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Entering the Promised Land
By David A. DePra
In Numbers 13 and 14, we have the account of Israel’s refusal to enter the Promised Land. In it, as well as the explanation of it in the book of Hebrews, is contained much teaching as to the pitfalls we face in the Christian life. Not only are we told by the apostle Paul that these events were written as examples for us today, but Hebrews gives us a direct commentary as to what this specific example teaches.
By the time Israel arrived at the Promised Land in Numbers 13, about 18 months, give or take, had passed since their deliverance from Egypt. They had been miraculously delivered from Egypt by the ten plagues, climaxing with the Blood of the Passover Lamb. Then they had seen God open the Red Sea. They had witnesses the destruction of the armies of Egypt through that same event. After that, God gave them His holy law, His ordinances, and the annual Holy Days. He had also given Moses instructions for the tabernacle. During this time, the Levites had been chosen as the priests, and the offerings instituted.
Of course, this time was not without it’s ugly moments. Israel, despite all of the miracles, continually complained against the Lord. Every time they thirsted and hungered, they accused God of forsaking them, and suggested that they were better off back in Egypt. Perhaps the worst offense against God was when Moses was away receiving God’s law. They wearied of waiting for him, and not only made a golden calf, but committed much immorality. Yet despite it all, God was faithful to bring them to the Promised Land.
Preparation of a People
If you examine what happened between the time Israel was delivered from Egypt, and the time they arrived for the first time at the Promised Land, you will see that God had been trying to establish a relationship with them. All the things He was doing during those months – both the experiences and the direct teaching – was really a preparation for their life as His people in the Promised Land.
In this we see an important principle – and one that applies to us. God was not interested in simply saving them from Egypt and giving them a land. Had this been the case, it was only an eleven day trip from Egypt to Promised Land – and there would have been no need to delay the trip with all of this other stuff. God could have simply transported them from Egypt to Promised Land and been done with it. But no. God not only wanted a people who would be in the Promised Land, but more than that, He wanted a people in whom the Promised Land would BE. In short, God always wants our CONDITION – our relationship with Him – to equal our POSITION.
To see the lesson here, we must realize that the Promised Land does NOT correspond to the fact of salvation. No. The Promised Land really represents all that salvation holds for us – it is our inheritance in Jesus Christ. Just as Israel was SAVED by the Blood of the Lamb out of Egypt – once for all – but nevertheless had to be brought over to the Promised Land to begin to experience all that God had for them – just as this was the case with them – so it is with Christians. God saves us once for all by the Blood of the Lamb. But that is only the beginning of our experience with Christ. God wants us to begin to, "enter the land," and to, "take possession of the riches of Jesus Christ." This is clear as a bell from the NT epistles.
If you read the epistles, the question there is almost never the fact of salvation. Indeed, the epistles are written to people already saved. Rather, the question is what Christians are doing AS saved people. The continual exhortation in the NT is to stop being part of what is NOT of Christ, to stop allowing sin and heresy in the church, and to instead grow to KNOW Him. This is always the battle, usually the exhortation, with a few exceptions here and there. The great goal in the NT is that Christians might experience all that God has for us in Jesus Christ, and unto God’s glory.
But is this not an exact correspondence to God’s desire that Israel experience the Promised Land, and drive out the enemies – all that would hinder them FROM fully living in the land that God had given them? Sure. And yet can we see that in order for Israel to live as God’s people IN the Promised Land IN a relationship with God – able to drive out the enemy – that the issue immediately becomes THEM – their spiritual condition; their relationship with God? Absolutely. Again – if all God wanted to do was save us, and give us stuff, and that was it, then there would be no need for a relationship with Him. But Christianity is NOT merely a classification of salvation. Christianity is Christ in us. And God wants us to not only grow to know Christ, but to become living epistles of what it means for Jesus to be Lord. This is impossible without a relationship with God.
Never divorce ANYTHING in the Christian life from a personal relationship with Christ. No. For EVERYTHING we are as Christians, and EVERYTHING God is doing in our lives, is directly related to Christ in us – to God’s desire that we grow to know Him, and become formed together with Christ unto God’s glory. The moment we divorce THINGS and EXPERIENCES from Christ Himself, we create dead religion, and will glorify man.
If you are a Christian, God has taken you up in a purpose for HIS glory, and your benefit. You did not decide what that purpose should be. You didn’t even decide whether to be called to that purpose. All you did was surrender to Christ once God brought the light. And as God moves you forward, those terms remain the same. God is moving, deciding, and taking you somewhere – He is unfolding to you a Promised Land. The choice we have is the same one Israel had: To enter by faith.
Never think that if you are saved, that this guarantees that you cannot miss God’s purpose. You CAN miss it – Israel missed it. Never get the fact of salvation mixed up with the things of salvation. Never get the new birth mixed up with a full inheritance. Part of the reason why Christians don’t understand the Bible is because they DO mix these up. They read passages about how we can lose inheritance, and think that it means we can lose salvation. Or they read passages which clearly show we cannot lose salvation, and think they mean we cannot lose inheritance.
No. You cannot LOSE your salvation. But you can REFUSE salvation – that is, see and refuse Christ, and thus, never be saved to begin with. And even if you are saved, you can lose your inheritance because you won’t believe. If there is one thing the Bible teaches, it is that.
Now, if you DO miss God’s purpose and lose inheritance, it won’t be God’s fault. It will be your fault. It will be because you knew the Truth, and saw what God wanted to do in your life, but would not enter. Perhaps instead of driving out the enemy, you made a treaty with him. Either way, God has an inheritance in Christ for all of His people. It is free. But that’s the problem. We either don’t believe that, or won’t discard that which is necessary to embrace the riches of God in Christ Jesus.
There is a definite correspondence between Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and our salvation in Christ. And this correspondence continues between God’s preparation of them for the Promised Land during those 18 months leading up to Numbers 13, and our initial time as babes in Christ. God takes time to teach us. He prepares us in the wilderness. He doesn’t intend that the wilderness experience last 40 years. For Israel, it could have been only 18 months. But the wilderness time is certain for everyone. It depends upon us as to how long it takes.
Now, of course, this isn’t about an amount of time. It is about a relationship with God. But the point is, from the point we are saved, God begins to unfold Christ to us. In the beginning, it may be like being in a wilderness – we aren’t really experiencing much of Christ – but seem to be in a preparation time. But this isn’t cause for alarm. It is necessary. God is bringing us to where He wants us. Our responsibility is to believe and obey.
The Point of Crisis
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. (Num 13:30-14:4)
The ownership of the Promised Land was NEVER in question. God had given Israel the land when He gave it to Abraham. And if you read Joshua 1, you will find these words:
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. (Josh 1:3-6)
So Israel did not have to do anything to qualify for the land. God was not requiring obedience or merits of any kind before He would give them the land. No. God had already given them the land. Everything God had done from the time of Abraham was predicated upon this certain promise. Indeed, their deliverance from Egypt was unto this end: That they would dwell in the land God had promised.
But this tells us the real issue: Whether Israel believed. God had GIVEN them a land, and promised them they would live in it as His people. But now that they had arrived at the land, and saw enemies living in it, they questioned God. Indeed, they accused Him. What does this teach us as Christians?
I think every Christian must come to the place where they face this exact question. It is the point in our experience when Christianity doesn’t seem real. We have believed God’s promises, and know what the Bible says, but the EXPERIENCE of Christ that we hoped to have – well, that doesn’t seem possible. In fact, no matter what direction we turn, we seem to see enemies where we expected to see Christ. No where is this more the case then when we look at our own spiritual condition.
So many of us came to Christ for the freedom, life, blessings, and Truth that God promises. And make no question, God DOES promise all of those things. Most of us wanted to be set free from OURSELVES – from our sin, our SELF, and all of the ugly things we see in ourselves. But as we have continued in the Christian life, these things haven’t seemed to dissipate. In fact, many of them seem to be worse than ever. It is at this point that we are like Israel – we have believed God and have come this far – but our land is filled with enemies in walled cities. How can this be if we are really a Christian? How can it be if Christ is really in us? In fact, it is at that point that we might even wonder whether we were not better off in Egypt. At least we thought we knew where we stood.
For those who face this crisis, it is very real. It is not a matter of theology, or of religion. It is a personal crisis of faith. We expected a land flowing with milk and honey – expected it because God promised it – and we have been handed a land filled with terrible enemies. We wanted freedom from sin and self, and now we are facing what seems to be worse bondage to sin and self. We have indeed encountered enemies that we knew nothing about in Egypt, or while we were in the wilderness. Why has God allowed this? And what are we supposed to do about it?
The fundamental choice, of course, is whether we are going to believe God despite the very real presence of the enemies, or whether we are going to give away our faith because of them. Or, to personalize this -- realizing that the enemies are spiritual strongholds IN US – the question is whether we are going to look at OURSELVES, and our personal spiritual condition, and conclude from this that God has failed, or whether we are going to recognize that God has actually brought us to the place where victory over all of these things can be lived out.
If the Promised Land is our full inheritance in Jesus Christ – which means our full relationship and experience of Christ – then the enemies are those elements that would prevent this, deny this, and fight against it. And those enemies are really IN US. We have been fully saved by the Blood of the Lamb, and delivered from the realm of darkness over to the kingdom of Christ. But there is still much about us that functions according to the old, and not according to the new. There is much about us that cannot walk with Jesus Christ and fully experience our inheritance. These are the enemies. The question is, do the presence of these enemies prove God is unfaithful? Or are they the means by which God will actually bring us into the fullness of our inheritance?
Some of us don’t realize that while Christ has delivered us from the POWER of sin – and the POWER of self – that He has not delivered us from the PRESENCE or POSSIBILITY of either. In short, through the power of death and resurrection in Christ, you have power NOT to sin, and power to obey God. But because you don’t know this, or perhaps don’t believe it, or perhaps don’t realize how to obey it, or perhaps because your will is still not surrendered, you can still sin anytime. And you do. And so do I. But this doesn’t mean sin has real power over us. The Bible teaches – read Romans 6-8 – that you and I are as free from the power of sin as we are ever going to be, if we are in Christ. But we must believe and obey, or we won’t experience the fact.
Israel did not believe they had POWER over those enemies in the land. Instead, they believed that the PRESENCE of those enemies negated any power. Will we repeat that error? Will we believe that if we continue to have the presence of sin and self in our lives – and we do – that THIS proves we have no power over it? We will continue to despair over ourselves because we are not as perfect as we think we ought to be?
Notice something here: We examine ourselves, see how far short we fall, and then despair – because we feel as if our relationship with God is in shambles – and conclude that if Christianity were real, we would not be in this shape. So then Christianity cannot be real! Or can it?
I’ve got news. If we were to truly see ourselves as God sees us, what we would see is WORSE! Do we actually think we can see our true selves and see something GOOD? Or that we could actually find something in ourselves upon which we could base our faith? No. In fact, the problem IS – get this – the problem IS – IS -- IS that we are trying to find something in ourselves upon which to base our faith! THAT is the problem because it is unbelief, and the very antithesis of faith in Christ. It is vital that we understand this. The futility of basing the Truth of Christianity upon US ought to be obvious.
The fact is, we can read the Bible until we are blue in the face and still miss this essential Truth. If there is one thing God shows us in the NT about the gospel of grace, it is that we must never look at ourselves – at our works, at our faith, at our spiritual condition – and conclude from this the Truth about Jesus Christ. If you and I base our faith on what we see about ourselves we will NEVER know the grace of God, because the grace of God is NEVER based on us. It is based on Christ.
It is amazing how subtle these traps can be. For example, I have found myself looking inside of myself in order to determine, "whether I am believing." And then if I didn’t feel like I was believing, I would despair. I would despair because, "I wasn’t believing!" But this is silly. For, is faith something that, "happens to us" – such that we need to look inside to see WHETHER it has happened? And what if it hasn’t happened? See what I mean? No. Faith is a choice – based on the Truth God has revealed to us. I finally saw that I was looking, not unto Jesus, the OBJECT of my faith, but at my own flesh and emotions. Indeed, I finally saw that this whole routine was a deception of the enemy. It has NOTHING to do with faith at all.
We can also notice how selfish we are, or that we have bad attitudes in our lives. So what is the solution? To see these enemies and conclude that because we are not perfect that God is a liar, and Christianity is not the Truth? Or to conclude that God has brought us to the place where He will begin to set us free – if we will believe and obey? We are talking about a process and a warfare here. This is what the Bible teaches. Enemies are not proof God has failed. They are proof that God is exposing them, rooting them out, and that we can have victory in Christ over them.
But you see, if I make things depend on me, and I see that I fall short, this is exactly the same thing as looking at the Promised Land and seeing enemies. And I will conclude, if my faith isn’t in Christ, that this terrible condition of the land proves Christianity cannot be real. For if it were real, I may conclude, there would be no enemies. There would be only milk and honey.I can promise you that the more you try to find something in yourself as validity that Christianity is real, the more you will fail -- because you have put yourself under a law, whether you know it or not. It is a law because it is a self-imposed standard. And it is actually based in pride, self-righteousness, and unbelief. Plus, you will never meet that standard. Indeed, you don't even have the right standard -- God's standard is Christ -- you are looking at yourself. So what needs to happen, is that God has to push you to where you are in somewhat of a despair over yourself, and if He does, then you will see that the only solution is Christ. This will begin an unfolding of the Truth of grace for you.
But this really is a crisis point. God often pushes us to a despair over ourselves – just like Israel despaired when they saw the giants and walled cities in the Promised Land. And it is at this point of crisis that we must choose – enter by faith despite the enemies, or give up and accuse God. Well, Israel chose the latter. It cost them forty years. But they did eventually enter by faith. Hopefully, we won’t make our wilderness experience that long.
Jesus told us that, "blessed are the poor in spirit," for theirs is the kingdom of God. He said that we are blessed when we come to the place where we know we don't have what we need, and when we know there is no way to get it. Namely righteousness. But you see, because we are so self-righteous, we don't realize what kind of stripping this will take. So while it is going on, it is going to seem as if we are losing our faith, and most everything about us is going to seem to be proof positive that we have lost God somewhere, if we ever had Him. No. God is being faithful to us.
Notice Rom. 3:23 -- Whatever the law says it says to those under the law -- that every mouth might be stopped. You cannot win this battle you are fighting, because the whole GOAL is to shut you up about your own righteousness, or lack therefore. You have to see you are trying to accomplish ANOTHER goal -- to be acceptable in your sight, and you assume, God's. But once our mouth is stopped about our own righteousness, then we will begin to see the Truth about the grace of God. This isn't about law-keeping. It is about where our faith is.
But aren’t we supposed to be in the process of becoming free, and holy unto the Lord? Is it wrong to be concerned over the enemies in our land? This isn’t the question. The question is one of faith. God is going to take care of the enemies, and bring you to the place where you are free. But unless you get it settled once and for all that victory isn’t based on YOU, your perceptions, and your desires – but upon what Christ has done – you won’t get far.
What could be more fundamental than to realize that God never tells us to solve the sin problem, and then come to Christ? But that He tells us to come to Christ IN ORDER to get the sin problem resolved? It starts with faith. All obedience, and all freedom is the OUTCOME, not the MEANS, of faith. In short, if you are waiting for perfection BEFORE you will move on with Christ, you will never get far. Rather, enter the land – enter victory – by faith. And then that victory will become real and become yours.
Israel had to wander in the wilderness for forty years because they would not enter God’s rest, the Promised Land, by faith. But what is the wilderness – what does it mean for US?
Well, think about it. The wilderness is what comes between EGYPT and the PROMISED LAND. Right? Sure. We are delivered OUT of Egypt – the realm of sin and darkness – and ultimately, God wants us to enter INTO the promised land, which is our full inheritance in Jesus Christ. Thus, the wilderness is the experience where Egypt is purged out of us, and where the promised land is worked into us. In short, the wilderness is where we are prepared to experience our inheritance.
In this we see that God is interested in more than just saving people and giving them an inheritance. Indeed, as we have stated, if that is all He wanted to do, it was merely an eleven day’s journey from Egypt to Promised Land. In our case, God would merely save us, and we would be able to freely experience everything He has in Christ without any need for spiritual growth. Indeed, many Christians think that this is exactly what Christianity is – being saved, and then having a life free of trials, filled with health, wealth, and all kinds of prosperity. Some Christians have no knowledge of what God is really after.
What IS God after? He is after a people for His glory. He is after choosing a people who were born in bondage, delivering them, and bringing them into a RELATIONSHIP with Himself – typified by the LAND – all unto HIS GLORY and HIS PURPOSE. But right away we see that this necessitates that this people whom God has chosen be changed. They were slaves in Egypt. They are to be more than conquerors. Something has to happen in THEM if they are to enter, and live, in the Promised Land.
What has to happen is that they have to be brought into a relationship with Christ wherein HE IS LORD. But what I mean by that is that Jesus Christ must be allowed to do whatever He wants in our lives. He must possess us. He must govern us through the Holy Spirit. But this is impossible unless we go through a process. We can asset to this, pray for it, and long for it – and we NEED to. But this is about spiritual condition, not merely the doctrines that teach it. So we have to be brought into a CONDITION that will enable us to move into a POSITION of relationship with God. This CONDITION is Jesus as Lord – it is spiritual bankruptcy for US, and full reliance upon Christ.
Thus, the wilderness. That is where we become those who can enter the Promised Land. We cannot enter it directly out of Egypt. Rather, we must have basics established IN US so that we can move forward in a relationship with God.
This Truth is all through the Bible. We cannot be faithful in the things of God until we are faithful in LITTLE. We cannot walk as conquerors until we are conquered by Christ. The reality is, until Jesus reigns over us, we cannot reign with Him. And until He has victory over us – over our wills and faith – we can walk in no victory over anything else.
The notion that God hands Christians a THING called, "the authority of the believer," and turns us loose to proclaim it and exercise it, it not only error, but it is really the doctrine of Satan. It is exactly what Satan tempted Christ to accept – authority without the Cross. The Truth is, we have NO authority, even as saved individuals, that can truly be exercised unto victory, except where Jesus has authority over US. The only authority we have is the result of His authority over us, flowing through us, unto victory over all. Where Christ has no authority over you, blockage will result, and you will have NO authority.
The wilderness is the place where God puts us through experience after experience that will give us the chance to submit to Him. In the wilderness, we will be brought to the end of ourselves, and made fully reliant upon Christ – that is, if we respond to God. God said this to the Israelites, retrospectively, about the wilderness:
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 would keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew 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 proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shall also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God chastens thee. (Deut. 8:2-5)
The message here is clear: If you will not believe and obey God in the wilderness, you won’t obey Him in the Promised Land. In fact, and this proved true for Israel, you cannot even enter the land. You don’t have faith. So you cannot enter because if you did, you would not be able to LIVE BY FAITH in the things of God. You would use the things of God to your pride, agenda, and ultimate destruction.
One way to look at this is that the wilderness is the place where it is determined WHY you are following Christ. Are you following Him because it PAYS you to follow Him? Payment can come in many forms. Do we obey God for a supposed reward? Or to avoid a punishment? To establish our own righteousness before God or men? This is all PAYMENT. And if that is why we are obeying God, then the wilderness will expose it. How? By removing the payment! When we are going through the wilderness, it won’t pay us much to obey God. We will have but the bare necessities, and even, at time, suffer LACK. The question is whether we will surrender to God regardless of the cost.
There are many professing Christians who obey God for what they are getting out of it. Indeed, I think there is at least a little bit of that in each of us. But when trusting and obeying God results in LACK, and in trials, and in even disaster, do we draw back? If we do, we were never fully surrendered. We were in it for what we thought we could get. The wilderness proved it. And if God doesn’t bless us the way we expected, do we take matters in our own hands, or completely throw in the towel? This is sin. We have no right to do it. We belong to God. And the wilderness is the place were all of this is tested and proven IN US.
We need to get this settled: Jesus Christ is not some THING we, "try out," to see if it works, or some THING we play with, to see if He will give us what we think we want. No. Jesus Christ is God. We are all accountable to God. We have no right to run our own lives, and especially as Christians, no right to bail out on God – no matter how bad things seem to be. At some point, we either believe and trust God, or we don’t. If God wants to absolutely take everything away from us, He has the right. He usually won’t. But God is God.
Now, of course, God has only good in mind for us. Thus, even if the wilderness through which we must pass is a tough one, and we suffer loss there, in the end God will bless us – first in Christ, and then in every other way that suits His purpose. He also said this to Israel about the wilderness:
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 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; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. (Deut. 8:11-20)
God is clearly stating that the wilderness is not meant to deprive us or subtract from us. Rather, it is to make us fit for blessing – fit to walk with God Himself. We have to be subjected to testing and proving – and if we are faithful over little, in lack – we can be trusted with much. Otherwise, if God just blessed us, we would think it was because of our righteousness or merit. No. This is about a relationship with God in the Promised Land. The wilderness is the season through which we must pass to be able to live there.
Now, as before stated, Israel actually spent about 18 months in the wilderness even before they were to enter the FIRST time. It was only because of unbelief and hardness of heart that they had to wander forty years – THEY made that necessary. So what we learn here is that there is a wilderness for each of us – we cannot escape the fact. None of us can go right from being a slave to a conqueror – we MUST pass through a wilderness that will establish us in Christ. But how long it takes, and the chastisement that is necessary, is up to us.
The good news is that God will continue to bring us back to the same choice to enter into the victory of Christ – no matter how many times we have refused. If we make it necessary, He may send us into a wilderness until all of our unbelief dies out, and a new generation of faith is possible in us – if you get my meaning. But He will bring us back again to that choice of faith. This necessity cost Israel 40 years. But this isn’t about time. It is about what it takes to establish us in a relationship with God – where He is Lord and we are surrendered by faith to Him.
You will never surrender to God unless you believe and trust Him. And you will never trust Him unless you know Him. The wilderness is where the basics of this are worked into our relationship with Him – not to be discarded later – but to form the basis upon which we are to live in a relationship with Him in our inheritance.
The bottom line is this: God is going to WIN. He is going to win with us, or without us. But He wants us with HIM! The outcome of God’s purpose is therefore not in question, it is certain: God is going to have it. BUT – and this is just as certain – there will be constant opposition. There will be opposition from the enemy, from the world, and plenty of opposition from our flesh. The question will be whether we will enter into God’s purpose by faith and engage the enemy, and see His purpose through to victory, no matter the cost.
Cost? What cost? Not cost FOR grace. But cost because of grace. The cost of victory to you and I is that everything about us that is not part of God’s purpose must go. The cost is our glory, our kingdom, and our agenda. The cost is what we go through in the battle, which is never fun. Of course, this is a COST only to the natural man. It is really the discarding of that which is worthless. Ironically, what we think is a loss, is really that which kept us from freedom.
So again, we see TWO certainties: Victory in Christ, and enemies which oppose it. Our choice will be which to believe; which will direct our hearts.
The victory of Jesus Christ is assured. He wants to give us everything it means, not only for the eternal ages, but for what portion of it can be for NOW. Hebrews tells us:
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should distrust it. (Heb 4:1)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14-16)
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