles are not the ultimate purpose and plan of God for our salvation. He brought us out of sin and the world that he might bring us (into) His heavenly Kingdom. And between Egypt and Canaan, the commencement of our pilgrimage to the final consummation, He has given us His Word to guide us. His word is given to produce righteousness in us so we can get to the Promised Land. Coming out of Egypt, experiencing spectacular miracles and rendering sacrificial service will serve no purpose if we are unable to reach the final destination - heaven. Our loved ones who have passed on in righteousness have had the purpose of God fulfilled in their lives as they are now rejoicing in heaven. Though bereaved, we need not sorrow over their departure but strive to overcome all obstacles by faith to reach the Promised Land. In spite of misfortune and bereavement, the Lord commands, Arise, take thy journey ...go in and possess the land... (Deuteronomy 10:11).
REPORTS OF FEAR IN THE LAND
Numbers 13:26-29,31-33;14:1-4; Isaiah 8:11,12,18; 1 Samuel 22:23.
God promised to give the land of Canaan to the children of Israel and had the power to make them inherit it. But ten of the twelve spies Moses sent to Canaan ...brought up an evil report of the land... saying, there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. This was a report of fear; a singular report that cancelled all the faith-building miracles the Israelites had earlier experienced. Reports of fear in the land have the potential of eroding the courage and faith of believers and discouraging them from regular attendance at fellowships and faithfulness to the Lord. But Gods purpose to take believers to His eternal abode in heaven is constant and no evil report can cancel it. So, believers need not allow reports of fear to cancel their faith but remember great blessings they have received from the Lord. Entry to the heavenly city remains the ultimate purpose of God for our lives that will give value to all the miracles we have enjoyed in the course of our pilgrimage on earth. God granted those miracles to strengthen our resolve to get to heaven in spite of obstacles that we might face. The reports of fear generate evil desire and lead to decision to return to bondage in believers who are not steadfast, who forget that the purpose of God is to take us to heaven. But the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people... neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid (Isaiah 8:11,12). Believers who obey and do not live by fear-inspiring reports will experience signs and wonders. Believers must not be frightened by evil reports but abide in the Lord and His service till the end.
RESPONSE OF FAITH IN THE LORD
Numbers 13:30;14:6-8,24; 2 Chronicles 20:17,20-22; John 6:67-69.
Caleb and Joshua were among the spies sent to view the Promised Land. But they had a different kind of spirit, conviction and attitude. Full of faith in the promise and power of God, Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. It is not what people hear or see that adversely affect them but the way they respond to what they hear or see. Filled with faith, we also can overcome all obstacles to fulfilling our God-given commission to Disciple A Whole Nation. We can reach every village, community, town, city and country with the gospel and win souls for the Lord. This requires the involvement of every child of God. As believers, we must possess a mind that is different from those who give evil report; we must have conviction, courage and faith in the Lord to be able to possess the Promised Land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey...But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it (Numbers 14:8,24). If we respond with faith like Caleb and Joshua, God will fulfil His purpose in our lives. Faith and fear cannot travel together. If faith is allowed to grow, it will dominate fear. So, fear not, nor be dismayed... for the LORD will be with you (2 Chronicles 20:7). Faith in the divine presence and His appointed servants will make us to be established in the truth as well as bring assurance of victory over all enemies. It is the response of faith to whatever reports we hear that will make the Lord fulfil His purpose and plan in our lives. Believers who have faith do not depart from the Lord but are consistent in professing their faith in Him.
RESOLUTION WITH FAITHFULNESS AND LOYALTY
Ruth 1:15-18; Psalm 119:30; 112:7; 20:5.
People who are inconsistent in their decision like Orpah, Demas, Lots wife and Judas Iscariot do come to church. They are quite unlike Ruth and other saints who respond to the Lord by taking a decision to abide in Him in spite of difficulties and misfortunes that come their way. Orpah departed but Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Through resolution with faithfulness and loyalty, Ruth became the great grandmother of Christ. Forgetting the reports of fear, responding in faith to the Lord and taking a resolution to abide in the Lord today will lead to our greater usefulness and the ultimate fulfilment of divine purpose in our lives and church. We need to take or renew our decision to abide in the Lord like the psalmist did. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me (Psalm 119:30). Though God grants the desires of believers who are faithful in their decision to abide in the Lord on earth, His ultimate purpose is to take to heaven those who faithfully read, meditate and obey His word till the end.
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