Here are my teaching notes for Bible fellowship tonight. Enjoy! The Old Testament is a wonderful illustration and pattern of our walk with God as Christians and the spiritual warfare we face daily. God promised His chosen people a land overflowing with milk, honey and abundance where they could settle and live and worship God. This was called the Promised Land and the land of Canaan. When the Israelites came out of the wilderness, they had to seize this land and take it for themselves. The Devil knew this promise to the seed of Abraham and he set 31 hostile nations right in the middle of the Promised Land to stand in fierce opposition to Israel seizing their inheritance. Most of these nations were advanced in weaponry and warfare and were ferocious warriors against any enemies. The Bible calls many of the men, giants, champions of wickedness, which were physically beyond anything that mankind had ever seen. These giants roamed the Promised Land with the express purpose to keep Israel out so they would never experience the promise and the blessing that flowed from it.
Do you know there is a spiritual Promised Land for each Christian believer where the believer lives and breathes the promises of God? It is a place where the promises of God are experienced in all their fullness and a place where we bear abundant spiritual fruit for our God. The Promised Land is where God has called us to live as Christians and where God wants our hearts to be. The Devil does not want us to enter the Promised Land and has set hostile giants throughout the land to prevent us from taking the inheritance that God has given us. As Christians we must arise out of the wilderness and boldly go into this Promised Land and claim our rightful inheritance. As Joshua did, we need to take the mountains of giants and slew every giant in our minds and hearts that has ever prevented us from living the more abundant life that God has promised. The Promised Land and the battle with these giants is the epicenter of spiritual warfare and we must conquer every giant in Christ if we are ever to fulfill our purpose for this generation.
First of all, let’s look at just how great the promises of God are. Nothing on the face of the earth compares to the promises of God. No amount of money or wealth can
even compare to the riches of possessing even one promise.
II Peter 1:3, 4 (ESV):
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
He has by his own action given us everything that is necessary for living the truly good life, in allowing us to know the one who has called us to him, through his own glorious goodness.
It is through him that God’s greatest and most precious promises have become available to us men, making it possible for you to escape the inevitable disintegration that lust produces in the world and to share in God’s essential nature.
God has called us to manifest His glory and His excellence and has given us thousands, thousands and thousands of Promises that enable us to take this Promised Land and live a truly good and godly life. These promises are precious. These promises are great. These promises are majestic. These promises have the guarantee and backing of God Almighty. He cannot lie. He is forever faithful. He watches over His Word to perform it as Jeremiah the prophet proclaimed. His promises can be trusted with our very lives. When we have faith in the promises and patience to wait on the Lord and not become weary and faint in our minds, God will fulfill every single promise in our lives. The promise never fails. The promise never falters. The promises of God are the great treasure of His Word and they must be believed with a steadfast faith as we bring them down from heaven and place them right in the middle of our hearts. As Romans 4:20,21 declare we must never stagger at the promise of God through the giant of unbelief but we must be strong in faith giving glory to God as we are fully persuaded that what God has promised, God is able to perform. We take God at His Word no matter how difficult the circumstances may seem. All of these giants like unbelief, fear, doubt, and worry are all designed to get us to not have faith in the promise for without faith we will forever remain in the wilderness of the world and the flesh. God has promised! What are we going to do about it? Is a giant going to slew the promise in our life? Is a giant going to rob of us our faith and defeat our thought life from bolding claiming and believing the promise? The promises of God were not made to sit in the Bible on a dusty shelve in our houses, the promises of God must be taken aggressively and held unto and believed with a firm conviction and an undying hope. Our God has promised and he cannot lie and the promise must live in my heart and become engrafted to my very soul.
In II Peter the promises of God are called magnificent (very great):
Magnificent (megistos) is the superlative of megas. What is a superlative? A superlative is an adjective which relates to the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent. The idea of superlative is that it surpasses all others! Superlative speaks of the highest degree. Since megas means great , you can picture the idea inherent in the superlative megistos, which means greatest, exceeding great or preeminent. It is greatness so big that it is almost beyond human comprehension.
It is surprising that this verse marks the only use of megistos in the New Testament. Stop for a moment and meditate on what Peter is saying. He is speaking of the incomparable magnitude of God’s promises. In truth we cannot even fully comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of this truth. What Peter is saying is that God’s promises are the greatest. God’s promises exceed any human promise you have ever heard or will ever hear!
John Piper says that
Very practically I think this means we must day by day go to the Word of God and search for great promises. Fix one or two in your mind and hold them there before you all day. And use them to overcome temptation to sin and to incite you to daring acts of righteousness and love.
A W Tozer:
I must confess that in my ministry I keep repeating some of the things I know about God and His faithful promises. Why do I insist that all Christians should know for themselves the kind of God they love and serve? It is because all the promises of God rest completely upon His character. Why do I insist that all Christians should search the Scriptures and learn as much as they can about this God who is dealing with them? It is because their faith will only spring up naturally and joyfully as they find that our God is trustworthy and fully able to perform every promise He has made…We need today a fresh spirit of anticipation that springs out of the promises of God. We must declare war on the mood of nonexpectation, and come together with childlike faith. Only then can we know again the beauty and wonder of the Lord’s presence among us…True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectation. The man who believes the promises of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation, there is no faith.
Promises (epaggelma) refers to a declaration to do something with implication of obligation to carry out what is stated. This word implies an emphatic public announcement. God is publicly announcing to the world that He is faithful to His promises and He will emphatically carry out His Word. God cries out “Prove me now if I am not faithful.” Our confession should be, “Watch what my God will do!”
A W Tozer:
Christian expectation in the average church follows the program, not the promises. Prevailing spiritual conditions, however low, are accepted as inevitable. What will be is what has been. The weary slaves of the dull routine find it impossible to hope for anything better. We need today a fresh spirit of anticipation that springs out of the promises of God. We must declare war on the mood of nonexpectation, and come together with childlike faith. Only then can we know again the beauty and wonder of the Lord’s presence among us.
From The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Your Life:
What a glorious privilege it is to be a son or daughter of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! You have full legal standing as a son or daughter with absolute heavenly legal rights declared by the court of heaven, and no earthly or satanic power can diminish, take away, or extinguish. You cannot forfeit these legal rights; they are innate, given to you as a born again child of God. These rights are part of your inheritance as a child of God, which God has decreed with all the authority of His inalterable Word as they are firmly rooted in God’s love, pleasure, purpose, and declaration for you. What are some of these legal rights and privileges of sonship? You have a legal right to eternal life and a home in heaven. You have a legal right to victory over the devil and his authority on the earth. You have a legal right to freedom from the bondage of sin and all its consequences. You have a legal right of deliverance from fear, worry, anxiety, and doubt. You have a legal right to the Father’s protection and care. You have a legal right to use the name of Jesus Christ in prayer, invoking its authority and power. You have a legal right to be more than a conqueror in any situation. You have a legal right to overflowing joy in all of life’s circumstances. You have a legal right to the peace of God ruling in your heart, no matter how intense the problem or trouble. You have a legal right to the wisdom of God. You have a legal right to confidence and boldness. You have the legal right to have all of your needs met according to God’s riches in glory by Christ Jesus. You have a legal right to do all things and be ready and equal to anything through Christ who strengthens you. You have a legal right to salvation and wholeness in every area of your life. You have a legal right to perfect health and deliverance from all forms of sickness and disease. You have a legal right to prosperity and overflowing abundance in your life. You have a legal right to be completely free from every form of depression, condemnation, guilt, misery, despair, and any other type of mental bondage. You have a legal right to live and walk in the revolutionary and life changing love of God that proceeds from the heart of God. You have a legal right to be changed at the return of Christ and receive a new body unlimited in scope and dimension. You have a legal right to all the blessings of your inheritance in the family of God. You have a legal right to the goodness of God abounding in every area of your life. You must know your legal rights in Christ and boldly and fearlessly walk in them all the days of your Christian life. I have practiced law for over 25 years and have seen many legal documents and the respect and authority that they command. People honor these legal documents, and give them great respect, and attempt to follow all of their precepts. Courts at all levels uphold these legal documents with all the power of the state and enforce the rights and privileges contained in them. People cry out for their legal constitutional rights and boldly go to court to have their rights recognized and enforced. If we place such honor and importance on our earthly legal rights, how much more should we value, honor, respect, and claim our heavenly legal rights in Christ contained in the greatest legal document of all times, the Bible? Why do we believe in our legal rights as citizens in our countries, yet we doubt and disbelieve our legal rights freely given to us by God as citizens of heaven and sealed forever by the sacrifice and blood of Christ? Our legal rights in Christ are part of the new covenant that God Almighty promises and guarantees for every Christian believer. The circle of God’s goodness for your life is not only becoming a son or daughter of God, but also includes all the legal rights, authority, and power that come with that calling.
Romans 8:15-17a (Amplified):
For [the Spirit which] you have now received is not
a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage
to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption
[the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which
we cry Abba (Father)! Father!
The Spirit Himself thus testifies together with our own
spirit that we are the children of God.
And if we are His children, then we are His heirs also:
heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His
inheritance with Him].
We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ and God wants us to claim our inheritance. Our legal rights in Christ are the promises of God. As sons and daughters of God we no longer have to be in bondage to fear of anyone, anything, or any circumstance. The Greek word for “bondage” means: slavery, servitude, and a state where a person is prevented from freely possessing and enjoying his life. It is the exact opposite of liberty or freedom. It is to shrink in fear and be enslaved in body, mind, or soul. Christianity is a declaration of freedom. God never leads you into bondage or enslaves you in fear for, “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). We no longer have to be in bondage to sin, as God has shattered the power of our old sin nature, whereby it is no longer the motivating energy of our life, and brought us into a vital union with Christ. God has created in us a new divine nature by our identification with Christ, and we have been completely infused with the life and power of God. We are new men and women, sons and daughters of liberty, as the power and bondage of our old Adamic nature has been crushed and rendered powerless by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Satan has no authority or power over us, as Christ defeated and delivered us from his dominion. We now can walk, live, and breathe in newness of life that glorifies God as we enjoy all the sweet freedom of our new life in Christ. Absolutely nothing has the power to enslave you.
The Promised Land is not a land of bondage or fear. It is the land of freedom and it is built on the promise of God.
There have been giants around since the fall.
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
There have always been giants on the earth that stand against us entering the Promised Land. Unfortunately in modern Christianity, the giants have been winning in the hearts of God’s people and the Promised Land has remained vacant.
These giants were champions of wickedness bred from hell itself. They stand opposed to every movement of God. E. W. Bullinger says these giants were great in size and great in wickedness. He says they were superhuman and abnormal beings and their destruction in Noah’s time was necessary for the preservation of the human race. Some of the giants were legends in the world like Anak and very well-known among the nations and were considered unconquerable. The Bible talks about the giants in other passages too.
Deuteronomy 2:7, 10, 11, 20, 21 “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.”’
10 (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. 11 They were also regarded as giants, like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.
(That was also regarded as a land of giants; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the LORD destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place,
Deuteronomy 3:11 (ESV): (For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits (13 ½ feet) was its length, and four cubits (Six feet) its breadth, according to the common cubit.)
The giants were huge physically. Goliath was a giant also.
Ten of the spies sent by Moses freaked out in fear over the massive size of these giants. Only Joshua and Caleb knew that God could defeat these giants in battle.
Numbers 13:1, 18, 21-30 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:
And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
30 And 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.
The children of Israel believed the report of the ten spies and refused to go into the Promised Land. They thought the giants were too big and too strong to overcome.
Numbers 14:1-10,31-33: And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes. And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good 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. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And 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.
The men of Israel cried in fear-“We are but grasshoppers compared to these giants and they are of great stature and they will eat us up.” They did not go into the Promised Land because of fear of these giants and they had no faith in their God to overcome them.
God cried out:
The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? Numbers 14:11
This event in the history of wandering in the wilderness is crucial for understanding God’s view of belief. In fact, the Scriptures refer back to this event time and again as a demonstration of what it means to not believe. We will do ourselves a big favor by recognizing exactly what God says and what God expects in this verse. Let’s set the stage. God tells Moses to send men into the Promised Land to gather intelligence about its inhabitants before the children of Israel move to occupy it. The men come back, full of stories about the abundance in the land. It truly is a land of milk and honey. Anyone who lives there will be well satisfied. But there is a problem. The spies report that the descendants of Anak live there along with the dreaded Nephilim. “We were like grasshoppers compared to them.” Scripture tells us that upon hearing these words “all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.” Why? Because they were afraid. Simple, isn’t it? That’s exactly how we would react to such a devastating report. In fact, that exactly how we do react when we get overwhelming evidence of a potential disaster. We wail. We quake. We run out to Home Depot and buy up all the fortification supplies. We empty the shelves on the grocery stores and wait in line at the gas stations. “Oh, Lord, help us. The Nephilim are coming! What can we do? What can we do?”Joshua and Caleb had the answer. “If the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into the land.” But the answer fell on deaf ears; ears stopped up with fright and anxiety. I think Yeshua called it “the cares of the world.” I am quite certain we all know what He meant.God responds. How long will these people lo-ya.a.mi.nu (not believe in Me)? But now we need to be careful. God is not asking how long these people will be atheists. He is not asking how long they will deny His existence. That’s what we might think from our contemporary understanding of the word “believe.” The Hebrew word here is ‘aman. It is a particularly Hebrew word, not found in cognate languages. It carries the idea of reliability, faithfulness and trust. This is not about beliefs. It is about actions that result from taking God seriously. In other words, God indicts these people by saying that they refuse to act as they should, as He expects them to act, based on all the evidence of His reliability. God requires that His children respond on the basis of His faithfulness (not theirs). And here’s the clincher. The children of Israel who did not act on the basis of God’s character perished. Their unbelief brought about their demise. It’s the same today. If you believe, you act accordingly. If you don’t act, you die in your unbelief. The creeds won’t save you. Catechism won’t deliver you. God expects obedience. Fear, apathy, anxiety or cowardice insult Him. Who cares about the Nephilim? It might be a good time to adjust our lives to the Hebrew view of belief. It might be time to look at all the things that make you feel like a grasshopper and say, “Yes, Lord. You will bring me into the land.”
The book of Joshua (whose name means “God is salvation”) is packed with practical lessons — challenging concepts to help grasp the principles of a Spirit-led life. The key to the book is given to us in the New Testament: “these things…were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) What the people of Israel went through in their actual historical experiences become patterns, or metaphors that we can apply to the spiritual battles in the spiritual pilgrimage in which we are engaged. These experiences have an exact and accurate application to us.
Joshua is one of the two books of the Old Testament that every Christian should master. (The other is the book of Daniel.) These messages are primarily designed to help Christians withstand the first full impact of the battle of the world, the flesh, and the devil. If you feel the force of the opposing powers; if the tremendous, subtle deceptiveness of the principalities and powers against which we are engaged have come upon you so that you sense that you are in the conflict (Ephesians. 6:12), these books will be especially important to you.
Joshua 1:1-9-The Battle Cry Against the Giants
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Now, as you may already know, the crossing of the Red Sea is a picture of Christ’s death for you and me — when he cuts us off from the world in all its attitudes, ways, and opinions. In other words, when you became a Christian, you changed your ideas and sense of values. Your baptism was an expression of the fact that you were passing out of one life into another, and that your whole attitude was changed. That was the Red Sea — his death for you.
But the Jordan is a picture of your death with Christ, when you bring your Adamic life to an end; when all that you are in Adam comes to an end — your reliance on yourself, your desire to have your own program, to live and make your own decisions. and set your own goals — and you discover that you can’t have his life with your program. If you want to hold onto your program, then you can have only your own, fallen Adamic life. But if you want his life, then you will also have his program, which is one of victory. You cross either the Red Sea or the Jordan River when you accept the principle involved in this. But crossing the Jordan is what you do when you let go of your own program, make up your mind, and say, “All right, if this is what you want for me Lord, this is what it will be.” That is what happened with Israel when they went into the land.
Was it any harder for Israel to cross the Jordan River than to cross the Red Sea? No, they just walked down, the waters rolled back, and they went right through. The same thing. No problems. And it is no different, you see, to walk into the land. It is simply believing that God is in you and that what he said about you is true — that he has cut off the old life (you agreed to that) and he has given you a new basis that will work. You believe it and you walk out on that basis and say, “Thank you Lord. for being in me to do through me everything that needs to be done.” And you enter the land of God’s wonderful promises.
God is our warrior in this battle to enter the Promised Land and we have on our side the armies of the Lord headed by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
Joshua 5:13-15 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
What is preventing you from taking the promises of Word and appropriating them in your life? What giant is standing in your way? Isn’t it time to take the giant down? God is bigger than your giants. God commands the giants must go. God will take care of the giants if we believe and trust in Him. Ask God to defeat these giants and build His heavenly attributes in our hearts. With the powerful weapons of spiritual warfare we tear down the strongholds and fortresses of these giants.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 (Phillips):
The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.
We must never allow a strong hold or fortress built by the enemy to stand as a giant against us claiming the promise and entering the Promised Land. Every mountain, stronghold or fortress of the giants must be demolished. The promise of God is infinitely greater than any giant and their strongholds come down by using God’s divine weapons of warfare.
God and His promises should be our fervent and soul desire upon the earth.
Psalm 73:25: Beside you I desire nothing upon the earth.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the Lord is the One who holds his hand; Psalm 37:23-24 NASB
Holds – The primary meaning of the root word samak is to lean upon or to sustain. But we might be more interested in the word picture. The Hebrew letters paint a picture of supporting water with an open palm. Have you ever tried that? Were you successful? Human beings that I know can’t lift up water with open palms (unless it’s frozen, of course). But the picture reminds me of an event where water was lifted up by an invisible hand – the crossing of the Sea of Reeds. In contrast to the meaning of grasp, this word recalls the laying on of hands that was associated with the sacrificial offerings of the Old Testament. It expresses the identification of self with the offering surrendered to God as an act of consecration. From this background, the Bible teaches that our support must come from God, not from men, for it is by God’s power that we will dwell in a place of safety and righteousness despite those times when we fall.One of the constant characteristics of children is that they never refuse to hold your hand (except when they are being headstrong!). It is a bond of safety and protection for them, and an assurance of love for us. Lovers hold hands for the same reasons, and the added one of deep intimacy and personal vulnerability. Did you notice that God initiates the palm holding? Did you know that God loves to hold you in His hands? That’s not quite the same as grasping the hand of a child or a lover. It’s much more like carrying a baby. God is your perfect Father and your greatest admirer. His palm-holding is the deepest expression of care and concern. If we are going to know the true delight of the Lord, we need to offer our hand to His. We can walk through life just like our own children, safe and secure. He is willing and able to carrying us. Today take a moment to carry some water in your open palms. Let it remind you that God is able to carry all of His creation with open palms. Certainly He can carry you too.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, He will not fail you or forsake you”. Deuteronomy 31:6
Fail – Hebrew (rapa). This word has a wide variety of meanings in the Old Testament. It can mean to let go, to let drop or to sink down. It also may mean weakening or sinking. The most common stem usage is translated as to drop, to abandon, to let alone. In other places it means to slack or dishearten, to faint in the day of adversity. It is interesting that some of the derivatives of this word are used to refer to the ghosts of the dead or to Sheol or death itself. In another derivative, the word takes on the meaning of giants of mythology. All of these nuances have importance for our spiritual growth. God promises not to let us down, to allow us to sink, to abandon us or leave us alone. He is not slack or absent in the day of adversity. He is ready to stand by us until death as we encounter the giants on our paths to healing.How many times have we felt that the monsters of our past are so overwhelming that we might never become what we so long to be – free and whole? How many times have we cowered under the accusations of our old life as it demands recompense? God says that the evil giants are no longer to be feared. He is there in our moments of adversity and He will not fail or forsake us. With His strength to back us, we can be courageous. Now we know that success does not depend on our frail, broken spirit but rather on the mighty One of heaven. The entire Bible is a testimony to God’s faithfulness in spite of human failure. God’s promise is good forever. He will not fail us. He will not leave us. The comfort in this word reaches beyond anything we come up against in life.
More than a conqueror lifestyle:
We are not a mere survivor in life but are more than conquerors in Christ. We are to decimate the enemy and lay him flat in Christ. We are more than an Alexander the Great spiritually We always triumph in Christ. .
Romans 8:31-37: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
II Corinthians 2:14: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
Victory is supposed to be the norm in Christianity. The promise is supposed to be the way of life for Christians. We cannot make excuses for defeat. We were made to triumphant in Christ.
Some of the common giants that prevent the entrance into the Promised Land:
1) FEAR: God’s command in every generation to every believer is “Fear Not!” 74 times in the King James Verson, God says “Fear Not!”Fear is one of the biggest giants trying to keep you from the Promised Land. Anti-fear antidote: Romans 8:31-If God be for us who can be against Us? God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love and power and a sound mind. This disease of fear came into man’s heart with sin. Adam never was afraid of his God till he had broken his commands. When the Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of day, and Adam heard the Almighty’s foot-fall, he hastened to commune with God as a dear child talks with a loving father. But the moment he had touched the fruit that was forbidden, he ran away and hid himself, and when God said, “Where art thou, Adam?” Adam came cringing and trembling, for he was afraid of God. It is sin, consciousness of sin, that “makes cowards of us all.” Though he who made us is a consuming fire, and we should always have a holy awe of him, yet the fear that gendereth bondage would never have come into our spirit if we had not first of all transgressed his law. Sin is the mother of the fear which hath torment.
2) Unbelief– Unbelief always defeats the promises of God. Jesus Christ could not do many miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief. We must always be on guard that our heart does not become an evil heart of unbelief that refuses the promise. .Hebrews 3:12. Hebrews says that it was such a heart that excluded the Hebrews from the promised land. Unbelief is the Greek word apeitheo from a = without + peítho = persuade) literally describes one who refuses to be persuaded and who disbelieves willfully and perversely. The idea is that there is a refusal to hear the voice of God accompanied by a stiff necked, hard hearted, obstinate refusal to act in response to God’s clarion commands. As someone has said “Disobedience is not merely a lack of obedience; rather it is a refusal to obey.”Apeitheo means not to allow oneself to be persuaded; not to comply with and to refuse or withhold belief (in the truth of God’s promises. In studying apeitheo it is important to understand that the stem peith- (pith-, poith-) has the basic meaning of trust. Unbelief does not trust or hold to the promises of God..
3) Pride-is a great destroyer of the heart. Pride always comes before a fall and keeps the heart from entering the land of promises. God detests arrogance and loves humility.
4)Unforgiveness-causes the heart to harden against the promises of God and allows a root of bitterness to grow and defile the heart.
5) Doubt-One of the greatest enemies of the heart and one of the biggest giants to the promise of God. There is too much doubt in modern Christianity concerning the promises of God.
6) Lust-the lusts of the flesh are always contrary to the walk of the spirit and the Bible says that these fleshly lusts war against our soul.
Other giants listed in Galatians 5:19,21: Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i] immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. You cannot inherit the promises of God if these giants are dominating your life.
The world is immersed with giants but we must separate ourselves from the world and rise above the patterns, culture and mind-sets of the world.
A.W. Tozer: The average man has no central core of moral assurance, no spirit within his own breast, no inner strength to place him above the need for repeated psychological shots to give him the courage to go on living. He has become a parasite of the world, drawing his life from his environment, unable to live a day apart from the stimulation which society affords him.
What are we going to do with the promises of God from this day forward? The giants are always crouching at the door of our hearts fueled by sin. Are we going to rule over the giants or are the giants going to rule over us?
Genesis 4:6,7: Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. ”
Let us pledge to never again stagger at the promise of God but with great faith enter the Promised Land that Jesus Christ has made available by his finished work on the cross. Let us demolish every stronghold of the giants and never let them roam the Promised Land again. Victory is ours if we only believe it. We are more than conquerors over every giant in Christ and let not defeat ever occupy an inch of our hearts. The exceeding great and precious promises of God await us like a great treasure. Do we have the boldness to leave the wilderness and claim them?