Entering Into the Promises of God

This past Sunday, the word that I shared with you was a letter from my chancellor at the King’s Seminary, Pastor Jack Hayford. The following is that letter sent to me that I felt was very appropriate and very timely in terms of what the Lord has been saying to us since the beginning of the year and how to step into this new season. This is for you to re-read and to allow the Lord to speak to you about your live, your faith in Him, and all that God has for you individually as well as your place in the Kingdom at this hour. I believe God has a plan and a purpose for our lives that far exceed what we can do or even imagine for ourselves. The Lord wants us to step in faith from the circle of your immediate relationships to the bigger picture of the global Body of Christ. My encouragement to us all is to continue to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Take heart family of God, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 What an awesome promise and what an awesome God He is! Praise the Lord! Have a spirit-filled and spirit-led week!

Love,
Pastor Daniel

From Pastor Jack Hayford, 2/10/15

Dear Loved One,

A few weeks ago on an unusually chilly morning I settled myself beside the fireplace in our living room to spend some time in prayer. As I enjoyed the Lord’s presence and the warmth radiating from the flames happily devouring the log I’d put on the grate, I asked a simple question.

“Lord, where would You like me to start reading in the Bible this year?”

It’s my custom to read yearly all the way through the Scriptures. But I don’t always start with Genesis and end with Revelation. Sometimes I take a different route.

Without missing a beat the Lord gave me His direction. “Start with Joshua,” He said.

Joshua! At the very mention of it my heart leapt with anticipation because I know what that book is about. It’s about the season in Joshua’s life when he stepped into a new role of leadership. It’s about the time when the nation of Israel moved into a brand new era.

I don’t mind telling you, at 80 years old I get excited when God talks to me about a new season of life — so I didn’t waste any time! I read the first three chapters of Joshua sitting right there by the fire. As I did, the Lord spoke to me about a new agenda He’s setting before me. An agenda that, while it promises great fulfillment, will also present me with some challenging demands.

He didn’t stop after speaking to me about my own life, either.

After I closed my Bible, the Lord very much quickened me to encourage you to start reading Joshua too . . . which clearly means I’m not the only one God is calling into a new season. He is also calling you.

Loved One, I write this today with a compelling sense of passion: Right now, at this very moment, you and I are standing at the edge of a land of divine promise. What God said to the Israelites at the Jordan River– “Arise, go over! Every step you advance, I will secure as yours.”– He is now saying to us. And He’s directing us to the Book of Joshua so that as we move forward we’ll know what to do.

What is it, exactly, that we need to know? you might wonder.

First, we must know how to get started on the journey. That by itself can be quite intimidating. It certainly was for Joshua. On the very first day of his trip to the Promised Land, he faced the utterly impractical task of leading at least one million Israelites across a raging river . . . Without a bridge and without a boat!

Blocked by dangerous currents that frothed and swirled, threatening to sweep away anyone foolish enough to defy them, Joshua saw no way to go where God was leading. It was humanly impossible. His journey would have been over before it began if it hadn’t been for this: God told him the secret to conquering the river.

“Send the priests who carry the ark of the Lord out in front of the people,” He said. “Tell them to step into the Jordan and stand there. As soon as their feet touch the water, I’ll cut off the river upstream.”

Notice God didn’t mention how far upstream the waters would be cut off. The priests just had to take the step, plant their feet firmly in the will of God, and wait in faith for the river to stop flowing. How long did they have to wait? The Bible doesn’t say, but it does make clear that unlike the instant splitting of the Red Sea, it took a while for the Jordan to dry up because the place God cut off the river was 14 miles upstream!

Although it took a while for this miracle to unfold, eventually it did and . . .The priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground. (Josh. 3:15, 17)

That was an unusual plan, wasn’t it? Yet it worked for the Israelites . . . and as you move toward the Promised Land of your new season it will work for you too. When circumstances rage around you and bring you to a standstill, you’ll eventually see the impossible happen if, like the priests of Israel, you will step into your miracle before you see it.

Put your faith in God and get your feet wet!

You don’t have to force things or fight your way through the currents. You don’t have to swim the whole river. Just do whatever God has told you to do, even if it involves just a single small step. Then stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Wait and watch as His mighty power goes to work and your miracle unfolds.

“But Pastor Jack,” you might say, “What if I’ve already taken that step and it looks like nothing has happened yet? What if I’m still standing here waiting? What should I do?”

Apply the lesson Joshua learned at Jericho. God told him to bring down that city’s massive walls by having the Israelites walk around it seven times. “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice,” he told the people, “nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout” (Josh. 6:10).

And it happened when the people . . . shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (v. 20)

Notice, while the Israelites were walking around Jericho, waiting for God to move, they weren’t talking about the huge obstacles they were facing. They weren’t saying, “Wow, look at those walls! They’re gigantic! How are we ever going to get past them?” No, they were either keeping quiet altogether or shouting praises to God.

So follow their example. When you’re confronted with insurmountable obstacles and it looks like nothing is happening, do what the Israelites did. Instead of wilting before the walls, circle them with praise!

Shout aloud that the battle is the Lord’s. That He’s the One who secures your every step and He can make the way where there is no way. He’s your strength and your defense, and there is no foe that can stand against His mighty power.

“But sometimes I feel discouraged,” you might say, “I’ve experienced so many frustrations and defeats in the past.”

So had the people who were following Joshua. Many of them, as children, had been slaves in Egypt where they were beaten and treated like dirt. Then they’d spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness without an inch of property to call their own. Yet when the Lord said to them, “I have a place prepared for you, a land with vines and fig trees and houses,” they didn’t let skepticism or cynicism stop them. They believed God and marched forward in hope.

If they could do it, you and I can too. We can let the Spirit of God awaken fresh hope and expectations in us. Leaving the disappointments of yesterday behind, we can step out boldly and follow Him in this new season of life as He leads us forth into His will and purpose, and plants us in our own distinct place in His plan.