Appendix 5: How to possess (receive) your Inheritance.
Long-Life is part of our inheritance in Christ and the same basic faith-principles apply to receiving this promise as apply to receiving all the promises of God in Christ. In this Appendix, I want to describe the 3 STEP PROCESS of FAITH that we must go through to possess any promise of God, especially the promise of a long and abundant life on earth.
How do we POSSESS our INHERITANCE? The Steps we must take in order to possess spiritual things are parallel to possessing natural things.
STEP 1: KNOW ABOUT IT.
We must come to know about its existence and availability. We must SEE it (perhaps in a shop or on the web or in an advert). First we just see it from a distance, but as our desire is awakened to have it, we will find out more about it until we have a full KNOWLEDGE of what it can do and its cost and availability. Then when we are fully persuaded that we want it, that it is available and within our power to possess, we are ready to go onto the next stage, which is to POSSESS it. Notice that although KNOWLEDGE is a necessary preparation to POSSESSION, just knowing all about something does not mean we possess it yet.
Likewise, knowing God’s promises and being fully persuaded they belong to us, does not mean we have possession of what is promised. We have just got ourselves into position where it is possible to take possession of the promise. Likewise, before Israel took possession of the Promised Land God described the Land to them and He told them it was available to them, for He was giving it to them. For how could they POSSESS a Land about which they had no KNOWLEDGE?
Therefore in order to POSSESS the promises we must first KNOW them.
We must SEE them and BELIEVE them (be FULLY PERSUADED they belong to us). Once we KNOW and have FAITH in the Word (promise) of God, we are then ready to take the next Step.
STEP 2: LAY HOLD OF IT. MAKE IT YOURS!
In the world you would probably do this by paying for it, laying hold of it and then taking it from the shop. Now all the promised blessings of God are already paid for by the blood of Christ and so are free to us, but we still have to LAY HOLD of them, and MAKE THEM OURS. Knowing about it is not enough, in order to enjoy it we must possess it. I may know the promise of God is true, but I must receive it so that it is true for me! Other Biblical phrases that describe this are: TO EMBRACE, POSSESS, (BELIEVE I) RECEIVE, OBTAIN, and PARTAKE of the promised blessing.
Step 1 is Mental Assent to the promise (agreeing that it is for me), and
Step 2 is to personally appropriate it for oneself, TRUSTING God for it.
The GOSPEL is the Good-News that the Kingdom of God with all its blessings, including salvation and healing, is AT HAND. In other words, God is holding out to us the blessing as a free-gift, for us to come to Him and reach out with our hand of faith and LAY HOLD of it. The Gospel is the proclamation that He offers us His Life as a gift, so that it is freely available to us to reach out and receive: “Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, saying, 'The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is AT HAND: repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:14,15). "From that time Jesus began to PREACH and SAY, 'Repent for the KINGDOM of Heaven is (now) AT HAND!" (Matthew 4:17)."Preach: “the KINGDOM of Heaven is AT HAND" (Matthew 10:7).
“It is AT HAND” means - “It is here, God's power is within your reach,
salvation is yours for the taking, it is at hand, so reach out and take it!”
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the KINGDOM of Heaven suffers violence (a better translation is: “The Kingdom forces
itself on men's attention” - through the Gospel), and the violent take it by force (or better: “the forceful ones lay hold of it”) (Matthew 11:12).
We are to FORCEFULLY LAY HOLD of the BLESSINGS of GOD that God has already provided for us and put AT HAND(within our reach) for us to come to Him and receive, having been purchased by His Blood.
Once Israel KNEW of the Promised Land and that it was theirs for the taking (theirs to possess), then they had to go in and actually POSSESS it, by putting their foot on each piece of it. They had to KNOW it was theirs and then MAKE IT THEIRS, and then every place where they put the soles of their feet became theirs. They PRESSED in and TOOK the Land.
Deuteronomy 1:8: “(1) SEE I have set the land before you (STEP 1- is to see (know) the promise, that it is for us). (2) Go in and POSSESS the Land (Promise) which the Lord swore (by Covenant) to give you (STEP 2).”
Likewise we have a Promised Land and we must know it (by meditating on His promises), and then press in and possess every piece of our promised inheritance (including long-life), by personally putting our foot on (claiming, receiving and laying hold of) every promise: “The law and prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached(as being at hand) and (as a result) every man PRESSES INTO IT” (Luke 16:16).
2Peter 1:3,4 perfectly describes these first 2 STEPS: “His divine power HAS (freely) GIVEN to us ALL THINGS that pertain to LIFE and godliness (now we are told how we come into possession of these things): (1) through the KNOWLEDGE of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious PROMISES,
(2) that through (KNOWING) these (PROMISES)
you may be PARTAKERS of the divine nature (life).”
Notice that although God has already given us all we need (our inheritance),it is still up to us to come to Him in faith and partake of (receive, possess) it. Before we can PARTAKE of His life (Step 2), it is obviously necessary that we first have KNOWLEDGE of God and His precious promises, for it is through this knowledge that we are able to partake of His life and nature.
Hebrews 4:16 also describes Step 2: “Let us therefore come BOLDLY
(in confident faith that He will freely give Life to us) to the Throne of GRACE, that we may OBTAIN MERCY and find grace to help in time of need.” To come to the Throne and OBTAIN something from God means we leave the Throne with it in our hands. This requires confidence! This confidence comes from being diligent in meditating upon God’s Word.
Mark 11:24 describes how to take Step 2 and believe we receive it from God: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask (in your inheritance) when you pray, BELIEVE that you RECEIVE them and you will have them.” Coming to God and believing we receive the promised blessing is an act of TRUST. Once we have sufficient confidence in God and His Word, we take Him at His Word that He is freely giving us what He promised, so we come to Him and receive, putting all our trust in Him to bring it to pass.We must first know His Word and be fully persuaded of its truth, and be fully assured of God’s faithfulness to perform it, then we can TRUST Him and receive from Him.
In order to draw money from your bank you must first have CONFIDENCE that you have that money in your account (it belongs to you) as well as CONFIDENCE in the bank that it will fulfil its promise to give you your money when you come to request it. Surely we should have greater confidence in God than in our bank! When you are fully assured that the blessing you want is God’s will (that it belongs to you in your inheritance) and that God is faithful to keep His promise to give it to you when you ask,
then you are ready to take Step 2 and come to God and ask for it, believing that you receive it from Him, because you are trusting Him to give it to you.
1John 5:14,15 describes this exact process in receiving from God:
“This is the CONFIDENCE that we have in Him (His Character), that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears(answers) us. And if we KNOW He hears us (gives it to us upon request), whatever we ask (according to His will) we KNOW (we have the confidence) that we HAVE (POSSESSED) the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
In order to successfully receive from God, we must first have the confidence that what we are asking is God’s will (that it is promised to us). Thus we must know the promise and that it is for us (this is Step 1). Then we must also have confidence in the One who made the promise, that when we ask Him for that blessing, He will be faithful to His Word to give us that blessing upon request and not withhold it from us. Once we have this confidence as described in 1John 5:14 we are ready to take Step 2 and come to God and make our petition, believing we receive the answer when we pray (Mark 11:24) Then having done this, we will have the confidence that we now HAVE the petition (the promised blessing) that we have asked of Him (1John 5:15). By faith we will know we possess the answer even before we see it manifested.
James 1:5-8: “If any of you lacks wisdom (or any other promised blessing), let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
James tells that when we ask, God will give it to us freely, without withholding, but if we do not ask in faith, believing that God is a liberal Giver, then we will be unable to receive what He is giving (releasing) to us.
We must ask in faith, believing and not doubting that God gives to all men liberally upon request. Therefore before we can ask and receive (Step 2),
we must build our confidence in God and His Word, so that we are not double-minded, but completely convinced that He has promised us that blessing and that He will be faithful to deliver on that promise and release it to us when we ask Him (this is Step 1).
Romans 10:12,13 describes Step 2 as CALLING in faith on the Lord:
“The same Lord over all is rich (gives freely) to all who CALL upon Him (who ask Him for life). For: "all who CALL on the Name of the
Lord (Jesus), shall be saved (all who ask in faith shall receive His life).”
Then v14-17 shows that before you can take Step 2, you have to take Step 1: “How then shall they CALL (in faith) on Him in whom they have not BELIEVED? And how shall they BELIEVE in Him of whom they have not HEARD? And how shall they hear without a preacher?... So then FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Before we can pray and believe we receive from God, we must have the FAITH in our heart that comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God.
First, we must know and believe the Word (Promise) by hearing it (Step 1). Then we come to God and believe we receive it by calling upon Him (Step 2)
Even after taking these 2 Steps there is still a possibility of failure, because if I am not alert, watchful and diligent I could lose the blessing, because there are thieves about who would like to steal it from me. In the spiritual realm there is a thief who will certainly use his cunning to try and take it from me by trying to influence me to let go of it in unbelief (John 10:10). So I must know how to recognise and deal with him, and be ready to resist him when he comes to steal God’s blessings from me by making me doubt His Word.
STEP 3: RESIST THE THIEF. Thieves work by deception to avoid detection because they know that once discerned they are unlikely to succeed. Likewise, satan works by subtlety, lies and deception. Once he knows we have laid hold of God’s blessing by laying hold of His Word (God’s blessing is in His Word and comes through the Word - see the Parable of the Sower), he will come to challenge it. His aim is to cause you to let go of the Word, and so let go of the blessing. He will do this through a variety of thoughts, such as distractions, unbelief, affliction, pressures or condemnation, trying to convince you the promise is not for you or that you are unworthy of it. If you let yourself listen to his lies you will become weak and let go of the promise, and as a result satan will be able to steal the blessing from you.
If you had something precious in your house and a thief came to take it, would you be passive and do nothing to stop him, especially if you had the ability to run him off? No, you would resist him! You would remind him he was trespassing on your property and you would command him to leave immediately. You would not listen to him or have a conversation with him!
Likewise God has given us the authority and power to send satan running and He has also told us how to do it. We must learn to resist these attacks, when satan comes to challenge, deny and steal the Word from our heart (and thus steal the blessing from our life). We must resist satan the same way Jesus did in Matthew 4, by having the Word established in our heart (having believed we received it) and then speaking it in the face of satan’s lies, saying: “IT IS WRITTEN...”, and then commanding him to be gone.
This is Step 3, which is essential to hold onto the blessing once we have received it and see it fulfilled. Clearly it is impossible to take Step 3, if we have not already taken Steps 1 & 2, and personally appropriated the promise. We cannot enforce the victory over satan with the Word on our lips, if we have not even believed it and received (embraced) it as ours in our heart.
1Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good FIGHT of (the) faith (the Word), LAY HOLD on eternal life (the life of God), to which you were also called, and have CONFESSED the good CONFESSION (of the Word).”
Here Paul tells us how to fight the good fight of the faith. The spiritual battle is over the Word, whether we will believe and hold onto the Word, for if we have the Word we have the blessing and the victory. The fight of (the) faith is the fight to believe, receive and hold onto the Word and thereby possess the life of God that is promised by and contained in the Word. He says we must LAY HOLD of God’s promises of life (Step 2), but in order to do this we must know of them and be fully convinced that they belong to us (Step 1) This is why he adds the phrase: “to which you were also called.”
This is a deliberate appeal to their knowledge, reminding them that this life belongs to them, they have been called by God into it, it is part of their inheritance. On the basis of this knowledge that they have been called to possess the abundant and eternal life of God and that the promise of this life belongs to them in their Inheritance (Step 1), they are to lay hold of (believe they receive) the promise and possess it for themselves (Step 2).
So we fight the good (victorious) fight of faith, by (1) KNOWING through the Word that we have been called to possess His promises of life. Then (2) on the basis of that knowledge, we are to LAY HOLD of that life by laying hold of the promise. Finally (3) we are to KEEP HOLD of the Word when satan comes to try and deceive and pressure us into letting it go. We do this by CONFESSING the Word in his face: “IT IS WRITTEN.”
By speaking the Word, especially when under attack, we strengthen our grip upon the promise and nullify the words of the enemy, so that they have no power over us. We will also cause him to flee from us. Thus we enforce our victory by declaring God’s Word to us, but how can we do this if we do not (1) KNOW exactly what it says, and (2) TRUST in it with all our heart?
“SUBMIT to God (and His Word, by believing you receive His promise). (Then) RESIST the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
How do we submit to God? By submitting to His Word. How? By knowing and receiving it. So first, we must submit to God by receiving His Word (Steps 1 and 2). Then and only then can we resist the devil and see him flee by speaking the Word in faith (Step 3). How do we resist satan? By resisting (refusing to submit to) his word. How? By knowing (discerning) and rejecting his word, by speaking God’s Word out loud and telling satan to leave you.
How can we discern the enemy’s word. The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real so well, you can immediately sense something is wrong. If you know God’s Word well, then even when the enemy puts on his best religious and persuasive disguise you will be able to smell a rat!
Notice the order: if you have not first submitted to (received) God’s Word then you can’t resist the devil, in fact you are already in a losing position as far as that promise is concerned, and he does not even need to do anything.
To win you must first know and receive the promise, and then run the devil off when he challenges it.
1Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober (free from intoxication), be vigilant (be alert so you can recognise and discern the enemy when he comes to you); because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.RESIST him, steadfast in the faith (in the Word, maintaining your position of faith in the promise, having received it).”
Possessing our promised inheritance is like Israel possessing her Promised Land: Step 1 is to KNOW the land and its boundaries and be assured that God is giving it to us. Step 2 is to go in by faith and POSSESS it. However, as Israel went in to claim and occupy each portion of the Land, they faced enemies (even giants) there who resisted and challenged them.
Step 3: Therefore they also had to resist these enemies and hold onto the land that they had taken. Likewise, when we have put our foot on a promise, when the enemy comes to challenge us, trying to make us retreat from our position of faith in the promise, we must RESIST him HOLDING our ground (our position of faith), STANDING firm on God’s Word (Promise) and DEFENDING our position using the Word, by putting it on our lips (Step 3):
1Corinthians 16:13: “Watch, STAND fast in the faith (in believing the Word) be brave, be strong.”
Exodus 14:13,14: "Do not be afraid. STAND FIRM and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians (the enemy) you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to STAND."
Ephesians 6:10-17 instructs us how to take our STAND, and hold our ground when under enemy attack: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole Armour of God, that you may be able to STAND against the wiles (and lies) of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers...Therefore take up the whole Armour of God, that you may be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day (of attack), and having done all, to STAND (firm in faith). STAND therefore, having girded your waist with (the belt of) truth...and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (‘rhema’ = the spoken word) of God.”
The Armour of God we need to put on for this fight of faith also illustrate the 3 Steps that we need to take:
STEP 1. The first and foundational piece of Armour mentioned is the BELT of TRUTH which represents the written WORD or PROMISE of God.
When we are aware of the promise and become assured that it is for us (Step 1), that is like seeing the belt and holding it in our hand.
However if this is all that we do, it does not yet benefit us.
STEP 2. For it to benefit us we must also put it on. We must WRAP it around ourselves tightly. Likewise we must wrap our heart and minds in each promise of God so that it grips and upholds us. We are to receive and embrace it for ourselves, so it becomes foundational to our life (Step 2).
The BELT of TRUTH will now support other pieces of Armour such as the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS and the SWORD of the SPIRIT. In order to stand in the fight, we must have our heart covered by the Breastplate, protecting us from the enemy’s condemnation and accusations. The Breastplate is attached to the Belt and held in place by it. This is a picture of how our protection from condemnation is based on God’s promises of forgiveness, cleansing and justification (His gift to us of righteousness).
STEP 3. Also attached to the BELT is the SWORD of the SPIRIT which is the SPOKEN WORD OF GOD, with which we are able to defend our position of faith when the enemy comes to challenge it (Step 3). The SWORD is placed in the BELT and brought forth from the belt when needed. The sword is the ‘rhema’ or spoken word of God, which we bring forth from our knowledge of God’s promises (the belt) by speaking it. Thus when we are under attack we can take the SWORD of the SPIRIT out of our belt to use against the enemy. We take a appropriate promise out from the belt of truth and speak it forth saying: “it is written” and by the Spirit it becomes a sword that cuts the enemy, for the power of the Spirit goes forth with the spoken word of God. Thus we stab satan with the sword of the spoken word of God. So when under attack STAND your GROUND, pull your SWORD from your BELT and run the devil off!
Having received the promise and taken new ground in our Promised Land, we must be ready to stand our ground and resist the enemy when he attacks.
He attacks us by his words (thoughts) supernaturally energised by his spirit, which come at us like a sword. How are we to defend ourselves and nullify
this attack? We must TAKE our supernatural SWORD out of our BELT and use it to counter his sword (but if we try to use natural means to defeat satan we will fail). That is, we must take the WORD (promise) of God (‘logos’) that we have already received (wrapped around ourselves as our belt) and PUT IT ON OUR LIPS (saying: “It is written”) so that it becomes a ‘rhema’ or SPOKEN WORD of God. Because we have already trusted in this promise we can speak it forth against the enemy in faith, and as we do the Holy-Spirit will go forth with this spoken word supernaturally energising it, so that it becomes the SWORD of the SPIRIT going forth from our mouth overcoming and destroying the word of the enemy. Thus we overcome satan by the word of our testimony to the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11).
Notice it is impossible to release a word of God as a sword of the Spirit (Step 3) unless we have already believed and received it in our heart (Step 2)just as it is impossible to take our sword out of our belt when we are standing in battle, if we have failed to put our belt on in the first place! If we have put the belt (promise) on tight so that it grips our heart firmly, then whenever satan attacks, we can take it and put it on our lips and it will become a sword against satan that will nullify his attack and enforce our victory over him.
If we put up firm resistance to satan, refusing to let go of the Word and speaking it boldly against his lies, then he will realise we have made a quality decision to stand firm and that he is only wasting his time, and so he will leave us. But if he senses our resistance is weak and uncertain then we just encourage him to stick around to weaken us further until we give in.
Of course, standing our ground (maintaining our hold on the promise) when the enemy comes to challenge us is only relevant if we have taken the ground (laid hold of and claimed the promise) in the first place. If we have not yet taken possession of it, then the enemy does not even need to come to try and remove us from it. It’s when we have believed we have received the Promise (Steps 1 and 2), that we then need to be ready to resist satan and stand our ground, maintaining our position of faith by speaking the Word (Step 3).
We need PATIENCE in the time-period between receiving a promise by faith and its manifestation in our life. The Book of Hebrews has much to say about this, for it is written to those who have believed the promise, but are under pressure to give up (stop believing). Hebrews encourages them in patience (endure), to continue believing and speaking the Word and not quit:
“Do not become weary, but imitate those who through (1) FAITH (believing they receive), and (2) PATIENCE(continuing to believe)
inherit the promises (receive the manifestation)” (Hebrews 6:12).
“Let us HOLD FAST the CONFESSION of our HOPE without wavering (in faith), for He who promised is faithful”(Hebrews 10:23).
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us HOLD FAST our CONFESSION (of the Word)” (Hebrews 4:14). We maintain our position of faith when under pressure (attack) by patiently holding fast our confession
“We have become PARTAKERS of Christ (and His life), if we HOLD the beginning of our CONFIDENCE (faith)STEADFAST to the end.” (Hebrews 3:14). We must maintain the position of faith that we attained.
“Do not cast away YOUR CONFIDENCE (that you have received the promise) which has great reward (the fulfilment and manifestation of the promise). For you have need of endurance (patience), that after you have done the will of God (by believing that you received it), you may receive the promise (manifested in your life)” (Hebrews 10:35,36).
The fact that they are told not to cast away their confidence shows that they do have confidence, that is, they have received the promise (Steps 1 and 2). But doing God’s will by initially possessing the promise (Mark 11:24) does not guarantee us success, for we must also patiently maintain our faith in the promise, refusing to cast away our confidence in God and His promise.
Once we have received the Word, we are to maintain our faith in the Word and a major key to doing this is to SPEAK it. By affirming our beliefs we protect our heart against unbelief, we nullify the attacks of satan, and also we call the promise forth into manifestation, for as God brought the universe into manifestation by speaking words, so we (being in His image) can help bring the promise into manifestation, by confessing it. Confession means ‘to say the same thing as’, so as we get into agreement with God concerning the promise by speaking it as ours, we give the Holy-Spirit the right to perform it (for God has given us the free-will authority over our lives). Thus we are to: BELIEVE God’s power, health and life INTO OUR BODY and also SPEAK it into manifestation. By our words we can also command the removal of whatever stands in the way of the manifestation of the promise:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain,
‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not (let) doubt (enter) into his heart, but BELIEVES that those things he SAYS will
be done (come to pass), he will have whatever he SAYS” (Mark 11:23).
Notice the speaker is already in a position of faith (having believed the promise), for he believes and is just required to protect his heart against the entrance of doubt. He must now express his faith in his words, speaking the desired end-result (the promise), and he will have what he says, if he continues to believe that what he says (the promise) will come to pass. In v23, Jesus emphasises that as well as speaking the promise, we have the right to speak the removal of whatever stands in the way of its manifestation.
But how can I attain this position of faith in the promise in the first place?
That is where the next verse, Mark 11:24, comes in: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask, when you pray, BELIEVE that you RECEIVE them, and you will have them (manifested).” We will have the promised answer if we (1) BELIEVE we RECEIVE it in our heart (v24) then (2) SAY it with our mouth believing that what we say will be done (v23)
In Summary, in order to possess and keep our inheritance, we must:
1. KNOW the Word (Promise) and know the faithfulness of the One Who made it and stands behind it, so that we are fully persuaded, convinced and assured the promise is God’s will for us and ours to receive and possess.We now have the necessary FAITH in our heart, with which we can come to God and receive the promised blessing.
2. RECEIVE (lay hold of) the promise by faith, MAKING IT OURS.
This is to PUT ALL OUR TRUST in God to fulfil His promise to us. We must EMBRACE the promise and POSSESS (BELIEVE WE RECEIVE) the promised blessing, coming to God to OBTAIN what we need and PARTAKE of His grace, by CALLING upon His Name in faith.
3. RESIST satan’s lies by CONFESSING God’s Word (Promise). This is how we stand our ground and resist satan when he comes to steal the word and blessing from us. Satan will come to test whether you will continue to trust in God and His Word, or if he can undermine your faith. If we are spiritually passive when he challenges the Word in us, we will let go of the promise, and thus allow him to steal the blessing from us. We must hold onto our position of faith and refuse to lose the ground we have gained.
Imagine you received a letter from a solicitor that told you that a rich relative had died and left you a big inheritance. If you were foolish you would put the letter aside and fail to read it, and as a result you would lose out on your inheritance, it would remain unclaimed. Although it was yours you would never enjoy it. To possess it you would have to go through the 3 Steps. Step 1: You would read and re-read the letter until you knew exactly what it said and what belonged to you. You would also make sure the solicitors were genuine and trustworthy so that it was not some kind of a scam. Then you would have the confidence to take Step 2, and go and receive, possess, lay claim to your inheritance. Finally (Step 3), if anyone challenged your right to your inheritance you would take all necessary action to keep it.
Let’s consider some scriptures that show this 3-Step Process of faith:
Hebrews 11:13 describes how the faith of true believers worked:
“(1) having SEEN them (the promises) afar off were ASSURED (persuaded) of them (they KNEW and BELIEVED the promises were for them. They had FAITH),
(2) EMBRACED them (they personally RECEIVED them),
(3) and CONFESSED that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (they SPOKE and ACTED on them).”
God promised them eternal life in Heaven.
(1) They came to know about the promise (they saw it far off) and then became assured that the promise was for them.
(2) They embraced the promise; they trusted God in their heart to fulfil it for them; they received and made the promise theirs.
(3) They confessed with their life and lips that the promise of Heaven was theirs.
Psalm 107:1,2: “Oh, give THANKS to the Lord, for He is good!
For His Mercy (His covenant love and faithfulness) endures forever. Let the REDEEMED of the Lord SAY so (SAY: “I am redeemed from the curse”) whom He has REDEEMED from the hand of the enemy.”
Step 1: It starts by KNOWING what we have in our Covenant with God, that we are redeemed from the curse and under His mercies (Covenant blessings). We also need to know His Character: His Goodness and His Mercy (Hesed) which is His unchanging Covenant Love and Faithfulness.
Step 2: We will then have the confidence to trust in Him and believe we receive His Covenant Promises. When we have done this, then this will naturally and immediately result in us giving THANKS to God for doing it. The sign that we have trusted God is that we enter into rest, having ceased from our own works, and that we give thanks to God for fulfilling His Word.
Having received the promise of redemption, the Psalmist thanks God for it.
Step 3: He is also aware that having received his redemption and the mercies of God, he is also to SAY SO. He is to confess that He has been redeemed and declare the covenant blessings that he has now come into by faith.
1Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of (the) faith, LAY HOLD on eternal life (the life of God), to which you were also called, and have CONFESSED the good CONFESSION (of the Word).” Paul here instructs us how to fight the good (successful) fight of the faith. He says we must LAY HOLD of God’s promises of life (Step 2), but in order to do this we must know of them and be fully convinced that they belong to us (Step 1). This is why he adds the phrase: “to which you were also called.” This is a deliberate appeal to their knowledge, reminding them that this life belongs to them, they have been called by God into it, it is part of their inheritance. On the basis of this knowledge that they have been called to possess the abundant and eternal life of God and that the promise of this life belongs to them in their Covenant Inheritance (Step 1), they are to lay hold of (believe they receive) the promise and possess it for themselves (Step 2).
1Peter 5:6-9: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you (the manifestation of the answer) in due time.”
This covers Steps 1 and 2. Next he describes Step 3: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober (be free from all intoxication, especially of worry and anxiety), be vigilant (alert, watchful); for your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. RESIST him, steadfast in the faith (with firm determination maintain your position of faith in the promise, having received it by faith).”
We humble ourselves under the hand of God, by humbling ourselves under His Word (Promise), by knowing it, agreeing with it (that it is ours) and receiving it (Steps 1 and 2). If we maintain this humility and trust He will surely exalt us with the manifestation of the promise, but it is ‘in due time.’
That is, the promise is not always manifested immediately, for there is a time-period between seed-time and harvest when the seed is growing, during which patience is necessary. When we believe we receive the word (seed), that is when it is planted in our heart. Then it will grow and bear fruit (manifestation) in due time as long as we keep it in our heart and do not uproot it under the influence of the enemy who says: “It is not working.
It won’t bear fruit. Nothing is happening. You might as well dig it up.”During the time between planting the seed and reaping the fruit, we must patiently abide in our position of faith, trusting God to fulfil His promise to us.
One thing we must do in this time is meditate on God’s love and care for us, casting all our cares on him, and refusing to worry about what will happen, instead trusting him to fulfil His promise. Worry is meditating on the negative and will distract (intoxicate) us and weaken our ability to discern and resist the enemy when he comes. We must keep our mind free from worry, and remain steadfast in our faith in the Word, resisting all of satan’s attempts to move us from believing and trusting in God’s promise, by speaking it out loud.
Understanding these 3 STEPS helps us to analyse why we may be failing to possess a Promise of God.
If there is a failure, it must be in one of 3 areas:
1. Perhaps we have failed to take Step 1. This is due to a LACK of KNOWLEDGE of the promise of God in that area (IGNORANCE of His Word), or perhaps we know of the promise, but we have not yet become FULLY PERSUADED that it belongs (applies) to us, that God is offering that blessing to us as a free-gift, so that it is ours to receive. Without this knowledge, we cannot possibly have the CONFIDENCE to come to God and believe we receive it. A lack of CONFIDENCE is due to a lack of KNOWLEDGE. In this case we lack confidence to receive the blessing, either because we do not know about the promise, or we are not convinced that it is His will for us to have it. The solution is MEDITATION in the promises until we KNOW them and are ASSURED that they belong to us.
2. Perhaps we have failed to take Step 2. This is due to a LACK of KNOWLEDGE of and CONFIDENCE in God’s Character (His Love, Power and Faithfulness). Having studied God’s Word sufficiently to have taken Step 1 (so that we know God’s promise and have become convinced it is His will for us), it is possible that we have got stuck at this stage and have failed to take the next Step (2) and come to God, taking Him at His Word, and believe we receive (possess) His Promise for ourselves. Failure at this stage is not because we do not know the promise sufficiently, but because we do not have sufficient trust (confidence) in the One Who stands behind the promise, due to a lack of knowledge of God (His Faithful Character).
If I promised you a large sum of money, and you understood that promise and knew that I had made it to you, and then if you still did not come to me on the basis of my promise to receive it from me, I would have to deduce that you are unable to trust me, because you have some doubts about me. You must lack confidence in my character or ability. You either doubt my willingness or my ability to keep my word. Either you think I was foolish
and made a promise I could not keep, or that I do not have the integrity and faithfulness to keep my word, or that due to a lack of love and generosity I would withhold the money from you and delay giving it to you.
If you are not fully persuaded in your heart that someone is faithful to his word or able to keep it, he could make a clear promise to you and you could know exactly what he said and be able to repeat it word for word, but you would still be unable to put your full trust in him to fulfil it. You see, knowing the promise is not enough; you must also know the character and the ability (power) of the one who made the promise and stands behind it.
Thus if we know the promise is for us (Step 1), but we are unable to take Step 2 and possess it by faith, it is because we are not convinced that He means what He says, that He will give it to us upon request, that He will be faithful to fulfil His promise to us if we put our trust in Him. We are not yet fully persuaded like Abraham that He who promised is also willing and ABLE to perform it (Romans 4:21). We have not yet (like Sarah) judged Him FAITHFUL to keep His promise to us (Hebrews 11:11). This lack of CONFIDENCE in receiving from God, this inability to TRUST Him, even when we know His promise, is due to a lack of HEART-KNOWLEDGE of God Himself (His Character, especially His Faithfulness and Power), because we do not know Him well enough yet. Yes, we know intellectually that God is faithful, but do we believe this in our heart so that we trust Him?
In understanding where we are spiritually in relation to any promise, we must be honest with ourselves. We know if we are truly trusting in God’s promise or if we are just in intellectual assent that it is true. We know what we are trusting in (God or ourselves), just as we know if we are trusting in a chair to hold us up or if we are standing on our own two feet. We can only trust ourselves to a chair if we have confidence that it will hold us up. Likewise we can only trust God to fulfil His promise if we have full confidence in Him. If we are unable to take Step 2, the solution is to build
our confidence in God by MEDITATING on the character of God.
Consider His love and goodness towards you. Consider His mighty power in Creation and Redemption. Consider how He has always been faithful to His Word. Numbers 23:19: “God is not a man that He should lie, or a son of man thatHe should repent. has He said it and will He not do it? Or has He not spoken and will He not fulfil it?” Then when you are fully assured and persuaded of His goodness and dependability to keep His Word to you, you can come to Him and receive your promised blessing.
Now, it could be said that our inability to possess the promise could be based on our lack of confidence in ourselves, rather than our lack of confidence in God, because we are still conscious of our sins. But God has promised to completely forgive and cleanse us from all sin when we confess it to Him, and that He has made us the righteousness of God in Christ through His blood, so that He forgets and blots out our sins, remembering them no more (1John 1:9, 2Corinthians 5:21). Therefore if we had confidence in God we would be able to appropriate these promises to remove our sin-consciousness.
3. Perhaps we failed to take Step 3. Perhaps we received the promise, but when thoughts of unbelief came that it did not work and it would not come to pass for us, we let go of the promise. Instead of holding fast to our confidence in the Word, we cast it away. Instead of standing our ground and holding our position of faith we retreated. Instead of actively resisting satan’s lies by speaking the Word, we passively allowed him to steal it from us. Instead of holding fast to our confession, we started speaking the doubts of the enemy. Because we were spiritually asleep, we did not recognise his deception and were not alert to his wiles and so paid the price. The solution is to regain our position of faith, repenting of letting His promise go, rebuilding our confidence in God and His Word, getting back into faith by putting our trust again in God.
So meditate on God’s faithfulness and His promises to you of long-life, until you know them well and are fully assured that they are for you, and then lay hold of them by faith. After believing you receive the promised blessing,
thank God for it and confess it as yours. This will further establish your
faith in the promise and strengthen your grip on it.
Then when satan comes with his doubts to persuade you to let it go, say: “IT IS WRITTEN” and declare the promise!
It is written: “With long-life I shall be satisfied.”
It is written: “I shall not die young, but I shall live long
and declare the works of the Lord.”
It is written: “it will be well with me, and I will live long on the earth.”
It is written: “He will take sickness away from the midst of me,
and the number of my days He will fulfil.”
It is written: “My days shall be multiplied, and my years increased.”
It is written: "The same Spirit Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in me, and He will also give life to my mortal body"
It is written: "Thanks be to God, Who gives me the victory (over death) through my Lord Jesus Christ."
A Prayer: “Lord, I thank You for Your promises to me of Long-Life.
I thank You for dying young, so that I could live long. I believe Your Word and receive Your promise of long-life, so that I may glorify You and bear much fruit for You, fulfilling Your will for me on the earth. Thank you for giving me newness of life and renewing my youth, so that I can finish what You have called me to do. I confess that I shall not die young, but I shall live long and declare the works of the Lord!
SUMMARY of the 3 STEPS to possessing the Promises.
(1) KNOW and BELIEVE the Promise.
(2) POSSESS and RECEIVE the Promise (by faith).
(3) STAND firm (in faith) and SPEAK the Promise.
STAND firm, HOLD your ground that you have taken, RESIST the enemy - by SPEAKING the Promise.
Or more simply:
1. BELIEVE the promise.
2. RECEIVE the promise.
3. SPEAK the promise.
The 3 STEPS to taking your Promised Land:
(1) KNOW your Promised Land and KNOW it belongs to you
(2) Go in and POSSESS your Promised Land by faith.
(3) STAND firm on the promise, CONFESSING it as yours,
and refuse to let the enemy to move you off it.
The 3 STEPS of CONFIDENCE
(see 1John 5:14,15, Hebrews 3:14, 10:35,36)
1. We must know (have confidence in) the promise
- that it is God’s will for us.
2. We must have confidence in God - that He is faithful to give us the promised blessing upon request. Then we will have the confidence to believe we receive it when we pray, and we will know that we have the petition that we have asked of Him (we have possession of the answer).
3. We must maintain our confidence in God and His Word and not cast it away in the time-period between the prayer and the full manifestation.