Take The Land Now, Part 2of3, Pastor Phil Sessa

God is surely a God of provision. Christ took a little boys lunch and fed 5,000. Christ directed Peter to fish for a coin to pay taxes to the government of that day. And God’s ultimate provision is when Christ paid for our transgression in His life’s blood. Israel experienced the provision of God as they wandered in the wilderness for those forty years. There were some specific things that God commanded Israel to do on their way to possess the land.

(Deut. 8:1 – 5)God said, “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.” It is crucial that a follower of Christ takes Him at His Word. If one does not believe God’s Word, one is calling Him a liar, and we know God cannot lie. Israel was commanded to obey the commandments of God. There are professing believers who treat the Bible like Thomas Jefferson, who ripped out every account written of a miracle in the Bible. As believers, we must not pick and choose what commands we will follow, and which we will neglect. One area many neglect is evangelism. Why is that? Perhaps one reason can be found in the following verse. Deuteronomy 8: 2“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Many believers seem to forget what the Lord did to pull them out of their sin when they were converted to Christ. The Lord wants His children to be humble before Him, and this is made manifest in times of testing. How one responds in various situations (tests) reveals what is in one’s heart, and if someone is obedient to the Lord or not. How do you measure up when tested? I have found that there were times in my life that when I was tested, pride rose up in my heart instead of humility. It is always better from one to humble oneself, or God will step in and make sure that He humbles you. Each plague sent hardened Pharaoh’s heart, instead of humbly letting Israel GO! It wasn’t until his son was killed that he released the Israelites, and even then he would chase after them to kill them. After God killed the Egyptian army, and the Israelites were in the desert, they began to complain about their situation in the desert, especially in terms of what they ate in Egypt (even though they were being physically abused in the process), comparing their current food, manna, to the leeks and onions of Egypt. Deuteronomy 8:3, “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord”. Jesus quoted this very verse when tempted of Satan in the desert.

Do you hunger for the Word of God, like Job who said “I esteemed the Words of His mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:12)?” Paul writes of the armor of God in Ephesians 6, and the Word of God is the offensive sword used to attack. The breastplate of righteousness was worn to protect the vital organs (heart and lungs). Do you love the Lord with all your heart; is He the focal point of all your affections? Moses mentioned wrote of the Israelites, Deuteronomy 8:4, “ Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years”. We are to rest in the righteousness of Christ, as His righteousness does not and cannot wear out. Paul writes to believers to have their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We are to stand in the authority of Jesus Christ, and to carry this great gospel to areas and people that are going to Hell. These shoes are unlike any others because with them we can go into the enemy’s territory and preach the gospel that others may walk out of the enemy’s camp in freedom, no longer a prisoner of sin and Satan. The Israelites FEET DID NOT SWELL for forty years, yet many Christians’ feet are swollen with pride, laziness, and disregard for the lost, and prejudice. They are like Jonah whose feet took him in the complete opposite direction to the direction God commended him to go in. His feet were swollen with the things previously mentioned, and God just didn’t let him off the hook (no pun intended). Moses wrote of the Israelites, Deuteronomy 8:5, “ You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you”.

Perhaps if you’re feet are swollen for failing to share your faith, then God is chastening you unto obedience today. Don’t rely on “professional ministers” to do the work, be obedient to the work. “For four hundred years the Christian church had no great preacher by rhetorical standards. The first great preacher was Chrysostom. Yet during those centuries, Christianity conquered the Mediterranean world by the faithful witness of the common believer.” (Warren Wiersbe and Lloyd Perry). While there were no professional missionaries devoting their whole life to this specific work, every congregation was a missionary society, and every Christian believer a missionary, inflamed by the love of Christ to convert his fellow men.… Every Christian told his neighbor, the laborer to his fellow laborer, the slave to his fellow slave, the servant to his master and mistress, the story of his conversion as a mariner tells the story of the rescue from shipwreck (Philip Schaff, about the early days of the post-apostolic church). There is no plan B that Jesus has in place! Consider the following: According to a legend, when Jesus returned to heaven following his death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb, the angels gathered in amazement. They gazed at the wounds in his hands and feet, and shuddered to recall his suffering. Finally Gabriel spoke: “Master, you suffered terribly down there. Do they know and appreciate the extent of your sacrifice.” “No,” said Jesus. “Not yet. Right now only a handful of people in Palestine know.” “Then what have you done to let everyone else know?” asked Gabriel. “I’ve asked Peter, James, and John, and a few others to spread the news. They will tell others who will tell others until the message spreads to the ends of the earth”. ”But Gabriel, knowing the nature of human beings, asked, “What is Plan B?” “I have no Plan B,” replied Christ. “There is no alternative strategy. I’m counting on them.” Twenty centuries later, he still has no other plan. He’s counting on you and me. Romans 10 reads, “14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” You are called to take the land now! Are your feet beautiful or swollen before the sight of a holy God to who you have to give an account of what you did with the glorious Gospel of Christ?, Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Phil the Evangelist <><

If You Have Been Blessed By This Post, Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: