Who is on the throne of your life? Is it God or is it mammon?
When the children of Israel set out into the wilderness, God fed them manna from heaven. It was their daily provision. They were instructed to gather the manna in the morning (enough portion for their families for that day). If they gathered more than the what they needed for that day, the leftover portion turned into worms! This was God’s way of “training” the Israelites to depend on Him daily for their provision. Matthew 6 says that we should take no thought for our life, but seek God’s Kingdom first and the way that He does things, and everything that we need (food, clothing, shelter) will be given to us. God will supply all of our needs because He is our heavenly Father and He takes good care of His children.
God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever
God still wants us to trust Him daily for our sustenance. When we give over the reign of our lives to Him, He fulfills our needs (and desires) as only He can.
Trust God. You are favored!
Scripture Readings: Exodus 16:2-20; Matthew 6:24-34; Philippians 4:19
I wondered for a long time about that word mammon. Why didn’t Jesus just say money?
According to Strong’s, the term mammon means “the treasure a person trusts in”. How does one know if they are truly putting their trust in God the Father and not the “god of this world”. Who forgets their wallet and says, “its cool Jehovah-Jireh will foot the bill”. I mean that sounds real nice and all, but is it possible. Well, it depends on who you’re asking, but the focal point here is that we as believers are suppose to be believe that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
This is why the Lord says that it is impossible to please Him without faith. There are a number of things that we can put our faith in to supply our needs, but what we really need is a faith that says “Lord, I need you to do what I cannot do for myself, because You alone have the power to do for me what money cannot do.” We have to remind ourselves that no matter how hard we work, or how smart we invest, it is Him who empowers us with the mind and the strength to do theses things, and the moment that we think that we are doing it, the spirit of mammon is seeking to take control.
Mammon was the name of a Syrian god, “a god of riches”, and so when Jesus spoke about mammon, He was talking about a concept goes a bit beyond the concept of money because the implication is that if we put our trust in money, in the place of God to solve our problems, fulfill our desires, and meet our needs, then we are serving the god of mammon. And no one can serve both God and mammon. We must cling to the One and despise the other.
The spirit of mammon seeks to usurp the authority of God in our lives and sit on the throne instead. But the Lord says seek Him first, and we will have what we need (whatever that need may be). That is a lesson that the Lord sought to teach the Israelites as they journeyed through the wilderness.
Obedience Is the Key to Abundant Living
Those Israelites were not hearing it. They had rather go back to slavery then to press forward into the things of God to receive the promise. It is a journey indeed. But we must remember that we only have to take it one day at a time, and He will show us the way.
When we seek to honor the Lord in everything, including our finances, He promises to increase us (us and our children), so that we don’t have to serve this world’s system that runs counter-clockwise to God’s Kingdom. How do we go from this world’s system to that abundant life that Jesus spoke of? Financial stewardship. Being a good steward with what we have, because if we can not be trusted with what God has entrusted us with, we will not be trusted with true riches.
Without A Vision, We Are Like A Ship Without A Sail
Are you a visionary? Merriam-webster states that a visionary is someone with a strong vision of the future. How does one obtain a strong vision for the future? While some are prophetic, I believe that anyone who professes Jesus as Lord has the ability to procure a vision for their lives.
The Lord speaking to His people has given us a clear directive: That He has a plan for our future. He also has the power to bring it to pass. This is great news if you are one who seems that you are going in circles. God’s Word is a sure foundation that gives us direction when we seek Him for it.
Merriam-Webster also states that the idea of a visionary is characterized by having an idealism that is not rooted in reality. You know, that’s the thing about being a visionary. It may seem as if the things that you believe and see are located in la-la land, and no one really believe that these things can come to pass except you. But that’s okay, because you are in good company.
Let’s take a look at Abraham. God told him to:
This, He said to a man who did not even have a child. But the next verse says that “Abram departed.” Abraham uprooted his family and followed the voice of God because he possessed three things that all visionaries need to succeed.
Three things you need to execute the vision:
FAITH – Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
BELIEF – We must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
PERSEVERANCE – Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
When we started our missionary journey in the early 2000’s, we were equipped for the journey because the Lord had prepared us for it. Now during that preparation period, we were not aware of what He was up to. All we knew was that we were going through Hell. This is key because going through the wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions, is a part of what it means to possess your God given inheritance. The vision is inherent in the inheritance of the Lord. But it was our faith, our belief and determining to persevere in our mission that allowed us to continue the journey with nothing more than our faith in God’s Word.
I am convinced that it was the vision that us going. God’s vision that He had given my husband and revealed to me. Actually, I located us in the scriptures. One way to receive God’s plan for your life, is to locate yourself in His Word. And yet another way may be to find the “secret place,” and still yourself and ask Him what is His will for your life (Habakkuk 2:1-3). God may reveal His will in a dream, through a person, or a set of circumstances. It is not a secret. He wants you to know what it is, but it is up to you to want know what it is and be willing to carry it out (Isaiah 1:10).
You see, it was the Israelites unwillingness to have faith and believe in God’s promise to bring them into a place of purpose. He had given them a mission. It was to pass through their wilderness season and come out on the other side and into their land of promise to fulfill the vision that He had given to Moses.
But instead, they continued to go around the same mountain for forty years! Until they eventually died in the wilderness. Do you ever feel like you’ve been in this place before? Does it feel like you’re going in circles? Do you want to exit your wilderness experience?
A purpose-driven life is a life of surrender. Whatever God says about a thing, that is what we should be basing our lives upon. In our flesh, we don’t know what is right. We can not go about establishing our own righteousness, and expect to walk with God:
The Bible admonishes us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to be sober, vigilant knowing what the will of the Lord is. Amen? Knowing what the will of the Lord is, is your mission, your vision, your purpose. How does one know what the Lord’s will is? God’s Word is His Will.
How to stop going in cycles? Make a daily plan to spend time with God through prayer. Endeavor to listen for His voice as you awake and talk to Him. Try reading the Bible on your knees; praise and worship, prayer affirmations (using the Word of God as a prayer/confession i.e. by the stripes of Jesus I am healed!), prayer walks, fasting, audio bible, listening to anointed sermons, listening to music and the like. These spiritual activities help to bring us into His presence and receive His wisdom, thus His will.
Let’s Pray: Father in the name of Jesus, I come to you O God asking You to create in me a clean heart and to renew a right Spirit within me. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness and help me to live by faith and not by sight. Help me not to despise small beginnings, but to know what Your will is concerning me so that I may live a life that is pleasing, rooted and grounded, and fruitful unto You. I love You Lord. Thank You for loving me first. Amen.
There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.
He’s alive. We’re alive. And we have another opportunity to connect with God’s mission, vision and purpose for our lives. Well, that’s three good reasons right there, but today I want to share three powerful principles from the Bible that are guaranteed to help you exceed whatever you experienced in 2020. Following are three reasons why 2021 can be an amazing year for you.
Because You Say It Will Be
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit of thereof.
Notice what the scripture does not say. It does not say that life and death are in the power of God, or the devil, or any other entity. It says that life and death are in our mouths. Selah. I am not talking about wishful thinking or trying to will or force your way into a desired result. I am talking about an attitude. An attitude that believe what the word of God says about us. If God says that He has sent His Word out to us and that His Word will accomplish His Will then we should be saying what He has already established for our lives to help bring His will to pass (Isaiah 55:6-11).
While I would classify myself as an optimist, I am so optimistic because I refuse to receive anything less than what God has established for my life. The year 2020 was an epic year for me. I mean, I am still blown away. It is the year that after over a dozen years in the mission field, we moved into a new home; it is the year that I launched my self-publishing business; it is the year that there would be new doors of ministry opportunities. And even though there were some “setbacks” and losses (my husband’s outreach ministry was initially upended, and the children’s mobile baking business pretty much came to a screeching halt), everyone who was employed in our family remained employed. As my mom use to say “God always has a ram in the bush” and all He needs from us is a positive confession that says “Lord, I believe what your word says about me.”
Okay. So what are you going to say over this year? We need an unshakeable faith. A biblical declaration that is undeniable. And a reserve that says “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.
Because You Will Write The Vision
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
God has given you a vision. It is bigger than you. You cannot achieve it without Him. You are on a journey preparing to bring that vision to pass at the time that He has appointed. As we continue on this journey, we are to learn and grow and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. Your vision fuels your inspiration to help you to keep growing and going towards it.
Vision Gives Us Purpose and Value
Writing your vision can be as simple as writing your dreams, desires, goals on a sheet of paper, notebook or journal. Or you can take it up a notch with a vision statement. In the last post, we talked about the benefits of writing a mission statement. A personal mission statement helps to direct us concerning our mission in the present. A personal vision statement helps us to project towards our tomorrow. These statements should reflect our values as children of the Most High God and can also be used as catalysts to unite our families via family mission statements.
A great place to place your mission and vision statements is on a vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of your mission, vision, goals, desires… They contain images and text and serve as a reminder and inspiration to “stay on the wall” (think Nehemiah) and commit to finishing the path that Your Heavenly Father has prepared for you. A vision board should be proactive. It is not something that you do and passively wait for the manifestation. It is a creative force that “speaks” to you and empowers you to “become”…
For example, on my vision board, I have adjectives that describe who I am and who I want to become: faith builder, strategic thinker, sympathetic, perceptive, purpose-driven, an anointed writer, lover of Jesus… My mission statement: “To love the Lord with all my mind, soul and strength, and to follow His purpose and His plan for my life. In doing so, I am operating in His will. I am a blessing to my family and others. Therefore I am blessed! To carry out His plan, I endeavor to study His word and pray intentionally, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly. And to help support the vision that God has ordained for our family. Lord, You are good and Your mercy endures forever. Thank you for empowering me to carry out your will.” I also have a picture of my children and a prayer card underneath it stating what I want to manifest in their lives. Write the vision. Make His vision for you your vision and He is guaranteed to support it, and bring it to pass.
Because You Will Execute The Vision
How do I know that you will execute the vision? The truth is, I don’t know. But He knows. And He told me to tell you that you have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16), you are an overcomer and He has already given you the victory over every circumstance that the enemy has thrown at you thus far. Shout hallelujah! This too shall pass. So, fix your eyes on the future (yesterday is over), and call those things that are not as though they are because they are. They are the promises of God (that have already been created in the spiritual realm, waiting for you to call them forth) that belong to His children and we don’t have to sit timid waiting for someone to dictate our future to us. Give God the praise. You made it through 2020. You broke through the darkness and here you are sitting (in 2021) in His glorious light. You have been forgiven. Therefore forgive. You are loved. Therefore give love. You have been given the gifts and callings of your Heavenly Father and He will bring every dream, every promise, every vision to pass as you move forward in Him for His purpose, for His Glory, for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God.
Say It. See It. Do It.
When we speak what the word of God says, His angels move forward to help us bring His Word to pass in our lives (Psalms 103:17-22). This spiritual truth is so poignant, yet most of us want to ignore it and try doing everything in the natural realm. When you utilize the wisdom of God’s time-tested principles you began to see the outcome of what occurs when you achieve victory over darkness in the realm of the Spirit. God’s timing is perfect. We don’t want to get ahead of Him neither do we want to lag behind Him. So when we declare that we are healed, or our children are saved, or our bills are paid-in-full, we are speaking from a place of knowledge of His word or experience. Either way His track record is impeccable. So to recap how to we put these spiritual principles into practice we:
Say It – “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth” (Proverbs 6:2). Are you declaring what kind of year will it be or are you waiting for someone else to tell what kind of year it will be and are you agreeing with that? Declare: “2021 Will Be An Amazing Year For me and my Family”! To God be the Glory! Amen (So Be It)!
See It – Seeing it means that you release your faith to believe that you receive what God (and you) has said (Mark 11:23). Not, “‘ll believe when I see it”.
Do It – You can start your journey towards an amazing utilizing the resources above: making daily affirmations, creating mission and vision statements, and following a daily Bible reading plan to help you Change your Mindset. Discover Your Mission. Manifest Your Destiny…in Him.
Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
Tip: For those of you who want to take your mission/vision to the next level to help facilitate your amazing year, the Daniel Fast is an incredible opportunity to experience a mental, physical, financial, or spiritual breakthrough.
On A Practical Note
There are several ways that you can get started with learning new skills that aligns with your mission, vision, and purpose, or perhaps you’ll discover talents that you didn’t even know that you possessed. You can learn a new skill in many different formats:
Attend a Workshop/Seminar
Read Books on a Subject of Interest (Your local library is a cost-effective way to learn a new skill)
Skills of interest can include Video, Photography, Programming, Business, Marketing, Art, Design, Jewelry making, Knitting & Sewing, Writing, Podcasting, Coaching… One of my favorites sites to recommend for personal and professional growth on a practical level is 16personalities.com. Take the assessment test here.
I tell my children “you are the captain of your ship. What you are saying is what you are getting”. You know, this forces them to learn how to have a more positive confession and work towards a positive goal. It is a process. But the more you put it into practice, the more you recognize what occurs when you lack consistency. It is your mission, your vision and your purpose; and you have the power in your mouth to declare and decree a thing.
God spoke the world into existence (“God said”). He has bestowed unto us that same creative power to use our words to speak life to our life or to speak death to our life (Psalms 18:21). Will you declare that you will have an amazing year (therefore opening yourself to the possibilities of your decision to say what God’s Word says about you, or are you in agreement with the naysayers (who will also have what they are saying)? Which one will you choose? And, remember, to not make a choice is to make choice, because it takes discipline to get into agreement with God.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
In the midst of chaotic times, God’s Word has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. When we read the Book of Psalms, we can see that even though the psalmnists went through perilous times, in the end they always gave praise to God because He had given them the victory.
Because Emmanuel Lives, I Expect Victory Everytime.
Grace and Peace to you. And here’s to an amazing year. Amen!
The most important thing for me is having a relationship with God. To know that the owner, the creator of the universe loves you, sent His Son to die for your sins; that’s very empowering. Knowing Him and knowing that He loves me gives me encouragement and confidence to move forward.
MAKE THAT CHANGE
“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.” Joshua 1:8 AMP
The key to having good success is to know what to focus on. Once you know your focus your next step is to create a step-by-step plan that will lead you to the place where you want to go. I pray that these three admonitions will inspire you change your outlook in the upcoming year.
CREATE A MISSION STATEMENT.
Start your mission statement with a statement of your faith. What it is that you believe and why. Then base the rest of your mission statement on that belief. What is it that you want to accomplish? What can you do improve upon that mission? When should you start? Who or what can hold you accountable? How long should it take you to complete your mission statement? That depends on how comprehensive you want it to be. Here are some resources to help you on your journey: Personal/family mission statement, lifehack.org, 16personalities.com.
FIND A MENTOR
Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
I SAMUEL 2:30
Does your life honor God? Do the people you follow life honor Him? God wants us to do things for His glory. The things of men are “lightly esteemed” by Him. However, they are highly esteemed by people of the world. God is not impressed with the traditions and philosophies of men and neither should we be impressed by them. It does us no good to honor God with our lips when our hearts are far from Him (Isaiah 29:13). We will be held accountable for our deeds done in these bodies and we alone will be judged based upon what we did with what God has given us to steward. So if the people that you have been following have led you into a ditch, you need to find some new influencers that will help you to achieve the mission that you have stated above. Make your statement of faith. Let people know where you stand. (Deuteronomy 30:19,Numbers 16). Change your inner circle of influence so that you will be encouraged in the way of righteousness because walking in deception will not be an excuse in the day of judgment.
BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE ELSE
God has gifted you with gifts and callings. If you do not yet know what those are, then stay focused on the the first and second steps and do what you can. We all can pray. We all can give whether it’s of our time, finances or some other resource. And yet we were all created to give God glory through our natural abilities. This, to me is the highest form of living. Giving. When our family was out in the mission field, it was hard. It was epic! We had to use our faith to survive. And let me tell you. God never failed. He won’t fail you either. If He has put something in your heart to do, He has already equipped you to do it. Yes, it is scary. But God did not give you a spirit of fear (that’s from the other side). When you take that leap of faith, everything changes. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET. DISCOVER YOUR MISSION. MANIFEST YOUR DESTINY.
And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind.
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
2020: The Year of Clear Vision. Not! For many, what could be shaken was shaken and worse. The events that life has brought has caused us to feel out of control…I tell you what, I don’t have a lot of time to develop this post, so the Lord gave me the idea to let this verse of song speak for me:
As soon as I stopped worrying Worrying how the story ends When I let go and I let God Let God have His way That's when things started happening When I stopped looking at back then When I let go and I let God Let God have His way I couldn't seem to fall asleep There was so much on my mind I was searching for that peace But the peace I could not find So then I kneeled down to pray I was praying 'help me please' Then He said 'you don't have to cry' 'Cause I'll supply all your needs As soon as I stopped worrying Worrying how the story ends When I let go and I let God Let God have His way That's when things started happening When I stopped looking at back then When I let go and I let God Let God have His way Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go (Where's The Walls? Y'all help me right here) Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, let God Let go, you gotta let God Oh my brother, you gotta let go, and let God You can't handle it on your own, you gotta let go And let God, oh let God You gotta let go, and let God Oh my sister, let go, and let God Whether there's that bad job you don't like Or it's that boy that won't act right Oh, you gotta let go, and let God Oh, let go, you gotta let God Oh, let go, and let God You gotta believe Him, you gotta believe Him Oh believe Him, oh believe Him Because He cares and He loves you And He wants to see you win, and He wants to see you win You gotta let go, oooh Oooh, let God You gotta let go, and let God Let go, and let God Take your hands off of it, and let God You gotta let go, and let God You can't handle it, you gotta let God Take your hands off of it, and let God be God 'Cause you tried it already on your own And you couldn't make it, but God He can handle it, your ugliest things He can handle it, your ugliest things Let go, and let God Let go As soon as I stopped worrying Worrying how the story ends When I let go and I let God (You can have Your way in my life) Let God have His way (I'll lay it all down for You, Jesus) That's when things started happening (And I'll give You every part of me) When I stopped looking at back then (I let go) When I let go and I let God (Let Him have His way) I let God have His way.
Let Go by PJ Morgan
We Have Work To Do
God's people have got to lay down our issues at His feet and leave them there because we are not equipped to handle them. What we need to do instead is find out what He has equipped us to do and get about doing it. Focusing on our own problems is not going to help us.
The enemy is raging and we are not in the churches, congregating, giving praise unto God and praying. Let me just say, that we don't need to be "in the building" to do these things. It is imperative in this hour that we praise God: render thanksgiving to Him-enter into His courts with thanksgiving and His courts with praise and bless His Holy Name because now like never before in your life-time, we need to pray against the evil that is coming against us in this country.
Pray. Pray that the gates of hell will not prevail against us in this place. Everything else that is going on around you is a distraction to keep you from focusing on the issue at hand. We as believers have a responsibility to raise our voices in prayer (and whatever else the Lord is speaking to you to do), and reverse the curse that is trying to invade our lives in this incredible moment of our national history.
What will your stance be? 2020 has been an upheaval for many, but you have an opportunity to rewrite your story if you give it all up to Him who has power to flip the script. Such the paradox isn't it? In order to get control, you have to give up control, take the reins off of God and let Him have His Way.
I must be going, I have much business to take care of at the moment over at silvanawilliamsbooks.com, which will be launching soon. Come on over and visit me, I'd love to have you. I will also be revamping this blog for the new year (better SEO, right-I know I'm working on it, smililing emoji). I have also posted a new prayer on my husband's new site, boldasalionoutreach.wordpress.com.
And remember, you really do have a divine opportunity to rewrite your story. 2020 has been a breakthrough year for me and God is not finished yet. Many of the projects that I have been working on will begin to unfold in the upcoming days and my prayer is that they will be a blessing to many.
Grace and Peace to you!
Bylittle and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
Don’t Die in the Wilderness
When the Lord spoke to the children of Israel about going in to possess their land of inheritance, He told them that He would give it to them “little by little”. He tells them this “so that the land does not become desolate [due to lack of attention] and the [wild] animals of the field do not become too numerous for you”. (Exodus 23:29AMP)
When you look at the parallels of the Israelites “wilderness experience” and walk with Christ today, you find as in the case above, that God has also given us an inheritance. Our spiritual inheritance guarantees us a place with our heavenly Father for all eternity. But He did not stop there: Jesus declared that, “The thief came not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I came that you might have life and that more abundantly”. (John 10:10)
The abundant life that Our Lord and Savior speaks of consists of: health, vitality and peace in our mind and emotions, physical body, relationships, and financial well-being.
But we do not attain all of these things all at once. It is little by little as we get free of demonic oppression passing from generation to generation. (Exodus 20:3-6) When we fail to break free of generational curses, we die in the wilderness, in one form or another.
If you could give a name to obstacles that you have encountered in your lifetime, what would you call them: procrastination, obstacles, closed-doors.
These are all spiritual forces designed to keep you from the intended purpose and plan that your Creator has prepared for you. They come to distract you, blind-side you, keep you in a holding pattern indefinitely by any means necessary.
but the worries and cares of the world [the distractions of this age with its worldly pleasures], and the deceitfulness [and the false security or glamour] of wealth [or fame], and the passionate desires for all the other things creep in and choke out the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Prerequisites For Moving Forward
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
When we are born-again, we turn our efforts from our way of thinking and doing things and turn to God’s way of thinking and doing things. Our focus should be reading His word, asking Him to direct our steps as we pray daily, and doing what He asks us to do in His Word. (James 1:22-24)
When we began to move towards the Lord in doing these things, demonic forces emerge to keep us from moving forward towards these endeavors. So how do we break the power of the enemy to press into destiny? You need to:
Teaching how to build upon these principles is what I seek to accomplish with this blog. It is my passion. As we near the end of the year, I will be blogging (and working on new blogging strategies, smiling emoji) about various aspects of these powerful principles as they relate to our faith, our family, and our finances and our focus.
Resolve today that you are not going back to the bondage (of the Egyptians), that you are not going to die in the wilderness, but that you are moving forward into the place of complete freedom that Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God came to give to us.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest[refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.”
Putting this scripture into context, we find at the beginning of chapter 13 in the Book of Numbers, that Moses had sent twelve spies to go and “spy” out the Promised Land. After surveying the land, ten of the spies came back with a negative report: “Well you know Moses, there are giants in that land and we will certainly not be able to overtake them” (paraphrase). Now, as a result of this report, the rest of the Israelites refused to enter the land that God has promised to give them because of fear of the giants.
There is a song which lyrics says “Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord”! At your core, you have to decide whether you will follow the voice of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or will you listen to the voices of darkness which comes in the form of fear, doubt, unbelief. Whichever voice you decide to believe, determines the outcome of your situation.
Don’t Turn Back Now!
The year of 2020, may have thrown you a curb ball, but that in no way mean that you should throw in the towel, give up and quit. No, on the contrary. You should see this wilderness experience for what it is (an opportunity to progress towards your desired destination), and press in until you get through to the other side of this mountain that is standing in your way.
Upon hearing the negative report of the 10 spies, this is how the Israelites responded:
What you see and may be experiencing in this season of your life does not have to define your life. This is only a season that is actuality designed to make you better, stronger, more committed to the things of God. It is your responsibility to press in, to learn and understand what will be the outcome of this experience that has come to help you:
Break the cycle of “stinking thinking”; the murmuring and complaining
Learn how to distinguish God’s voice from other voices and obey Him
Learn how to extinguish the “wilderness mentality” that causes you to limit yourself and more importantly limit the God that is in you, and come correct with the right response.
What is the right response? The right response is to declare the Word of God (at all times) in response to anything negative (that is contrary to His Word); declare the Word like Jesus did when He was in the wilderness and was being tempted by the enemy. And you will slay any giant that is coming against you.
If you do this, you will not be tempted to go back to that place where you operated in dysfunction (slavery), but you can move forward and dictate to your circumstances how your 2020 will end as you determine to reach out and beyond what you can see (mediocrity) and reach forward to what you can become (destiny). Change Your mindset. Discover Your Mission. Manifest Your Destiny.
Don’t Run From Your Giants. Face Them. Giants Do Fall!
2020 has not taken God by surprise. You do realize that don’t you? Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to hold on to the past, yeah? or use your past to catapult yourself into your glorious future. Use what seems to be determined to take you under to take you over. Write a book (self-publish your book and let God lead through the process using this site as a guide-it’s a powerful self-liberating experience!), teach a class, start a blog. Every one has a story. Start telling yours in a way that resonates with you: through a podcast, a video presentation, where ever your imagination takes you and plant a seed of hope in someone else’s life.
Face your fears. Face your giants. Stretch beyond what you have been able to see up until this point. The Lord has already prepared the way. He is now telling you to go spy out the land that He has prepared for you. You have already seen what He is able to do. He has a good tract record. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by not doing what God has gifted and called you to do.
Take this time to refuel, refresh, revitalize
Set some goals (3 is a good start)
Start a daily routine that will help you reach those goals
Be determined to pay the price. You are a giant killer. Go slay your giants. Like David, you have killed your lion, you have killed your bear (sure you have, think about it), your God is with you, now go slay that giant because giants do fall!
We are making our way through this “wilderness wandering” series where we are using the children of Israel and Jesus’ wilderness experience to help us navigate what may seem like a desolate moment in our lives, can actually be a set up for the breakthrough that we have been endeavoring to achieve .
In today’s post, we are discussing what are some of the principles that we are to learn as we journey through this uncomfortable situation, difficult problem, time of instability. Let’s dive in:
So, here God lays out the reasons for this journey:
God’s goal here is to educate His people about what His word has commanded us to do, so that we will be refined through His word and receive the promise:
Has God given you a Promise?
In the above passage, God has given the children of Israel a promise. He goes on to give them a word picture of what He has prepared for them upon meeting the conditions that He has established. And then He says, oh by the way, do not forget Who it was that brought you through that desolated place that you were in. He is the One who is keeping us, leading us and if we will allow Him to teach us through His word, He will lead us out of our wilderness experiences into a prepared place.
But before we get to that place, we must be prepared. So what is God asking you to do in this hour? Are you doing it? One characteristic of the wilderness is the fact that it is void of so many distractions. So this season would be a great opportunity to get into the routine of scheduling time with God, so that you can hear what He is saying to you in regards to His plan for you once you exit this wilderness.
The Wilderness – Designed to Anoint You For Your Next Assignment
When Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness, He was tested and tried in the fire (I Peter 4:12-13,) and He came forth into the ministry. There are times when our wilderness experience has been designed to birth an assignment/ministry that the Lord has given to us. Such was the case with Jesus. For it was after His wilderness experience, that Jesus was anointed for the ministry.
Satan tested Him 3 times with the temptations wherein men are tested: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (John 2:16). Jesus was under great duress because He had been fasting for forty days, but notice what He said to Satan that caused him to leave Him alone. This my friend, is the same thing that we must do in order to defeat our spiritual enemies:
Did you notice how Jesus handled Satan when He tempted (“attacked”) Him? He quoted scriptures! That is a highly effective skill to employ because the scriptures teaches us that we have power by the words that we speak (Proverbs 18:21,). And the good news is that we can do the same thing that Jesus did, and no doubt there are some of you who “confess” the anointed word of God (which is like submitting yourself to God), and experience the results of watching the enemy flee from you. This is called spiritual warfare and it is highly effective arsenal that the Lord has equipped us with so that we are not at the mercy of Satan when he starts throwing his fiery darts at us. However, we must learn how to put on the whole armor of God, a subject we will be discussing in later posts.
Learning spiritual warfare is a skill that you learn in the wilderness. So, the next time you are feeling the heat, use one of your pieces of armor (the sword of the Spirit), and swing it against your enemy by declaring what is written: If he hits you with sickness, declare “by the stripes of Jesus, I am healed” (Isaiah 53:5). When you feel hell’s hounds hot on your trail, don’t run, turn around and declare: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17)
If God be for you, He is more than the world against you (Romans 8:31). It was this lack of faith in God’s ability to bring them into their inheritance that caused that generation of Israelites to cease from entering into their land of promise. They feared the “giants in the land” and that fear of the giants (rather than having faith in their God) caused them to die in the wilderness. For you it may be the death of your dream, an obstacle to a problem that needs to be solved, or breaking through to that next level. That in fact, will be the subject of the next post: Don’t run from your giants, face them. Giants do fall!
At various seasons in our lives we will be led into a wilderness experience. How we respond will determine the length of time that we remain in the wilderness and the type of results that we receive.
There are many reasons for which we will be led into a wilderness experience. In this series, we will be discussing a number of those reasons. While the reasons that we experience wilderness seasons in our lives will vary, the end result should be the same: a closer walk with our Lord and Savior, a personal triumph over our enemies, and an empowerment to help upbuild the Kingdom of God.
Our wilderness experiences have been designed for a reason and for a season, but sometimes, we get stuck and we wander in the wilderness, because we lack knowledge, we lose momentum, we get caught up in the cares of this world.
The study of the “wilderness wanderings” of the Hebrew nation is quite fascinating to me. Through my personal experiences, I have discovered that their journey in the wilderness is a blueprint of how to walk with God in various seasons of life. In the wilderness, we are “becoming” who Jehovah has designed for us to be.
As we journey through the wilderness with the Hebrew nation, we discover what to do as well as what not to do; we learn how to walk a walk that is pleasing in His sight. This journey is a journey of faith, because without faith, it is impossible to please Him, right? We learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. It is in the wilderness that we learn how to develop our faith muscles and we learn how to defeat our spiritual enemies.
We will also explore Jesus’ wilderness experience and learn how it teaches us to respond to issues in our lives during crisis situations. Whereas the Hebrew nation’s journey through the wilderness was literal, our journey is one of a spiritual nature.
So, I pray that as we take this journey, that you will learn how to be equipped and how to successfully navigate through your wilderness experiences and that you will come out and into your desired destination, your land of promise, your destiny.
This is God’s call to His children to come out of the world system and trust Him completely for our very sustenance. He wants us to rely on Him for everything that concerns us in our daily living, our relationships, our well being. I learned (I’m still learning), how to walk this walk by “listening” to the instructions that He had given to the Israelites:
And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.
Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.
At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
We can see from this passage that the Hebrew nation had a command to follow the Lord in a precise way: when the cloud moved, they moved. If the cloud did not move, they did not move.
This close proximity to the Lord is that “secret place” that we read about in Psalm 91. When you get the opportunity, it will be well worth your time and effort to not only read, but memorize and declare the entire Psalm over your life daily and reap the benefits of “becoming” as you learn how to be “willing and obedient”. God’s promise to us is that when we are willing and obedient, we shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). That means that we achieve our endeavors in life through His ability to empower us.
It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish That Determines Success
As with most of us who at times start on a journey, the Israelites started well, but as they began to encounter pitfalls along the way, they began to complain, and in doing so, had completely forgotten about the One who had parted the Red Sea for them and brought down the biggest, baddest army anywhere for their sakes.
What should have taken them a few days to complete their journey from the wilderness into their land of promise would instead take forty years, due to their lack of unbelief. As we take a closer look at the Israelites journey, we will discover that unbelief will cause us to wander in the wilderness…indefinitely.
The Wilderness – A Place of Transition
The wilderness is a place of change and transition. It’s where God uproots everything that we know: our comfort zone. He desires to take us to a new place in Him:
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
This change can take place in many different areas of ones life. When God wanted to start the Hebrew nation, He started with a man named Abram. He changed his name to Abraham meaning “father of many nations.” As a result, the direction of Abraham’s life was totally changed, because at that point in his life, he did not have any children! How could he become a father of many nations, if he did not even have an heir?
The name change signified what Abraham would become. While the majority of us may not undergo a changing of our name, we are nevertheless, in a state of becoming. Our wilderness experiences provide the cocoon for us to be transformed into the beautiful creation that God had in mind at the foundation of the world.
It is in this season of transition and change that God does some of His most awesome work in us: in our hearts, in our mind, in our will, in our emotions…because we are in a place where we have nothing familiar to hang onto. It is in fact what the Lord spoke to the Hebrew nation in His explanation to them as to why they had to embark on this tremendous journey:
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
Although the way may be rough, and the going may get tough, we can hold on to His promise that He will make a way for us. He is our Way Maker. And He will sustain us through the pitfalls that we will encounter on our way to our land of promise. He wanted the Israelites and He wants us to remember that it was and is Him:
Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
So, it is imperative that we recognize that although it may be difficult, and it seems as if we are not going to make it, be assured that the Lord has your back and He will see to it that His purpose and His plan prevails.
The wilderness is a place of transition, it is a place where faith in God is built, it is where you find destiny. When you purpose in your heart to “press towards the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus”, you have stepped into purpose. You don’t have to worry whether or not you will make it through this tough season in your life. The Way Maker has already prepared your way. All you have to do is walk in it.
I know that that is easier said, than done, but then that is why we have this “blueprint” to help us know the times and seasons and how to navigate them so that we may live that abundant life (to be blessed and to be a blessing to others) that Jesus said He came to give us. (John 10:10)