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May13FriMay 13, 2016I remember the first time that when reading Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 I saw that our lives where empty. Not only were they empty spiritually; I was shocked that life resembled the cursed side even though I called myself a Christian. The truth was I did not have a lot of faith, the kind of faith that depended on the word of God. Even though I did not know for sure what I was looking for, we began a journey to the Promised Land. Once at the Jordon we wait to cross and begin to take the land. Joshua 1:2 “Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “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. 8 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. 9 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.”I did not know where our journey would take us but I did believe that this journey was of God and that I had to depend on his word as our daily bread. I knew anytime that I was tempted to follow the teaching of a man even if they were on track; I knew I was supposed to keep my focus on His word and not on man. As I read I saw that there had to be more to the gospel than what we were seeing as we were not seeing much. Yes we went to church regularly and I even answered the call to minister and perpetuate the same empty way of life the last generation had but something was different. We had to follow God’s word closely so Joshua 3:4 we would know which way to go, since we have never been this way before.”The journey God took us on did not line up with a feel good ministry. Lets just say my ministry has never won friends and influenced people. I noticed right away that there would be opposition from friends and family and those I did not know. I like what Dale Carnegie said, “Don't be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.” Well I have had enemies attack but not much flattery. I believe it is better that way as Jesus said, Matthew 10:24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” This journey has been by faith and not by sight. I believe what I read so I will wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled.When you preach the gospel you will not make many friends. Some will quietly leave while others will make known their disapprobation. Obviously the gospel is what got Jesus killed. If he would have just kept quiet but he spoke the truth to the offense of those listening. Mark 6:3 “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.” The same will happen to you as you stand strong on God’s word. Psalm 35:16 “Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me.” Acts 7:54 [ The Stoning of Stephen ] “When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.” God is always in control as He then used Saul who became the Apostle Paul. Years ago God gave me a promise and satan has been on the warpath ever since. Remember that satan loves it when you sit comfortably in your lukewarm pew. Even though satan rose up against us, we still give praise to God but ask Him to Psalm 144:7 “Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners 8 whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.” God has been faithful and I know that God will always keep His promise.This journey has taken us to the banks of the Jordon. No I am not referring to Beulah land but taking the land in the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus said we would. This means that we would have to have the same power that was given to the early church. As you know by now, I believe the teaching that God no longer does what he said he would do when it comes to power, is a demonic doctrine. My journey has taken my family into the deception and desolation of the church. There isn’t much we haven’t seen. Each part of our journey was a lesson. What we did find consistent was that people do not want to hear the word repent and many fight against the message that the church lies in desolation.We are in the same position as Israel and Judah were. 2 Kings 17:13 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” 40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” That is why a verse like 2 Chronicles 7:14 says turn from your wicked ways and humble yourselves is so important for us to live by, especially in our day.We have so many Christians who are not Christ followers and have no idea what it really means to live by the Spirit. As I said at the beginning I found myself on the cursed side. If you are unsure what I mean take the time to read Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. Our journey became one of believing what we read and waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. Waiting is about obedience and perseverance. Our example was from Saul who lost the kingdom to David. He was told wait seven days but he did not and lost the kingdom. Our journey has been a long time but as we wait we get stronger and stronger as do the attacks. We have held on to Psalm 27 for a long time now. Psalm 27:11 “Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” So we wait.The good news is that if we do what Josiah did and turn with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength, in accordance with the word of God and then hold fast, God will do as Peter said if we humble ourselves 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” The church looks nothing like the church is supposed to look with Christ at the head. So that is why life resembles the cursed side but that is not how it is supposed to be. The good news is Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This means the promise to Abraham is also for us. Ephesians 3:6 “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” But the Spirit must lead us. Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Ephesians 3:6 “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”So what is the big deal about being Abraham’s seed? I am pretty sure this verse will help with that question. Genesis 17:1 The Covenant of Circumcision “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. 9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.” Deuteronomy 30:6 “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.” This promise then carried on throughout the generations. Genesis 28:1 “So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” Genesis 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you. 5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Genesis 28:13 “There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 16:14 “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”God has put revival in my heart so we wait for Him to clothe us with His power. We cannot go until He pours out His spirit just like Pentecost. So we continue to seek his face. Yes there is much opposition but I know the word of God speaks truth so we hold fast. We do not want to be on the cursed side but on the blessings side. We also do not want the cursing of those around us to take effect so we hold on to Abrahams promise. Genesis 12:1 “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now because of Jesus we too are part of these promises. Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Because we seek the Lord wholeheartedly God takes the curses of those who are offended by our message and turns them into blessings. Deuteronomy 23:24 “they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you. 5 However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.” How awesome is that. Yes I know not fun when it is happening but I know that the words intended to destroy will turn into a blessing from God. I also know that God will take care of our enemies as the battle is the Lord’s. Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. 40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, 41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” 43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.”The Lord has made it clear to me that we are to wait. Yes we will be mocked and made a laughingstock as Job and David were but when God promises he fulfills just as Job and David were blessed. Would you rather not choose life and prosperity than death and destruction? Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.” Hebrews 10:35 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”