January 22, 2016

Enter The Promised Land Now! Victory for Every Christian

Enter The Promised Land Now!
Victory for Every Christian

I want to begin with a question. The question is: was it, or was it not, God's purpose to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into Promised Land of Canaan?

Well, it certainly was God's purpose for them to enter The Promised Land! For we read in His holy Word, “Then the LORD said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites...'” (Exodus 3;7-8) Yet, we find that the Israelites became a giant megalopolis of “desert dwellers”!

So, what happened that this people ended up living in the desert, and not the Promised Land? Why is it that so many Christians are having a “desert experience,” and have not come into the “Promised Land”? Today, we want to explore how you can enter God's “Promised Land” right now!

What Does Egypt, the desert, and Canaan Speak of?

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like being deceived! It sure does not feel very good, does it?! The reality is that we have been told a lie. Maybe not intentionally, but a lie nonetheless! We have been told that the Promised Land speaks of Heaven, and that we must dwell in the desert until we arrive in Heaven! Yet, it was not at all true for the Israelites and neither is it for us! For the Israelite nation did eventually enter that bountiful land flowing with milk and honey – even if, it took longer than it should have!
You see, Egypt is a picture of the world. It is there that we placed our trust in our Savior – the Passover Lamb. It was there that the His blood was “applied to us.” We could not get ourselves out of Egypt. Therefore God “heard their cry” and delivered them. In each home a perfect lamb was slain – picture of Christ slain upon the cross for our sins. Judgement passed over the Israelites, but not the Egyptians – there, there was death. For in their case, no lamb had been judged in their stead.

Then God led them out of Egypt, and purposed to bring them into Canaan, but Israel did not believe that God could give them a victory there! In fact, they longed to go back to Egypt – type of the world! The Bible says that, “They were unable to enter in because of unbelief”! (Hebrews 3:19) Therefore, they ended up wandering around dying in the desert for 40 long years – wasted years! This was not God's intent. It was contrary to God's will. These folk are a picture of “worldly Christians.” The desert is not the place for any Christian to linger!

Yet, “The Promised Land,” speaks of better things that we can have right now today! “The Promised Land” speaks of victory! It speaks of joy! It speaks of fruitfulness! It speaks of thankfulness! It speaks of having sweet communion with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Is it Possible for a Christian to Have Victory?

Sadly, it is proclaimed that this is not possible to enter such an amazing life! It is said that we will never see victory over the giants of the land! That is, we will never see victory over sin in our lives. That is a lie! We are told that we can't be joyful, thankful people, but we can be! In the same breath, they tell us that we must be productive Christians! That we must teach Sunday School, win souls, and love everyone around us! Yet, how?! How is someone who can't have victory, to go and preach and teach and love souls?! It just does not add up!

We are taught that if we pray enough, if we tithe, if we read our Bibles, if we memorize Bible verses, if we go to church, if we become pastors and missionaries, THEN, and only THEN, will we be good Christian people and have victory in our lives! So what do we do? We try, and try, and try, and try, and try, to DO all that we think we SHOULD do! Yet, what happens? We fail, and we fail, and we fail, and we fail some more! Pastors “burn-out,” people get depressed, people get divorced, and on and on it goes! I ask, is this really what Christianity is? Is this truly all that God can do for us? Is this honestly what God intended? I emphatically reply – NO! It is most decidedly not!

Do we not see from Romans seven, the intense struggle of a human trying to win a battle all on their own? Yet, David said, “The battle is the LORD's.” (1 Samuel 17:47) Then we hear the desperate cry of the person in Romans seven, “Who will deliver me”! The answer comes quickly to this one, who has at long last come to an end of self, “Thanks be God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25) Then in chapter eight, we find a person that is victorious! A person who is under the control of the Holy Spirit. We see that victory is possible!

You know, we've been taught that we must try our best to live the Christian life. We're given all the “do's and don'ts.” Yet, the power is expected to come from oneself to perform these impossible tasks! You see, we could compare this to a car. Imagine being taught that you must push your car to its desired destination. Then you are given instructions of how to maneuver the vehicle. You are told how to keep it on the road. How to navigate potholes, snow, sand, mountains, and so on. As you look around, you see scores of others straining to get their autos to the correct location. While you are attempting all of this yourself, you also notice the odd vehicle just zooming past you! Not only that, but the people in them look relaxed and happy! Yet, as you continue your battle, it doesn't take very long, and sweat is just pouring down your face! You become exhausted, and sit on the curbside feeling like a complete failure – and you are! Yet, you get up and try again. Others give you counselling to help you improve your Christian life, your marriage, and so on, but in no time at all, your sitting on the curbside again, more defeated than ever! However, your told, “This is just the way it is. You just got to try harder! Come on, you can do it! Believe in yourself!” Finally, in complete frustration, you give up! Your done! You've had it! As your about to walk away from your vehicle, a car zooms in and parks behind yours. The person inside says, “Is there a problem?”

You respond, “Is there a problem?! I can't push that car no more! I'm walking away from it - forever! It's completely useless!”

“Oh, why is that? The car looks perfectly fine to me!” the fellow responds.

“The car is fine alright,” you respond, “But I'm sure not!”

“Well, let me take a look,” says the gentleman.

He then climbs behind the wheel, and with a quick turn of the key it comes to life! You, on the other hand, are utterly startled! “It runs!,” you exclaim. Then putting it into gear, he begins to drive! You are in complete disbelief as to what you're witnessing! So, that is how it is supposed to work, you think to yourself. Sure enough, when you get in, away you go! Wow, no sweat! No more constant failure! “No wonder, those folks are so relaxed and smiling!” you say to yourself.

You see, the solution was there all along, the poor person just didn't realize it!

Yes, we too, need to stop straining and sweating to live the Christian life! In fact, we were never meant to live the Christian life by our own effort! Did you know that from the very moment you got saved, that Christ came to live IN YOU by His Spirit? For we read, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13) Yet, you behave as if He is of no use to you, other than to get you into Heaven! Look, you are like so many husbands, who say to the wife, “Push over. I'm driving!” So, in the same way, you don't let the Lord “drive,” but say, “I'm gonna push!” Listen now, you're going to make nothing but a mess by pushing! You need to give up! You need to let the Lord be Lord, and let Him take over! This is a big part of the reason that He came to take up permanent residence in you, that He could live the life you can't!

Understand then, that Christ did not stay in the grave. He is risen! He has come to LIVE in you by His Spirit! Jesus said, “I am...the life.” (John 14:6) He is your life!

What Happens When A Person is Saved?

I ask, what changed since you got saved as to your self? Did you suddenly gain some ability to live like you should? Did you become a god? Did you become your own lord? Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that you DIED! Don't believe me? Then listen to God's Holy Word, “I have been CRUCIFIED with Christ. It is NO LONGER I WHO LIVE.” (Galatians 2:20a) “Well, what then?” you ask. The remainder of the verse answers your query, “But Christ LIVES IN ME.” (Galatians 2:20b) To put it simply, Jesus Christ is your answer! He has come to live in you, in order to take over and live the life you are incapable of living! For Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do NOTHING.” (John 15:5)

Now hear what God says, “As it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him' – these things GOD HAS REVEALED TO US through the Spirit.” What things? The things of Heaven? No! Just a few short verses down is our answer, “We have received...the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand THE THINGS FREELY GIVEN US BY GOD.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-12) Do we need to wait for Heaven? No! It is written, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the RICHES of glory of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) Again, it is written, “EVERYONE who believes in him will not be put to shame...for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing HIS RICHES ON ALL who call on him.” (Romans 10:11-12)

Understand then, that Jesus didn't come to dwell in you by His Spirit to give you strength to “push your car.” No, He himself is your strength! He came not to help, but to take the steering wheel, the gas pedal, the brakes – everything! He himself, is the “gasoline” or strength to run the car. That is, to be the life in you to live the Christian life you can't live!

So, just how rich are we in Christ Jesus? The Bible calls them, “The unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8b)

i have come that they may have
and have it to the
John 10:10

Look, “Christ in you,” is able to more than sufficiently meet your every need and circumstance! That does not mean that everything will be perfect, but it does mean that you will be able to, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) You see, it is very hard to give thanks in the “desert,” but in the “land flowing with milk and honey,” it should not come with difficulty! Understand then, just how rich you are in Christ!

I urge you, turn your eyes away from yourself, and look to Christ from whom comes your “rest.” Trust Jesus with your life! The appeal is made, “To present you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) The Greek brings out that this is an “once-for-all” act. Why not entrust your whole self to Christ? Why not trust Him, not only for Heaven, but for this life right now?! Let Him take the controls! In Christ IS VICTORY! HALLELUJAH!

DELIGHT yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you
the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him,
Psalm 37:4-5

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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