For the Kingdom of God is...righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). ~Romans 14:17 (CJB)
"While it may be SAFE to simply look upon The Promised Land, it is certainly NOT SATISFYING!"
Women of the Word, I hope you have enjoyed our journey together in Possessing Our Promised Land! I trust that El Elyon has made your time in His Word RICH and FRUITFUL for the glory of His Name!
Welcome to the final week's lesson of 'Are You Possessing Your Promised Land?'
You may RECALL! from our last lesson that if you are to begin possessing your Promised Land, you must FIRST...(see week 5)
- R - 'Remember Your Purpose!'
- E - 'Examine Your Fruit!'
Because God’s being glorified in us and OUR JOY ARE ONE IN THE SAME, let’s examine what’s coming out of us in thought, word and deed.
‘For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.' (Luke 6:45)’
‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.' (Proverbs 23:7)’.
How are you doing in thought, word and deed today?
ARE YOU A ‘FRUITY FOLLOWER'?
I was walking one morning in preparation for a conference and asked the LORD to show me a few objective differences between a fruity and fruitless follower. I needed to know. In which category would I find myself?
Here are a few of these observations:
- The FRUITLESS believer sucks the LIFE out of others around her because of the emptiness within...the ‘FRUITY FOLLOWER’, however GIVES LIFE because of the Spirit's OVERFLOW within!
- The FRUITLESS believer's works condemn her (and her ineffective BUSY works ARE burned in the end)...on the other hand, the FRUITY FOLLOWER’s works praise her (and are effective and rewarded in the end)!
- The FRUITLESS believer is consumed with the dreaded disease called ‘I-must-controliosis!’....while the FRUITY FOLLOWER is controlled and governed by the Holy Spirit!
- The FRUITLESS believer is void of LIFE because she has allowed the worries of this world to CHOKE His Word out of her....BUT the FRUITY FOLLOWER realizes that her LIFE-LINE can be found ONLY at the feet of Her Messiah in PERFECT HARMONY with Himself!
- C - 'CHASE AFTER THE KINGDOM!'
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Just what is the Kingdom of God? If you have your journal with you, please take a moment of reflection to define what the KINGDOM OF GOD is...what it consists of....what it means to you personally.
Well, one time I asked Him. I wanted to know EXACTLY what it was I was to be pursuing, chasing after and whole-heartedly seeking. The LORD answered with the text from Romans 14:17:
....the Kingdom of God is RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Our whole-hearted pursuit of the Kingdom of God (INNER WORKS) is that glorious predecessor that sounds the clarion call for the (OUTER WORKS) fruit of the Spirit of God to spring forth from within. Oswald Chambers refers to this steadfast pursuit as 'the ministry of the interior'.
'By what right do we become "a royal priesthood"? By the right of the Atonement. Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centred, morbid type of Christianity, not the robust, simple life of the child of God. Until we get into a right relationship to God, it is a case of hanging on by the skin of our teeth, and we say - What a wonderful victory I have got. There is nothing indicative of the miracle of Redemption in that. Launch out in reckless belief that the Redemption is complete, and then bother no more about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ said - pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints, pray for all men. Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Christ Jesus, not on this plea - "O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me."
How long is it going to take God to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves? We must get sick unto death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves. We cannot touch the depths of meanness in ourselves. There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus. When we are there, then we have to pour out for all we are worth in this ministry of the interior.'
Every son of Adam and daughter of Eve has within a God-established longing to experience LOVE, JOY and PEACE.
It is this drive to fill that inward longing that motivates all of our behaviors.
Simply put, to CHASE after the Kingdom of God is to CHASE after Righteousness, Joy and Peace IN THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Do you remember the Israelites’ Disbelief, Rebellion and Complaining?
When we adhere tenaciously to this ministry of the interior in CHASING after RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, we have effectually subdued the thieves of DISBELIEF, REBELLION AND COMPLAINING and replaced them with GOD’S WILL for our lives which is to REJOICE, PRAY and GIVE THANKS ALWAYS!
16Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (AMP)
This, my Treasured Siblings, is the Divine Remedy for disbelieving (God's Word!), rebelling (against God's Command) and complaining (against God's Character!). It is the Power that dispossesses the enemy!
- A - 'ABIDE in God’s WORD'
SANCTIFY THEM IN YOUR TRUTH, YOUR WORD IS TRUTH!! - John 17:17
When we are abiding in God's Word, God's Truth will not vanish from our hearts. Remember D'varim 4:9?
Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won't forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won't your. Rather, make them known to your children and grandchildren -
Let us examine the Greek word for abide: meno is a primary verb meaning to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):-- continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.
It is HERE in this DWELLING PLACE of EXPECTANCY that our FATHER GOD conforms us to the glorious image of HIS Son (Romans 8:29)!
Who, after all, with any common sense hurries away from the the exact spot from which they have come to know as 'the place where all blessings flow'? When we expect something to happen in a certain place, we would be hard-pressed to leave before the blessing has arrived in that very spot we are expecting it!
That state of expectancy, that dwelling place, is precisely why Ya'akov (Jacob) would NOT let go of the Pre-Incarnate Mashiach in Genesis 32:26.
and Ya'akov was left alone. Then some man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he did not defeat Ya'akov, he struck Ya'akov's hip socket, so that his hip was dislocated while wrestling with him. 26 The man said, "Let me go, because it's daybreak." But Ya'akov replied, "I won't let you go unless you bless me."
'Oh, ADONAI, I will not let you go UNLESS you BLESS me with whatever it is now that has captivated my body, mind and spirit as I cling to You for dear LIFE!'
That is IT, isn't it?
It is right here in this sweet God-prompted resiliency of abiding that the battle is fought (and won!). It is also here where our enemy attacks. It is our DWELLING PLACE that the enemy wishes to keep us far away from. The Adversary cringes as we enter...
LIFE IS NOT REALLY WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND YOU....LIFE IS REALLY WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE YOU!
Please turn your Bibles to Luke 8: THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
There are really two parts to be intentional about if we are to truly Abide in God's Word:
1.) QUIET THE CLANGING CYMBALS/SHUT OUT THE IMAGES of the world at HIS FEET in worship (as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet).
WORSHIP: One powerful word...even MORE powerful action. It has been said that THE ADVERSARY is allergic to OUR praise. Perhaps he ABHORS IT SO COMPLETELY because PRAISE HE DID before he fell like lightning from the sky!
I believe as we worship THE LORD in Spirit and Truth, the enemy is provocatively reminded of his irredeemable existence and sure doom!
Since the Fall of mankind, God’s people have always been prone to ‘worshiping images’. I suppose the first image ever worshiped was the 'Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17)'. That did not take too long, did it? And the eyes who first worshiped the image of the tree just happened to be situated within a woman's skull!
Thus, ADONAI made Himself known to His people as a ‘Voice from the fire having no shape’. HE warned His people about ‘becoming corrupt’ and ‘making representations of people, places, or things’, thus being drawn away to worship them and forsaking Elohim, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
12 Then ADONAI spoke to you out of the fire! You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice. "Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day ADONAI spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16 do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure - not a representation of a human being, male or female, 17 or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. 19 For the same reason, do not look up at the sky, at the sun, moon, stars and everything in the sky, and be drawn away to worship and serve them; ADONAI your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky.
No wonder Job had made a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1). And a fine covenant that was!
Our eyes are the pathway to our very minds (souls) - whether evil or good - and have the power to either greatly deceive or richly bless.
On what objects are you placing your eyes? Remember, eyes opened too long to the things of the world will carry you away from your dwelling place...
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. ~ 1 John 2:16
When was the last time you intentionally closed your eyes to the images all around you that HAVE BEEN drawing you away causing you to NOT enter and possess your Promised Land?
QUESTION: What (images) is carrying you away from your dwelling place? Is it a new(er) car? A nicer wardrobe (skinnier backside!)? A bigger home (more room for the junk)? A more technologically advanced television (can you say HiDef)?
When we DISPOSSESS THE ENEMY BY quieting the clanging cymbals and shutting out the images of the world, we are able to clearly see that we may...
2.) UPROOT THE THORNS THAT CHOKE HIS WORD AND LIFE OUT OF US
Jesus taught on the Parable of the Sower (can be found in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8):
4 After a large crowd had gathered from the people who kept coming to him from town after town, Yeshua told this parable: 5 "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path and was stepped on, and the birds flying around ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock; and after it sprouted, it dried up from lack of moisture. 7 Some fell in the midst of thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 But some fell into rich soil, and grew, and produced a hundred times as much as had been sown." After saying this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear with, let him hear!" 9 His talmidim asked him what this parable might mean, 10 and he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God; but the rest are taught in parables, so that they may look but not see, and listen but not understand. 11 "The parable is this: the seed is God's message. 12 The ones along the path are those who hear, but then the Adversary comes and takes the message out of their hearts, in order to keep them from being saved by trusting it. 13 The ones on rock are those who, when they hear the word, accept it with joy; but these have no root -- they go on trusting for awhile; but when a time of testing comes, they apostatize. 14 As for what fell in the midst of thorns these are the ones who hear; but as they go along, worries and wealth and life's gratifications crowd in and choke them, so that their fruit never matures. - Luke 8
Greek: SUMPNIGO (soom-pnee'-go) - from sun - sun 4862 (To COMPLETELY) and pnigw - pnigo 4155; to strangle completely, i.e. (literally) to drown, or (figuratively) to crowd:--choke, throng.
DISPOSSESSING THE ENEMY MUST BE AN INTENTIONAL DAILY PART OF THE BELIEVER'S LIFE.
- L - 'LAMENT OVER YOUR SIN and BECOME AS A LITTLE CHILD!'
1 At that moment the talmidim came to Yeshua and asked, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" 2 He called a child to him, stood him among them, 3 and said, "Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won't even enter the Kingdom of Heaven! 4 So the greatest in the Kingdom is who ever makes himself as humble as this child.,
Jesus says ‘unless we LAMENT AND RETURN (feel sorrow over our sin) and BECOME as a little child, we shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Now this passage contains something quite remarkable! Some versions read, ‘Verily I say unto you...’ Those words, VERILY and YES...is actually the HEBREW word ‘AMEIN’!
Can I get an AMEN?
How many sentences have you ever started with AMEN? This WORD is a FIRM word meaning: ‘be certain that’...it also means ‘so be it’ and ('what I am about to say is TRUTH and SURETY’). This is a strong word as Jesus places it at the beginning of HIS statement.
OBSERVE a child:
- They love freely
- They trust greatly
- They forgive faithfully
- They not only EXPECT, but ALLOW their Father to lead their way...
- They DANCE and SING in their freedom from worries!
- They believe fully and...
- They can’t wait to sit in their Father’s lap!
Does this describe your relationship with your Heavenly Father?
Precious Believers, it is the Remembering, Examining, Chasing, Abiding and Lamenting that forms within us that whole-hearted devotion which enables us to...
- L - 'LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND AND STRENGTH...AND LOVE AS CHRIST LOVES!'
...Because it is YESHUA Who first loved us.
In conclusion Beloved, one will never find lasting change/transformation in his or her own life where there has not FIRST been deep, reflective, and intense thought and examination through the ministry of the interior.
When we are R-E-C-A-L-L-ing, we are POSSESSING our PROMISED LAND.
When we are possessing our Promised Land, we will be living the ABUNDANT LIFE that our Messiah died and rose again to ensure His Bride. This LIFE expresses itself in rejoicing! praying! and giving thanks!
When I stand before the SOVEREIGN LORD my God on that Day, I want to be able to say with strong conviction...
"ADONAI, I gave it all I had - for those I deeply cherished and those I never knew! I gave it all, ADONAI! All You gave me. I was Your poured-out wine in the days and for ALL the people You set before me. Thank You ABBA, my Portion, Reward and Exceeding Joy!”