On Friday morning, 24 June 2016, I woke up and immediately reached for my phone. How did the vote go? Are we in or are we out? The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Social media was rife with emotions ranging between both ends of the emotional spectrum. We were either entering the first stages of an apocalyptic end, or we were about to enter the garden of Eden. No middle ground.
Here we are today, the 1st of February 2020, and whichever end of the spectrum you found yourself on three-and-a-half years ago, there is a shared relief that things have finally moved on. The UK has left the EU. We are officially out. I could only brave a slight glance at my phone this morning. I’m not sure I’m ready for an onslaught of opinions yet.
There is absolutely no reason for me to share my personal, political opinions here either, so you are safe to continue reading this post. Whether you live in the UK or anywhere else in the world, I think we can all agree that times are strange and opinions are so drastically divided. It kind of reminded me of another incident where opinions were not only divided, but the negative opinions drowned out the positive, ten to two.
When Moses sent out the twelve spies to scout out the land that God had promised them, it was only Joshua and Caleb that came back with hope and faith. The report of the remaining ten, was enough to drive fear so deep into the heart of God’s people, that an entire generation forfeited their entry into the Promised Land. How disappointing to be on the doorstep of breakthrough, and not being able to enter in?
Where Joshua and Caleb saw limitless possibilities contained in the powerful promises of God, the ten saw the impediment of their current position and the limitations of their natural abilities. They may have seen physical giants in their promised land, but they were blind to the giants roaming around in their hearts:
The Giant of Fear
“…We scouted out the land form one end to the other – it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge…”
Numbers 13:31-33 MSG
This giant is great at shifting your focus away from the promise and unto your circumstances. You start looking at what you see in the natural, rather than what is available to you from the unseen realm. The realm of Faith. The realm of Promise.
Instead of stepping into your promised land of divine health, you hit Google with every symptom you feel in your body. Instead of seeking the Kingdom first, you start to compare your lack to everyone else’s abundance.
The remedy for Fear is Love. Caleb and Joshua had the faith to take on the giants and take hold of their land, because they knew God. Not only did they know God, but they knew he was FOR them and not against them. That he is a God who always fulfil his promises.
Knowing God, and how much he loves you, will disempower the giant of Fear in your heart. If you want to take him out, just shift your focus back on the personal, limitless Love of the Father for you.
The Giant of Pride
“…Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.”
Numbers 13:31-33 MSG
You would never have thought that I had an issue with pride. When others were “bigging” themselves up, I was making myself smaller. But it doesn’t matter if we’re trying to make ourselves bigger or smaller, the issue is this: our focus has been shifted away from the promise, away from our God, and onto ourselves.
Whenever we’re leaning on our own ability to take care of ourselves, we are operating in pride. This giant was a difficult one to drive out of my heart. I was so used to taking care of myself, being a first born daughter of a pastor, and suffering from an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, I found it difficult to trust God with anything.
If we are going to look at ourselves in light of our circumstances, we will sure feel like grasshoppers. But when we look at ourselves in the Mirror of the Word, if we see ourselves the way the Father does, we will realise that there is nothing that can stop the promises he has made available to us.
The giant of Pride will fall when we cultivate a God-image rather than a self-image. When we shift our focus from who we think we are, to who God says we are! He will run from us, when he sees us approach with Heaven backing us up, because we approach the giant as heirs of Salvation. We come as the Father’s beloved children, empowered by his love.
The Giant of Offense
“…Let’s pick a new leader; let’s head back to Egypt.”
Numbers 14:4 MSG
What a typical response to every problem in the world. Let’s pick a new leader! If only we could see that the responsibility to take hold of your promises, lies with each individual person. Your pastor can’t do it for you, your prime minister can’t do it for you. If you want to walk in peace, joy, victory and freedom, you will need to move accross the Jordan yourself!
This giant’s only aim is to shift your focus from the promise unto others. It will tell you how your lack of peace is the fault of everyone else. It’s the people who voted differently to you, it’s the educational system that didn’t give you a fair start, it is the boss that keeps overlooking you for promotion, it’s the friends or family that never shows up when you need them.
Look, I know that there are some really difficult circumstances that comes our way. Life is hardly fair. But I also know, that our God, who makes all of his promises available to us, is not limited by the actions of the people around us. He will bring us safely, into our purpose and destiny, if we will trust Him.
Offense will take you miles of the path that the Father has carefully planned for you, so don’t take the bait of this giant. Shift your focus back onto the Father’s plan for your life. Let go of everyone who has wronged you, you can’t run your race holding onto them. It will only slow you down and take you places you were never intended to go. There are much better things in store for you. You have new territory to take and a purpose to fulfil. Don’t lose your focus!
Jesus is your Promised Land!
The minute you were born into the Kingdom, you stepped into the Promised Land. Every promise God has made for healing, deliverance, provision, protection and restoration belongs to you! Now! The giants in our hearts only have one strategic mission: to keep our focus off what is already ours!
The Promised Land belonged to Israel, the minute God made the promise. If only they followed Joshua and Caleb, and not the majority vote. You can have peace, regardless of your circumstances, your ability or any other person you feel might be holding you back.
Today, in the midst of crazy politics and global uncertainties, I remind and encourage myself to follow the advice that God gave to Joshua as he lead a new generation into their Promised Land:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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 1:7-9 NIV
Today, I hear the Father calling: “Valiant One! Do not be afraid. There is nothing that can stop the promises I have spoken over your life. Don’t be discouraged. There is no circumstance out there that is greater than the power I have deposited inside of you. Dare to believe. For all of my promises are yes and amen! You have entered into your Promised Land. So let go, and rest in the revelation of the peace and protection that is your inheritance, in Jesus. You are safe and secure. You are loved.” ❤