Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 20, 2016

"So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled."  Joshua 21:43-45

That last promise is REALLY strong - "Not ONE of all the Lord's good promises to Israel failed; EVERY one was fulfilled." Wow!

God's promises are powerful for many reasons chief of which is they come from Him! But this morning I want to focus on three big truths about promises from God's Word and why they make a huge difference in your life!

First, God's promises define what's real.

When the Hebrews were in Egypt bondage and cruelty seemed to define their reality. For four centuries they were slaves and served their merciless Egyptian masters! 

Their masters were real and their misery was real but there was a greater reality. They were the people of God and He had made a covenant with their Father Abraham and that covenant was being fulfilled!

When they were in the wilderness backed up against the Red Sea hemmed in by the rapidly advancing Egyptian army their destruction seemed very real and inevitable. The best alternative seemed to be heading back toward Egypt.

That Sea was real and the sound from those horses and chariots were real but God had a greater reality and when Moses raised the rod the Red Sea opened! What they thought would be their destruction became their deliverance!

When they stood at the edge of Canaan that rushing Jordan River swelled to twice its size by the Spring floods looked like a very real barrier to crossing into their Promised Land. And in their own power it was!

But there was a greater reality! God had promised them Canaan and He would open the Jordan for them to cross!

Marching around Jericho every day for seven days staring at those massive walls and hearing the curses, insults and threats hurled down from the people in the city made it seem like a real fortress and destroying it an unreal possibility. 

But there was a greater reality! God had promised Canaan to Abraham and Jericho to Joshua and it would fall! It did, too!

God's promises define what is real according to God's power, God's plan and God's purposes. When you are overwhelmed by the Egypt times or the wilderness times or the Jericho times in your life it is easy to believe what you feel instead of what you know. When you lose touch with God's reality what you feel becomes what is real. Under pain and pressure you will tend to believe what you SEE not what God SAYS!

If you are to arrive in the Promised Land in your journey out of Egypt and through the wilderness and into Canaan you will have to be focused on the reality of God's eternal promises not the emotions of daily pressures and pain.

Whatever you are battling today, let the promises of God define your reality! Believe what He says not what you see!