Don’t Settle

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 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.

This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:3- 4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Moses has just told the Israelites that it’s time to cross over to the Promised Land but the nation of former slaves isn’t sure that is a good idea. Maybe they have fought and won a few battles but they were not sure that meant they were ready to possess the promised land. They were beginning to think that being a wanderer in the wilderness wasn’t so bad. They were unsure about going forward. They were thinking about settling for the best they had right then instead of pressing forward for the best God had for them in the future.

It’s not like you haven’t won a couple of battles. You have.

You have faced the lies and begun to live in God’s truth. You have stood your ground and fought for freedom.

But maybe today you are tired.

You don’t want to give up or go back, but making camp where you are may seem like a great idea.

My friend, go ahead and rest.

Get your breath back.

Get your vision back.

Remind yourself of God’s vision and get moving.

Don’t settle for good enough, fight for God’s best in every area of your life.

stuck

Bible-verses-about-Freedom_6

“(It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.) In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬

The Israelites had been traveling for 40 years and eleven months on a journey that should have taken 11 days.

They were stuck. God led them into the wilderness but He never intended them to live in the wilderness.

Yes, Jesus has done so much for you and you have come a long way, baby, but don’t get stuck here.

You are not where you were but God is not done with you yet.

He has more for you.

Learning to live a new way is hard but don’t settle for wilderness living when you are called to the promised land in Christ.

Jesus says in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

It doesn’t matter how long you have settled or how long you have been stuck, what matters is that you hear the word of the Lord calling you forward and reminding you that He has more for you.

Your journey does not end here.

Get up and get ready to fight for all God has for you.

Not I

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There is a moment in your walk with God when you realize that possessing the land is going to be hard work.

And then there is a bigger moment when you realize that all your hard work cannot do what only God can do: set people free, love them relentlessly, deliver them consistently, fill them with His Spirit and His Love.

“Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others?

Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much.

It was God giving me the work to do,

God giving me the energy to do it.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG

Yet, not I but the grace of God within me….

It is a sweet moment.
A defining moment.

The moment you realize that the work of God doesn’t depend on you but that you get to join in the work of God by depending on Him more and more.

It isn’t about you. You are a part of a family, a part of the mission, a part of a vision born in heaven and lived on earth.

“So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Love people grace-full-y, speak God’s truth and then let Him do the heavy lifting of changing people’s lives.

Give and Take

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All relationships have to be a give and take in order to be healthy. It has to go two ways or else you are not in a relationship, you are in a fandom. This includes your relationship with God.

Your “give” to God: to journey forward with Him and hold nothing back. Give Him all.

So what is your “take”? Your “take” is to partake of promises, consume them, receive them and walk forward in them.

This taking is not a selfish act, it is trusting one. It is also not a passive act but it is an active and proactive one. The taking is work and faith put into action. It is possessing the land, pursuing the promise and wholeheartedly going after your purpose.

Where is your promised land?
Where you now reside.

The secret of walking in faith is recognizing that your promised land is not somewhere else but right here. It is where you are right now but transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your life transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your marriage transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s intervention.

It is you- transformed by God’s intervention.

Walking in faith, not in the flesh, in grace, not legalism, in love not hate.

Close your eyes. Open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life. With eyes of faith see the promised land laid out before you. Taste the bounty you will cultivate, the joy of habitation. Fall in love with the hope-filled future God has planned for you.

Then with courage and tenacity walk hand in hand with God. Grow forward in faith and take hold of your purpose, one step at a time. Hold nothing back from His loving gaze or hand of grace.

There are unimaginable blessings awaiting those who will walk in the purposes of God, hand-in-hand with Him. You have barely scratched the surface. Now, as it was then, your faith will become sight and you will see with your own eyes the promises of God come to pass.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen”.

Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV

Strength! Courage!

Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”
Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭1-9‬ MSG

You may be at a crossroads today.

You may be tired and worn out.

Maybe a bit discouraged and overwhelmed.

You know that the task before you is too big for you to do on your own.

God knows this too.

He doesn’t intend for you to do it on your own or by yourself.

He intends for you to move forward with him.

To face the impossible challenge with him.

To take the promised land back from the enemy and learn to live in it with him.

So when you  are at this crossroad wondering if you should keep going forward or if you even have the strength to, hear these words from your Father in heaven:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (‭Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬ NIV)

Should you move forward?

Yes
.

Can you?


Yes
.

Why?


Because you can do all things through him who strengthens you. 


Faith Walk

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.” ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why did the people of Israel weep? 

Because 10 of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the promised land came back saying it was impossible. And the people believed them instead of believing God. 

They mourned as if they were already defeated when in truth, they had not even begun.

Be careful how you use your imagination. You can feed your worst fears or you can feed God’s best hopes for your life.

This nation of former slaves looked at the promised land in fear because it was going to be difficult.

They wanted the promise but only if God was going to make it easy for them.

Stepping into your promised land isn’t going to be easy.

You are going to have to fight for it.

Fight fear, the lies of the enemy, your own ingrown old slave mentality.

Getting there is going to be one step of faith after another.

It will always be a faith walk.

You are going to have to trust God to give you what you will need, when you will need it, to do what He has called you to do.

What daunting task has God put before you?

What impossible thing are you facing?

Who are you putting your faith in- yourself or God?

Wipe your tears, lace up your shoes and start walking toward your promised land.

I will join you. 


Take Possession 

“See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.””
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God keeps His promises.

It may take longer than you expect and look vastly different than you imagine but nonetheless, God keeps His promises.

God said, “See, I have given you this land.” Past Tense. Already yours. Deed signed over.

This is your land. He gave it to the children of Isreal but He didn’t clear it of giants and opposition. He didn’t flatten the mountains or clear the forests.

Talk about a fixer upper.

God didn’t remove the obstacles but He empowered His children to overcome them.

Sometimes we want the Lord to lead us to the promised land like we want to be chosen for “Dream Home” TV Show. We want God to come in, get a vision, tell us to take a vacation for a week and then come back and move into a brand new life.

We want Him to do all the work and give us the keys.

Jesus will lead you to your promised land. He will show it to you and give you a glimpse of what it could be.

He will tell you the truth- that it’s already yours, he paid for it on the cross.

But you are going to have to do the work, fight the battles and clear the land.

He will walk with you, renovate with you, fight with you, clear the land with you.

Jesus will empower you to do what you need to do when you need to do it.

Don’t hold back.
God keeps his promises.

Give and Take 


“I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1 NIV)

This is your give to God: to continually walk with God, to journey forward with Him and hold nothing back. Give Him all.

In order to fully walk in the promises of God, you also must take – you must partake of promises, consume them, receive them and walk forward in them.

This taking is not a selfish act, it is trusting one. It is also not a passive act but it is an active and proactive one. The taking is work and faith put into action. It is possessing the land, pursuing the promise and wholeheartedly going after your purpose.

Where is your promised land?
Where you now reside.

The secret of walking in faith is recognizing that your promised land is not somewhere else but right here. It is where you are right now but transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your life transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your marriage transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your workplace transformed by God intervention.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s intervention.

It is you- transformed by God’s intervention.

Walking in faith, not in the flesh, in grace not legalizism, in love not hate.

Close your eyes. Open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give His vision for your life. With eyes of faith see the promised land laid out before you. Taste the bounty you will cultivate, the joy of habitation. Fall in love with the hope filled future God has planned for you.

Then with courage and tenacity walk hand in hand with God. Grow forward in faith and take hold of your purpose, one step at a time. Hold nothing back from His loving gaze or hand of grace.

There are unimaginable blessings awaiting those who will walk in the purposes of God, hand-in-hand with Him. You have barely scratched the surface. Now, as it was then, faith will become sight and you will see with your own eyes the promises of God come to pass.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”. Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV

Faith Walk 

“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.”
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why did the people weep? It was because 10 of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the promised land came back saying it was impossible. And the people believed them instead of believing God. They mourned as if they were already defeated when in truth, they had not even begun.

Be careful how you use your imagination. You can feed your worst fears or you can feed God’s best hope for your life.  

This nation of former slaves looked at the promised land in fear because it was going to be difficult.

They wanted the promise but only if God was going to make it easy for them.

Stepping into your promised land isn’t going to be easy. You are going to have to fight for it. Fight fear, fight the lies of the enemy, fight your own ingrown old slave mentality. It is going to be one step of faith after another.

It will always be a faith walk. 

You are going to have to trust God to give you what you will need,
when you will need it,
to do what He has called you to do. 

Tree By Tree

  

I was talking to my friend on the phone last week and she shared something that encouraged me so much that I wanted to share it with you (with permission, of course):

“I was looking out my back window into the forest, thinking how beautiful it was.  I was also looking at how dense it was and that I could not see my way through.  It made me think of how often we can not see a way through, but God can.  We don’t even know what is on the other side.  Is there a cliff, an ocean, a valley?

That day on Feb 13th, in Streams in the Desert, the verse was Joshua 17:18.

“The forested hill country will be yours.”  

All I could think about is how?  

It said, “God instructed them (the tribes of Israel) to clear the forest.”

It also stated, “Gain wealth from the terraced slopes that are now hidden by the forests.”

I realized that God was saying to clear the forest it needed to be tree by tree, action by action.  I also loved that by doing this God will bless you with the territory you are discovering.

To gain His will it is tree by tree.

I have been waiting a lot.  So, for me, it meant to take action.  To do!  I can not stay in my camp among the forest waiting while I tend to that.  It is time to knock a few trees down, and as I do, I also realized things will become clearer.  God is going to show me the way.”  – Renee Evans

Maybe you can’t see your way through today and can only see the great forest of discouragement before you.

God is telling us to take hold of His will by taking action and cutting down one tree at a time.

Dealing with one issue at a time.

Reconciling one relationship at a time.

Being obedient to Him one day at a time.

Trusting Him to make a way where you can see no way.

It is time to take back your territory from the enemy tree by tree. To get out of the place you have been camping and begin to take hold of the land God has given you.

Rise up! God has already given you what you need to do it. 

What is the first tree that God is asking you to cut down?