Deuteronomy 5:33 (NKJV) 33 You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
We find ourselves once again on the brink of a New Year. Many look at the end of one year and the beginning of another as meaningless. Those of us who are Christians know that we are part of eternity. Why would the division of years be important to us? I believe that God invented the idea of the division of time at creation.
Genesis 1:14 (NKJV) 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
This verse is very specific in that God set the lights in the heavens, the sun the moon and the stars, to divide time. They also provide other things but at least a part of their reason for existence is to be for “signs and seasons on the earth.” That being the case, I believe years are important to God. I believe he has a purpose for each year that comes along. I believe that purpose involves things specific to each individual, to each local church and the church as a whole.
The last three years have been a journey for me and for our church. There have been good times and not so good times during these years but I have always felt that we were going somewhere. Even though there are circumstances that might cause me to doubt, I still believe we are going to a place in God that will prove to be very significant.
Although this has been specific to our church, I have also had the sense that this journey has been for the whole church as well. In the last three years, I have talked to many pastors and leaders and they all seem to sense similar things. God is doing something. We are in a time of waiting and we do not know exactly what we are waiting for but it will be something very good.
Towards the end of 2013 I, as well as a number of other leaders I spoke with, felt that there was a change. We all felt that part of our waiting time was over and that the next phase of God’s dealing with man had begun. Of course, many things happened to indicate that this was not really true, but that is just par for the course. In Mark 4 Jesus says Satan always comes immediately to steal the Word. That is because he knows if the Word of the Lord takes root in our hearts there is nothing he can do to keep it from bearing fruit.
From the beginning of 2011, we have been looking a various aspects of the journey of Israel from bondage in Egypt to destiny in Canaan. I believe this is a type of the journey of the Christian from bondage to destiny. I also believe it has been characteristic of the journey the church is on right now to the next move of the Holy Spirit. We began by looking at Israel’s initial deliverance and the continuation of that through the encounter at the Red Sea.
One word describes all that Israel went through and all that they did during the period that took them from Egypt to Canaan. That word is “supernatural.” This began with their deliverance from Pharaoh. They had no natural ability to get away from this god king. They had no army, no resources and no freedom. They were powerless. They could not leave Egypt and they could not escape the Egyptians.
The deliverance that came to them was, in every way supernatural. God brought them a supernatural deliverer in Moses. God provided supernatural power as he rained judgments down on Israel. There was nothing Israel could do in their natural strength to cause them.
God gave Israel supernatural favor when the women asked the Egyptian women to give them gold, silver and clothing. The Egyptian women had no reason to comply and the Israelite women had no power to make them comply.
When Israel came to the shores of the Red Sea, they had no natural way to cross it. The Egyptian army appeared behind them by the will of God. The Lord led Israel into a place where they had no natural power to escape death. God provided a supernatural solution to their dilemma by parting the Red Sea so they walked across on dry ground. He then supernaturally destroyed the Egyptian army so they could no longer be a threat to Israel.
As Israel progressed through the wilderness, they did not take the natural route to Canaan. There were established trade routes that Israel could have easily followed. If they had, they would have arrived in Canaan weeks or months after they left Egypt not years. However, God did not intend for them to take a natural journey. They followed a supernatural pillar of fire and pillar of cloud on their journey. Along the way, many necessary things were accomplished in their lives.
There was no natural way to carry the food so many people needed for the journey. God provided it in a supernatural was as bread appeared every morning on the ground before them. Water is always a concern in desert areas, especially for so many people. God supernaturally provided water from a rock. Their clothes were supernaturally preserved. They had supernatural encounters with God at Sinai. Almost everything that happened to them was impossible in the natural. They required supernatural intervention all along the way.
When it finally came time for them to enter Canaan, God gave them the commandment we read in today’s scripture. They were not just to go into the Promised Land; they were supposed to possess it. We looked at this in detail during 2012, but I want to point out today that they could not do that in the natural either. Moses sent 12 spies into the land. We know that 10 came back with what the Lord called an evil report. It was evil because it contained no faith. It was not inaccurate.
The Promised Land was filled with giants. There were walled cities and powerful nations occupying Canaan. In the natural Israel could not possess the land. They still required supernatural intervention. Canaan was the point of their deliverance. They were not set free from captivity to wander in the wilderness. They were destined to live in Canaan so that the Messiah could be born there. However, they did not experience a supernatural deliverance, a supernatural journey and supernatural provision so they could live in Canaan as a natural people. Gods’ will was for them to be a supernatural people in Canaan as well.
Israel’s history is full of times when they obeyed God and times when they rebelled against God. When they obeyed, they had supernatural prosperity and victory over their enemies. When they disobeyed and tried to rely on the natural, they always failed. They would experience military defeat, plagues and conquest. Israel was brought to Canaan to be a supernatural people.
I believe we need to understand that God has provided us with a supernatural salvation. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our supernatural helper. He gives us promises of supernatural healing, deliverance and prosperity. He has called us to a supernatural commission. We cannot win the world with natural ability. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our everyday living.
I believe that the Lord has led my church and me on a supernatural journey to the edge of a Promised Land. That land is a place where we are to live as a supernatural people. We need to draw on the power of the supernatural in everything we do so that we can show the world that there is a supernatural God who cares about them. This year we are going to learn how to do that in a more consistent way. I am looking forward to the journey. How about you?