My word for March 2013 – Courage

7 Mar

I got an email this morning from one of the Pastors at my church and I think it’s so fitting to share. Be blessed.

2013: a year of stepping into our inheritance! Many have stood on the border of their promised land for a long time, it’s time to step in, face the giants and take possession of the land. When Christ declared, ‘It is finished,’ it signaled the end of the rule of shame, fear, pride, sin, hopelessness and intimidation. The giants have been disarmed – take the land! For months these words have been pounding in my heart and burning in my mind. Numbers 13,14; 1 Samuel 17 and the book of Joshua record the exploits of Caleb and David the two great giant-slayers of the Bible. In pouring through these texts I have come to see some things that I believe are relevant for us in 2013.

There is no such thing as MY promised land, only OUR promised land. We each have an inheritance in the land but we will not take it alone. It will take the entire community of God’s people rising up to take the land with each person responsible for their inheritance. The Israelites took Canaan together each tribe assisting the other and no one resting until the whole land had been taken. Many people hold up the ideal of a personal dream for their lives that has little to do with the Kingdom of God, assuming that this dream is God’s promised land for them. But a personal dream is only part of God’s promised land and only relevant as it furthers the coming of God’s Kingdom here on earth. There really is no other promised land except that of God bringing His rule and will here on earth. Of course, this is the most glorious hope – the answer to the deepest cry of every heart, which is to know God and to live in the environment of His justice, love, grace, and righteousness. Any personal dream that does not fit into this picture is not actually God’s plan for the person who is dreaming it. Putting away me-dreams to take up a we-dream, can be hard but we can enter the promised land no other way.

Andy Stanley says when planning our goals, “It is always a mistake to decide what you are going to do before you decide who you are going to be.” Jesus said it another way, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” We always end up doing the things that reflect and flow from our internal beliefs and values. A person can behave contrary to their personal beliefs and values for a short time but the effort needed to continue is unsustainable and sooner or later he or she will revert to the old habits. Our personal core beliefs and values must change to those of the great giant-slayers of the Bible who… partnered with God, were wholehearted in their passion and service of the Kingdom, were unashamed of the gospel, were able to face and overcome their fears and persevered until it was done.

Giants look different these days than they did to Caleb and his clan who displaced them to take the high country of Hebron. Today they are mindsets and philosophies that keep people mired in fear, complacency, selfishness, hopelessness and unproductive and destructive activity. God is giving us the tools this year to set people free from these things and to turn multitudes into giant-slayers. Together we will enter the Promised Land and take hold of our inheritance – God’s Kingdom here on earth – a nation transformed through discipleship!


 

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