Enter In

Deuteronomy 1: 21

See, the Lord your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

This is the word of the Lord for you today. Earlier this week we saw how Joshua and Caleb looked through the eyes of faith and saw the land flowing with milk and honey while the other 10 spies came back with a negative report. They didn’t deny that the land was every bit as sweet as the Lord promised. They denied their ability to take the land. However, God promised them the land and led them to it. He took them to the land of promise and told them the land was theirs and that they should take possession of it. Unfortunately, the ten spies had a self-image problem. They admitted that the land was fruitful saying, “We came into the land where you sent us, and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit,” and they demonstrated the bountiful fruit the land produced, (Numbers 13: 27). They should have stopped right there but there were some negative Nellies in the group and, so, here is what they said, “We also saw the Nephilim there (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight,” (Numbers 13: 33).

We were like grasshoppers in our own sight.” Their defeat was on their lips. They couldn’t take the land and it wasn’t because of the people there, but because of their self-image. That, and they didn’t believe God. He had already promised them the land. They just needed to enter into the promise.

Oh, what a lesson this is for all of us. Enter into the promise. We, like the Israelites, have many promises from God. We need to learn to enter in. We need to learn how to receive all that He has already given us. This has been a burden on my heart recently. The truth is, we don’t really know how to receive. We pray, but then sometimes the answer to our prayer never quite reaches us. I mentioned in a recent Word of the Day that I am working on a new series for us. It is my prayer that through the new series, we all (including me) will become better receivers. Then we will live in the will of the Lord continually. Amen!

Calling Those Things

Romans 4: 17 – 21

17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
18 In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So shall you descendants be.”
19 And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully assure that what He had promised, He was able to perform.

This passage is a keg of dynamite ready to go off in the spirit of the one who can receive it. There is so much to glean from it, but I wish to focus on three points.

1. He grew strong
2. He believed the promise of God meant something and could be relied upon.
3. Speak those things

First, this passage, speaking of Abraham, says that he “grew strong”. This shows that he did not begin strong. Abraham is called the father of faith, but that faith was no more inherent to him than to us. He grew in faith. If you read the account of Abraham’s life, you will see that he was not a paragon of faith in the beginning. He learned and he grew and his faith grew with him. Notice also that he considered the “true” facts, his age and Sarah’s inability to have children, but he did not allow this to disuade him from God’s promise. It is okay to acknowledge facts, but you do not have to accept them as truth. They are only circumstantial and temporary. Abraham was able to recognize the obstacles, but he did not let them negate the promise of God. He grew such that the promise of God was bigger in his heart and mind than the facts.

Second, Abraham took God at his word. He believed that what God said, He would do. He also believed that God was able to do what He promised. When your faith feels small and weak, don’t look at it. Look at God. We measure the value and weight of our faith, but we need not. We only need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12: 2). As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the Father all things, do, seem possible. If we measure the size of our faith, it always seems wanting. Our faith never looks large enough to measure up to the task. Yahweh, however, is large enough to believe in. Focusing our attention on Him brings us to a place of agreement with Him. Abraham believed that God was not a liar and would do all He promised. So, we don’t focus on the facts or the littleness of our faith but rather on the majesty of the God who promised.

Last, Paul recognized a key behavior of God’s. Namely, that God calls into being that which did not previously exist. Hence, we are back to the power of words. The simplest expression of this principle is, you shall have what you say. Because we are made in God’s image and live according to His authority, we operate in this earth as He does. The power of intentional speech is beyond what we currently understand. It is how God created the universe. Unfortunately, the influence of unintentional speech is impactful too, which is why Jesus warned us about careless words (Matthew 12: 36).

We have been given authority in the earth to call things into being as our Father does. This is one of the key things Yahweh is teaching us. What we say matters, but more than that, when we appreciate the link between speech and creation, we will use our words as a painter uses her brush. The creative power of the universe is in our mouths. We can call into being that which does not exist, and the truth is that we are affecting our health daily with the things we say. So, we must use this power, this power of God, to call health into being where it does not exist.

There is a reason Jesus taught us to “say” something to the mountain. He understands creative power and he knows that reality is shaped by what we say. That is also why he said nothing when he was being tortured and questioned. He knew he would shape destiny with his words. He had to keep silent. Likewise, we shape our destiny. We can call those things which currently do not exist into being.

Set your eyes on the promises of God and on He who promised. Gaze upon His majesty and allow yourself to grow in faith and belief as you marshal your tongue into agreement with all He says. Call yourself the healed. Call yourself strong. Be the healed and the strong of Yahweh.


2 Kings 20: 5

Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you.”

The sweet Lord brought this verse to my attention last year. It is the one I am currently standing on. I have made a screensaver out of it and have posted it at my desk so that I am reminded of His promise. This is the promise I needed, “I will heal you.” God said it. I didn’t make Him. I couldn’t. So, this promise wasn’t forced out of Him. He offered and that is important to me.

Of course, this is true of every one of these healing verses. God is love. He pours His love out upon us. That pure, pristine, beautiful love that is so reminiscent of a beautiful mountain spring has healing in it. It must because in Him is life. We can immerse ourselves in this fountain of health, allowing it to wash over us. Right this moment I can see myself lying on my back in a mountain stream. The water is cool, and I feel it massaging my body as it rushes by. As I open my eyes, I see a canopy of green above me as God’s beautiful trees reach out their branches to make a shade covering for me. Yet, streams of light filter through as if God’s smile cannot be withheld from me. I open my mouth and let some water in and drink it down hungrily. It refreshes and restores. I can feel the coolness going down my throat and through my chest. It feels like it spreads through all my veins taking that fresh revitalization to every cell of my body.

What do you feel when you hear God say, “Behold, I will heal you?” What emotion is foremost? Do you believe Him? Sometimes it is hard to believe Him. Sure, our minds agree and buy in, but in our spirts there dwells, still, the trembling fear and doubt. You want to reach down inside yourself and make your heart believe what your mind accepts but it isn’t that easy. How do you quell the fear that threatens to rip all your faith from you? You must take up your weapons. What are they? Your Bible, of course. Paul called it preparation in the gospel of peace. Peace, huh? Interesting. There was something about that in yesterday’s Word of the Day. I call it, putting on your Gospel Boots. Paul also said we have the weapons of salvation, faith, truth, righteousness and the Word is the sword. Let me add three more tools for your toolbelt.

First, conversation with the Lord. It cannot be beaten. It is so, so, very important that we all learn to have serious, sincere conversations with our Father. Second, visualization. You can do much with a visual bearing and it will aid you greatly. See yourself sitting with Jesus or with the Father. See yourself enjoying your healing. Watch yourself run, jump or even just stand up without creaking. Third, mediation. Ohhhh, don’t forget this one. My favorite meditations are ruminating on verses. I just think about each word and the situation in which they arose. What if God had used a different word? Why didn’t He? What did He want me to get out of this verse? What was going on in the author’s life? Answers come much more easily when you ask the right questions, so ask yourself some questions. How does this verse make you feel? Do others make more sense? Which other verse does this one remind you of? Just slow down and think about the verse, letting the fullness of its meaning sink in. Let today’s verse sink in. You’ve got a promise. What will you do with it?

Promises, Promises

1 Kings 8:56

Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.

Not one word of God’s promise has failed. Those are important words. Do you remember last Tuesday’s Word of the Day? It was titled Promised Health. Truly, every verse since we began this series is a promise from God. Of course that is important because we arrive at this verse which says that not one word of His promises has ever failed. See also that His promises are of good. Our God is a good God and makes good promises to His kids. There is another element, though, that I don’t want us to miss.

Look at the beginning. Yahweh, our Lord, God and Father, gives rest to His people. We are not to be a restless people emotionally or physically. Do you hear that in here? He gives us peace and comfort in our hearts and minds so that we are not in despair. Emotionally we can, and should, be peaceful and calm. Our God gives us peace of mind. This is an element of our health and of critical importance. You cannot be healthy, physically, if you are not at peace. Anxiety, anger, and angst create stress in the body which causes malady. We cannot live in distress and be physically healthy. It just does not work that way. So, this emotional rest the Lord gives us creates physical wellbeing.

Second, He gives us physical rest. If you are not resting well, then you need to speak with Father about it because you have an absolute promise and not one word of His good promise has failed. Expect to sleep and rest. Pray this verse over yourself when you go to bed. Rest well and enjoy all the promises of the Lord.


Ephesians 3: 6      NLT

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.

The third chapter of Ephesians is one of the hardest chapters in the Bible to read. Why? Because it is so rich that first, you can’t read a full sentence before you are stopped by the awe of what you just read so you keep re-reading the same sentence. Second, because there is so much to highlight or scribble notes about, you cannot read it easily from the comfort of a chair or couch. Truthfully, you need to go back and read it again in a new Bible or a different translation because your everyday Bible probably has so many notations and highlights that it is almost difficult to read it with fresh eyes. That is what I am doing. I am reading from a Bible a friend of mine loaned me and I am very much enjoying the new and fresh revelation I am receiving. Today’s verse is taken from that Bible, the New Living Translation. Reading Ephesians 3 today from a version other than my normal New American Standard jogged a few cobwebs loose. I am only going to pick up on one little idea from the passage. It is almost an afterthought rather than the main topic of the verse, but intriguing none the less.

I was taken by the words “the promise of blessings.” This passage was written by Paul who was a Jew among Jews. He had the very best rabbinical teaching available and was steeped in the law. For him to write that God revealed to him His hidden plan is not so much a surprise, but that the plan was to incorporate Gentiles into the family of God was a radical idea. So, it is funny to me that God’s secret plan was the inclusion of non-Jews and that a well-trained Jew was given this revelation. Still, that is not what grabbed my attention today. What struck me is the Jewishness with which Paul wrote this verse.

Modern Christians think of the inclusion of Gentiles in terms of salvation. Yea salvation! That’s great news. It is, however, only part of the good news and Paul knew it. If you notice, he did not write that both Jews and Gentiles enjoy salvation together. He said we all join in the blessings of the Christ. See, Paul understood Deuteronomy. Many Christians don’t even read it, but it is a GREAT book full of the promise and the blessing. That is exactly what Paul was thinking about when he wrote this passage. He didn’t think of the “Great Plan” as merely a golden ticket for the heaven train. He understood that we now stand in the same blessing as the Jews. That means day in and day out here on earth we can, and should, see the blessing of God working for our benefit. We should be living in the blessing every day and in everything we do. We are inheritors of the promise of blessings. Let that one sink in. While Christians mostly think about being the beneficiaries of salvation, Jews know that God is a here and now advocate and friend. They understand that the blessing is supposed to touch all of life.

Some people are going to wait until their physical bodies die to begin to live in the grace and blessing of God because they don’t know any better. I’ve got news, you are now Jewish, and you have inherited all of the promises of the Old Testament. You are entitled to that land flowing with milk and honey and that was not a after-life dream. The Israelites crossed the river and walked in the land and now you can too.

What do you want? Maybe you want salvation for a wayward child. Maybe you want a new goal and new mission for your life. Dig deep and ask yourself what you truly want. Maybe you want to know Jesus better and better each day so that he becomes as real to you as any living person. You can have all this and more. You have the promise of God’s blessings. Now, what will you do with that promise?

God’s Protection

Psalm 91: 1

One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty.

This psalm is the most often quoted passage regarding God’s protection, but there is something we need to understand about this protection as I find Christians are woefully mistaken about what it is and how to live in it.

This first verse tells us exactly how to live in God’s protection. It says we will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. To lodge in God’s shadow means we live where we are hidden from trouble. However, this is not automatic. You don’t just say the sinner’s prayer and then the shadow of God follows you around protecting you from harm. No. This is a Christian lifestyle. You have to live in this and that means you make a choice to live in His shadow. To see this more clearly, you have to read the first phrase of the verse. That is where you see that this is purely elective.

Those who choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High will be hidden in the power of the Almighty. Notice that the psalmist used names for God which reflect His awesome power. We are talking about power in this psalm. If we wish to fall under God’s awesome protective power, then we must choose to dwell in His shelter. What does that mean? We are talking lifestyle here. Where you dwell has everything to do with the lifestyle you choose. Do you live in the country, or do you live in the city? You have made a choice about where your home is. The same is true here. We must abide in the shelter of His Word, His teachings, and His guidance.

During the 911 crisis, there were stories about people who diverted from the towers that day. They had a funny feeling, heard God in their hearts, etc. They followed His guidance and didn’t go to their office. The point is that God leads us out of the path of danger. He constantly speaks giving us advice, counsel and wisdom.

Now, suppose you were one of those people headed to the twin towers that fateful day. In your heart you hear God speak, “Don’t go to that building. Turn around right now.” But you are a person of faith, right? So instead of heeding God’s advice and warning, you march on, in faith, to the twin towers. You say, “I have faith! God will protect me.” Please understand me beloved, as I say this with all the love of Christ in my heart. That is not faith. There is a word in the Bible for it, though. It is called foolishness. Faith is following God. Faith is the assurance that what God tells you is truth. If you went to the towers that day, you would be as dead as the worst heathen there. You have not availed yourself of the wisdom of God and are not abiding in the shelter of His protection.

Faith is not making a decision and expecting God to back it. Faith is only found in following Him. This psalm clearly speaks about our protection, but you cannot get past the first verse. The psalm and the protection promises only apply to those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High. We have to get out of our heads and submit to His wisdom, counsel and advice. Only those who will give their will over to God’s guidance will be under the umbrella of His protection.

Understand this clearly. God’s protection is for each one of us. Further, God gave us His Word so that we would understand how to avail ourselves of this gift. But be clear, the umbrella is there. It is your choice whether to stand under it or not. Do not blame God when you go your own way and fall into grief. If we step out of His protective measures, we may get hurt but that is our own fault. Not His. He has provided. It is up to us whether we will follow our “wisdom” and argue our positions or whether we follow the Father. Faith is not believing God will back our play. It is having the full assurance in our hearts that what He says, He is able to bring to pass. It is the complete confidence that if we listen to Him, He will guide us to safety and keep us forever in the shadow of His might. Let this be a revelation today.

It Ain’t Over Yet!

Genesis 37: 5

Then Joseph had a dream.

When God gives you a dream, you have to hold on to it with both fists. In truth, when God speaks to us, or shows us a dream or a vision, we expect to see it begin to unfold immediately. Why does he give us a vision of our future or a promise of prosperity and a good life without immediately putting the plan into action? I think the answer goes back to Jeremiah 29: 11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

The emphasis should be placed on the word, “hope.” Joseph had several dreams in which God communicated Joseph’s purpose. He saw himself being elevated above his brothers and even above his father. The dreams were clear and they encouraged and excited Joseph. You have had one of those dreams too, or a word from God. The very next thing that seems to happen is that you are flung down into a pit.

You know the story of Joseph. From the pit he went into slavery. However, the blessing was on him and he prospered his master. Although he found favor with his master, the next thing Joseph knows, he is in prison. From the pit, to slavery, to prison Joseph must have been wondering about the great promises from God. “Did God lie to me? Was He wrong? Have I done something wrong and frustrated the purpose of God in my life?” These are all the same questions we have asked when the vision from God looks nothing like our life.

The story of Joseph is good reading, but it is not in the Bible just to make a good Bible story. It is there to encourage us when our lives are in the pits. I am sure Joseph had his moments of doubt, but he hung onto the promise of God and believed despite his circumstances.

The facts don’t count. When we are in bondage, bowed down with the weight of life, we need to hold fast to the dream God has given us. There may be days of doubt, but we need to remind ourselves that God is not a man that He can lie. He will deliver us to the promised land. When you are feeling like life is the pits, and you wonder where God has gotten off to, remember Joseph. God fulfilled every dream and saved the nation of Israel through Joseph. He became the second most powerful man in Egypt behind Pharaoh. Not bad for a slave boy.

Don’t give up! The story isn’t over yet!