Saturday, February 10, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series Introduction – The Promise Land


1 Corinthians 15:46  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.

Approximately 1500 years Before Christ, God sent Moses to deliver the Children of Israel from bondage and slavery to Pharaoh and Egypt. 500 years earlier, around 2000BC, God promised Abraham that his descendants would posses all the land we know as Israel including a broad strip of land on the eastern side of the Jordan River now within the borders of Jordan and Syria. This is what the Bible refers to as “The Promise Land”.

When Moses led the Children of God from Egypt in the spring of the year, they went out into the wilderness of Sinai. Everyone, including Moses, expected to be in their new homes in the Promise Land by winter. This was according to God’s plan. However, the 200 mile trip took them 40 years of hiking and camping in the wilderness, plus another 25 years waging war against their enemies once they finally crossed over into the Promise Land.

Their journey is catalogued in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This historical record gives us an accurate account of each step they took and is meant to provide us with insight and encouragement as to how we should proceed from our Egypt experience and possess our Promised Land. God hopes our journey will be shorter.

Before we begin learning to identify and what it takes to defeat the enemies of our soul, it is important for us to all be on the same page. I know some of you already know this but for the sake of clarity allow me to draw some parallels God gives in the Bible between the Children of Israel and you. Then, as you begin reading the Book of Exodus tomorrow, you will better understand how Bible history is a roadmap for your life today. It will be easy to find yourself right there in the pages of the Bible.
1.   Egypt equals the World
2.   Pharaoh equals Satan
3.   Moses equals Jesus
4.   Coming out of Egypt equals being Born Again
5.   The Red Sea equals Water Baptism
6.   The Cloud covering the Children of Israel during the day which turned into a Pillar of Fire that stood between them and their enemies and covered them at night equals the Holy Spirit
7.   The Wilderness equals the Journey, the Time and the Distance between Inheriting the Promises and Possessing the Promises
8.   The Manna equals the Word of God
9.   Israel’s Natural Enemies equal our Spiritual Enemies Today

It is vitally important to note God’s intent. He did not save His Children from Egypt so that they could wander around in a wilderness for the rest of their lives. Late in life Moses wrote a letter to us in reflection of this truth. In that letter Moses said:

Deuteronomy 6:23  Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers.

Since God saved us to give us and our children a life filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control, health, wealth, wisdom and power, why then do we at times feel so powerless or as though we are just wandering around in a wilderness, going to Church and hearing the Word but falling short of the promises? Why do our relationships fail; why do we get robbed of time, peace, joy and money; why do we feel empty or without direction; why don’t we see more power and provision?

We are not short on promises … however, we seem to be short on possessing those promises. It was the very same way with the Children of Israel and we are so fortunate to have a historical record of those things which caused them to fall short. The Bible says that God gave us this account so that we might know how we should believe and what we should do so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes in our lives.

Life can be divided into winners and losers. It takes two things to win:
1.   God on your side … (God willing to fight alongside you)
2.   You on God’s side … (You, willing to fight alongside God)
One without the other will not experience victory.

Now, by way of introduction, let’s identify what caused some of the Children of Israel to be victorious over their enemies while others failed.

Winners and Losers
1.  The Winners
Numbers 14:9  “Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”

Numbers 13:30  Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
2.  The Losers
Numbers 13
31  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
32  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
33  “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

·        Defeating the Enemy is God’s job … Advancing and Engaging is ours.
o   God sent His Angel before them to drive out the enemies …
o   All the Israelites had to do was to:
§  Suit up; Show up; and Stand up.
§  Just trust God, show up and blow the horn …
·        We can’t do it for God but only with God … if He isn’t fighting with us, all our efforts are just a personal crusade in vain.
·        Running out their by ourselves, even with the Ark of the Covenant in tow, won’t bring victory.

The Truth
Joshua 9
9  and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
10  “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
11  “And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

There are Six Identifiable Enemies of the Soul

Exodus 33:2  “And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

God never intended for His children to live their lives in the wilderness. When you are in the wilderness the world looks better. A house, a job and a steak in Egypt looks better than a tent, bread and water in the wilderness. The wilderness is just too close to the world.

There are Born-Again Believers living too close to the world today, looking back on the day and missing the fun. The way out is forwards, not backwards. Why become a slave again when you can be a king. If we don’t advance and engage our enemies, it will be left up to our children. The people who are finally victorious may not have been the first ones who could have been. You can break the cycle of going in circles.

Hold on to your winning attitude this week and begin to read the Book of Exodus with your new perspective in mind. Next week we will identify the first enemy we all must face, fight and conquer in order to begin to take ground in our promised land. I am certain you will see it clearly and begin your march to victory in Jesus’ name.

You can be victorious! But first, you must be Born-Again! Have you been delivered from Egypt and slavery to sin? Today Jesus will save your soul and break the power of satan off of your life. Defeating satan was His job, following Him is now yours …

Here is what you need to do to be saved …
·        Recognize you need a Savior
·        Repent of your sins
·        Receive Jesus by asking Him to become the Lord of your life

Satan cannot defeat you by conquest, he must have your consent.

Pray with me now …