What do you do when you find yourself walking on untrodden ground, in a place you’ve never been before? Joshua in the Old Testament found himself in that situation. Joshua 1:1-3 MSG says, “After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses.”
In the above translation, God told Joshua to get going. Don’t hang around on this side of the Jordan. It didn’t matter to God there were enemies in the land because He was with them. Their job was to walk and take the land.
Recently, God gave me a task I find daunting. How can I do it? It seems too big. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have all the information I need. Others will criticize. Then I was reminded of Joshua chapter one where God told the children of Israel He was giving them “every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” In order to possess the land, though, they had to move their feet. In order for me to do the task, I have to take that first step and walk.
In Joshua 6: 1-27, the Israelites had to do more walking. Joshua 6:2-5 NIV says, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.’”
I’m sure the Israelites felt foolish, walking around the walls of the city once each day for six days and then seven times on day seven, not saying anything until Joshua told them to shout the battle cry. But they did it. “So the people shouted, and they blew the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpet sound, they shouted a loud battle cry, and the wall fell down…” Joshua 6:20. Obedience brought victory.
When the Israelites went in to take the Promised Land, they had to walk in by faith. Faith in what? Faith in the Word of God. Joshua 1:3 MEV says, “I have given you every place that the sole of your foot shall tread…” “I have given…” It was a done deal. All they had to do was obey and walk.
The same is true for us. The Word of God is the foundation for each step we take. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 BSB. And when we obey His Word and trust in His promises, He guarantees our success. “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night…For then you will make your way successful…Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 MEV.
What could be better than that? I speak to myself and I speak to you, the reader. Pick up your feet and walk. Go in and possess the land.
In Judges chapter six in the Old Testament, the Israelites had done evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping other gods. The Lord gave them into the hands of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east. Whenever the Israelites would plant crops, the Midianites would ruin them and take the livestock. The account says the Midianites and Amalekites covered the land like a swarm of locusts, too numerous to count. The Israelites hid from their oppressors in caves, mountains and strongholds. Not a great situation.
The Israelites cried out to the Lord and He sent them a very unlikely deliverer. We find him threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12 MEV). Mighty man of valour? It sure didn’t look like it. In verse fourteen, the Lord said to Gideon, “’Go in this strength of yours. Save Israel from the control of Midian. Have I not sent you?’”
Gideon made excuses and said his clan was the weakest and he the youngest in his family – how could he save anyone? God answered him in verse sixteen, “‘…But I will be with you, and you will strike the Midianites as one man.’” (Italics mine).
You probably know the rest of the story. Gideon defeated the horde of Midianites with only three hundred men, so the Israelites wouldn’t be able to boast and say they did it in their own strength.
The part that interests me the most is the angel of the Lord calling Gideon a mighty man of valour when he was hiding in a winepress. The NLT translates ‘mighty man of valour’ as ‘mighty hero’. In essence, the angel was saying, “don’t let this situation scare you, Gideon. You’re stronger than you think.” And why was he stronger? Because he had God on His side. It wasn’t about Gideon’s strength. It was about God’s strength in Gideon.
The same is true for you and me. No matter what our situation, whether it's a bad report from a doctor, a financial problem, or rocky relationships, God is making a way where there is no way. The Scripture says if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Proverbs 28:1 MEV says that “…the righteous are as bold as a lion.” We are the head and not the tail, above and not below (Deuteronomy 28:13), more than a conqueror, (Romans 8:37), surrounded with God’s favour, (Psalm 52:12) and able to do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
In short, God’s Word tells us we are victors, not victims. “Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph in Christ and through us reveals the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 MEV. We are the overcomers, not the overcome. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11. With the power of God, we can scale a wall. (Psalm 18:29). With God on our side, we are stronger than we think!
Under “The Joy of Writing” portion of my blog, I would like to list some of the writing tips I’ve gathered along the way. They are not listed in order of importance. Here we go!
I’d like to begin today by looking at Genesis 17:1-5, NKJV.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.”
Note first of all that God appeared to Abraham as El-Shaddai, God Almighty. Shaddai means the breasty one, the nurse, the full supply. In other words, the God of more than enough.
Secondly, the man and woman God made the covenant with couldn’t fulfill their part of the promise. Abraham was one hundred years old. Sarah ninety and had been barren all her life. That’s the contradiction to the promise God made to them. They couldn’t do it but God could.
Thirdly, God said He had made, not would make, Abraham the father of many nations. It was a fait accompli.
Next, I would like to look at what Paul wrote in Romans 4:16-20 NKJV.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai— ‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
“At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.
“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God…”
The key is found in verse seventeen – the” God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…” Abraham didn’t look at the contradiction. He didn’t consider his own body or Sarah’s dead womb or age. He looked at the covenant and did not waver at the promise.
I think as believers we often waver at the promise and concentrate on the contradiction. For example, if I am facing a financial need, do I look at my negative bank account or at God’s promise to provide for all my need according to His riches, which are limitless? (Philippian 4:19). If I am sick, do I look at my symptoms (the contradiction) or at the Word of God in Isaiah 53:5 NKJV, (the covenant): “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” In the New Testament, Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:24 TPT, “He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness. Our instant healing flowed from his wounding.”
As born-again Christians, we must not yield to the contradiction but stand firmly on the promise. We must be determined to stay on the God side of everything.
Where do you live – in the land of barely enough, just enough, or more than enough?
For 430 years, the Israelites lived in the land of barely enough. “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field…” (Exodus 1:8-14 NKJV).
You know the story. When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to tell him that the God of the Israelites had told them to hold a feast to Him in the wilderness, Pharaoh asked who this God was that he should obey Him. Then he decreed that the Israelites would have to gather their own straw to make bricks and still fulfill their daily quota. In the land of Egypt, the children of Israel barely had enough to get by. When Moses told them God would deliver them, “…they did not listen to Moses on account of their anguish of spirit and for cruel bondage.” (Exodus 6:9, MEV).
After plagues and the death of the firstborn, Pharaoh let the Israelites go and God led them out with a strong hand. However, when it came time to go in and possess the Promised Land, they feared the giants living there, disobeyed God, and failed to go in. For forty years, they wandered in the desert, until the unbelieving generation passed away. But God was gracious to them. “For all these 40 years your clothes haven't grown old, and your feet haven't blistered or swollen." (Deuteronomy 8:4 TLB). The Israelites were no longer in bondage in the land of barely enough. They had entered the land of just enough.
But all along, God’s plan had been for them to live in the land of more than enough. “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. (Deuteronomy 6:10-11 NLT). God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey – the land of more than enough.
So where do you live today? Are you still living in the land of barely enough or just enough? If so, God wants to lead you into the land of more than enough. The God we serve owns every animal of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), the treasures hidden in darkness (Isaiah 45:3), and has promised to supply all our need, not according to the world’s faltering economy, but according to His limitless riches.
Everything in God’s kingdom is based on the law of sowing and reaping. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your store of seed and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion…” (2 Corinthians 9:10, Berean Study Bible). So sow your seed today and trust God to bring in the harvest. Stand on His promises. “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1 NKJV).
And remember, it is through faith and patience we inherit the promises. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV). Go ahead – possess God’s Promised Land of more than enough. He wants you to have it.
The Scripture says that, “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10 TLB). What has the devil stolen from you? Is it your health, a relationship, your finances, something physical? God is in the restoration business. He desires for you to reclaim what is yours. Today, let’s look at how one man in the Bible got back what was stolen from him.
David, future king of Israel, and his men had been out fighting their enemies. When they returned to Ziklag, their home base, they found everything had been taken – their wives, children, and everyone else. In addition, the Amalekites had burned everything to the ground. 1 Samuel 30:4 says David and his men “wept until they could weep no more.” But then David’s men turned against him and threatened to stone him. What did David do? 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV) says, “And David was greatly distressed…but (he) encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
David encouraged himself in the Lord. When you are at a crossroads, how do you do this? You do it with the Word of God. You remind yourself what God has said about you, the dominion He has given you as a believer, and the promises in His Word which cover every situation you can ever face. Secondly, you remember the victories He’s given you in the past – the times He’s healed, restored relationships, provided for financial needs.
The next thing David did was to pursue. David asked the Lord if he should pursue the enemy. “And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them...” (1 Samuel 30: 8 NKJV). David gathered up his men, pursued his enemy and attacked him until he was defeated. How do we pursue as believers today? We determine we will not settle for the thievery, we take up arms, and we go after what has been stolen.
God has provided us with the weapons we need – His Word, the words of our mouth, and the knowledge Jesus won the victory over the powers of darkness when He rose from the dead.
The third thing David did was to overtake. After God told David to pursue, he said to him, “You shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all” (verse 8, NKJV). God guaranteed David’s success. But it didn’t come easily. The Scripture says “David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day” (1 Samuel 30:17, NKJV). How do we overtake? We rebuke the devil in the Name of Jesus. We bind every spirit that comes against us. We keep speaking the Word of God. And we use the spiritual forces of faith and patience by which we inherit the promises.
And the best part? Not only did David recover all but he took the spoils from the Amalekites as well. That’s what happened to Job. He regained double for everything Satan had taken from him. Don’t just go for what you’ve lost. Anticipate more. In Jesus, you are more than a conqueror. The Scripture says if we catch a thief, he must restore seven times what he stole. (Proverbs 6:31). So take back what has been stolen from you. Bankrupt the devil.
As a born-again believer, you have divine favour with God. That’s right. His Word says so. “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12 NKJV). Favour is mentioned over seventy times in the Bible. The favour of God guarantees His presence and power to accomplish His purposes for you. His favour lasts a lifetime. “For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life…” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). For every season of our lives, God provides His favour. That especially comforts me in the golden years of my life.
You can grow in the favour of God. “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.” (1 Samuel 2:26 ESV). “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52 NKJV).
I would like to look at five aspects of God’s favour.
So, dear believer in Jesus, walk in the light of God’s favour today. It’s all around you and protects you like a shield. God says so.
In Christ Jesus, God has done so much for us as born-again believers. In this post, I want to list just a very small portion of what we have in Him as His blood-bought children.
We've been made His righteousness. “For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 TPT).
Jesus has given us His Name, the Name above every name. “And these miracle signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of my name. They will speak in tongues. They will be supernaturally protected from snakes and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.” (Mark 16:17 TPT).
In addition to His Name, Jesus has given us His authority. “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 MSG).
We have His armour. “Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times.” (Ephesians 6:14-18 TPT).
His supernatural weapons belong to us. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV).
We can come boldly to His throne of grace. “By the blood of Jesus, He has given you the privilege to come boldly to His throne of grace and to find help in your time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 World English Bible).
No earthly force or demonic power can separate us from His love. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).
Through an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, we are to reign in life – not just when we get to Heaven. “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17 Berean Study Bible).
In addition to the above, He has given us His protection, exchanged our poverty for His riches, we’ve been adopted into His family as sons and daughters and made ambassadors of His kingdom. We are more than conquerors and have been made “…kings and priests to his God and Father, to him is the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6 Young's Literal Translation).
My heart is bursting with joy as I look over these Scriptures and I trust that yours is also. We can speak with the writer to the Hebrews in Hebrews 13:6 NIV, “So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
As born-again believers, we must be diligent to cast down thoughts, reasonings and ideas which are contrary to the Word of God. For example, if you have a financial need and are standing on God’s promise in Philippians 4:19, which reads in The Message: “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus”, and Satan whispers in your ear, “Not this time. He’s not going to come through for you this time,” cast down that thought in the Name of Jesus and declare, out loud, the truth of God’s Word.
One of my mentors in Christ taught me a valuable truth and it is this: You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts. You have to fight thoughts with words. The words we fight with are the very Words of God.
Back to my example above. When Satan lies to you that God is not going to meet your need, get in Satan's face and tell him that according to the Word of God, God has promised to take care of everything you need. Remind him that God clothes the lilies of the field, and that you are more valuable than they are.” (Matthew 6: 28-30). Tell him that Jesus told his followers to “take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.” (Matthew 6: 31-32). Inform him that you’re going to do what Jesus told you to do – not to worry but “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33). In other words, you must fight to keep the seed of faith planted in your heart by the Word of God, for “… faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV). Don’t allow Satan to steal the Word of God out of your heart. If you do, you allow him to steal your victory.
In 1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV, the Apostle Paul told us to fight the fight of faith. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” I believe one aspect of the fight of faith is holding on with dogged determination to the promises of God and casting down anything that is contrary to His Word. Like a dog who has a bone and will not let go, we will not let go of God’s Word, no matter the whispers from the enemy, the circumstances, or the contrary reports. We must be like Abraham, who “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God…” (Romans 4:20).
The Greek word for stagger is diakrino, which means “to waver”. Remember what James says in James 1: 6-7 (Berean Study Bible). “But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Today, may we determine as men and women of God, to cast down anything contrary to the Word of God, to fight the good fight of faith, and not to stagger at the promises of God. May we be strong in faith, like Abraham, so we can receive all that God has for us.
Being a self-published author has its challenges. One of them I find particularly taxing is the marketing of my book. There are so many confusing voices on the Internet telling me that if I purchase their service, my advertising will reach hundreds (or thousands) of people. How do I know what is true – what works and what doesn’t?
Of course, there are many ways to market my book without spending money, such as approaching bookstores, libraries, joining groups on social media, and sending queries to podcasts and radio stations to interview me regarding the book. It’s the advertisements that promise me the moon that I’m unsure whether to invest in or not.
For example, I purchased an ad on one of the social media sites and ran it for seven days. I got clicks but not purchases. I gave up after one campaign. But should I have? I receive blogs regarding book marketing and one blogger stated that you have to keep trying different ads to see which ones are successful and which ones are not. This makes sense but it also costs money.
I think my quandary is where will my advertising dollar have the most success? And when you get right down to it, the only way to find out is by trial and error. Not very reassuring. But I’ll keep plugging away. Giving up is not an option.
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.