Conquering, overcoming, & being victorious!
(Despite giants in the land)
The Old Testament is full of illustrations about New Testament living. The Old Testament illustrates through its stories how we can live successfully. It also shows us the pitfalls of not living according to the Handbook. The most dramatic picture of the Christian experience is found in the story of Israel coming out of Egypt and entering their Promised Land. As we begin this new year, we want to lay some foundations that will ensure that we live as overcomers, conquerors, and victors. Weíre not fighting for a geographical place. Our Promised Land is the place where we have fully obeyed God. A place where we enjoy the Lordís presence without any area of compromise in our livesí. A place where we are undivided in our devotion to God. A place where we enjoy a land flowing with milk and honey (peace and blessing despite circumstances). As with Israelís journey out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, we too have a journey where we must "come out" of our old land and then enter a new land. Every step of way presents us with a challenge: will we trust God despite what we see?. This presents us with a choice whether we will view things with eyes of doubt (natural) or eyes of faith.
1. How does the New Testament command us to journey? (2 Cor. 5:7)
Our Promised Land is the place where we have fully obeyed God. A place where we enjoy the Lordís presence without any area of compromise in our livesí. A place where we are undivided in our devotion to God. A place where we enjoy a land flowing with milk and honey (peace and blessing despite circumstances).
2. What prevented most of the Israelites from entering the Promised Land? (Heb. 4:2-3)
Faith is believing when we donít see it. It is not wishful thinking. It is not even positive thinking. It has no power in itself. It is simply living as if God is right. It is trust, not expectation. God told Israel to prepare to leave Egypt suddenly and quickly. They had no weapons with which to conquer Egypt. They were powerless slaves. God told them that their deliverance from Egypt would come through a lamb. It became known as the Passover Lamb. Its blood over their household would assure their deliverance. This required faith on the Israelites part. They didnít know what to expect. This is the essence of trust: accepting someoneís instructions though not knowing what to expect. Who would have expected that immediately after dinner, they would plunder the Egyptiansí gold and silver and be free? In the same way, we were delivered out of the hands of Pharoah (Satan), the land of Egypt (the way of the world), and given precious treasure (salvation). All this happened because our Passover Lamb was slain for us. Who would believe that the death of a man could deliver every person in the world who ever lived, who puts their faith and trust in Him (Isa. 53:1)? Israelís deliverance was a step of faith. It marked the beginning of an on-going struggle-
FAITH vs DOUBT
Ask yourself- "Would I walk into a very wide and deep river with all my family, and belongings, while it was flowing swiftly down stream as usual?" Such was the situation for each Hebrew the night of their exodus. Perhaps someone felt like pointing out to God that He was leading them the long way round to Canaan when in fact He should have taken them North-East instead of South-East. This was going to be a step of faith if Israel was to trust God. They didnít know what to expect.
3. In the Christian walk what are we constantly doing battle with, that affects the quality of our life with God? (Eph. 6:16)
DOUBT'S best friend
When doubt was born he was soon followed by the birth of his brother: fear. Doubt and fear are the arch enemies of faith and trust. Doubt always summons fear. As Israel left Egypt, God gave them strict instructions to have courage (Ex. 14:13).
4. Which of the options below is real courage~
a) not having fear.
b) overcoming fear.
5. Why was the Psalmist not fearing according to Psalm 3?
© 2001 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania