1) God loves us and has provided us a Promised Land of blessing both for now and for all eternity
In Joshua 1, God says: “Be strong, go in and possess the Land for I have already given it to you.”
God has already “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephes 1:3). Notice the past tense.
"His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter1:3).
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life....He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (John 3:16, Romans 8:32).
"If any of you lacks wisdom (healing, life, strength, or any other blessing of God) let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).
God is a liberal giver who does not hold back or delay in His giving. How is this possible? We don’t deserve all this blessing! Surely our sins and failures disqualify us. The answer is that God has been propitiated through the Blood of Jesus. Everything that would cut us off and disqualify us from God’s blessing has been put on Christ when he died on the Cross. He bore the punishment and penalty for our sins, so that now God in His love is free to give and pour out every blessing upon us.
2) The Land is given to us, but by faith we must possess it (it is not automatic). God says: "Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan to the (promised) Land which I am giving to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:2,3,5).
The Promised Land consists of every blessing that God has given us and promised us in His Word. Every Promise is a Title-Deed to part of the Land. It is like being given the Title-Deed of a house. It is now legally yours, but you must believe it is yours and take possession, in order to enjoy it. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the Title Deed of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is present when you know you have the Title Deed (promise) in your hand (heart). Then faith acts as if the promise was true. As we plant our feet on our land (receiving the promise by faith), it becomes ours in experience.
3) Therefore the Key to possessing our Land is receiving the Word of God.
Only by receiving the Word can strong faith be established in our heart:
“Faith comes by hearing the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). The Word builds faith and drives out unbelief. God gives us the Land of blessing and also the Word so that we can possess it by faith. “His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature” (2Peter 1:3,4).
As Israel were about to go into their Land, He told them the key to success in possessing it was the Word of God in their heart:
"This Book of the Law (the Word of God) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
4) The kind of Faith we need is a faith that stands under pressure and contradictory circumstances
Don’t be afraid of the giants (opposition) that will come to push you off your Land, but be prepared to stand firm on the Promise:
“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 of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND” (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Those who are not into the Word are into ‘experiences’, always concerned with ‘do I feel God or not?’ and, ‘I don’t ‘feel’ like God heard me’. But we know the Lord hears the prayers of a believer when it is according to His will (Psa 34:15, 1Peter 3:12, 1John5:14), so we don’t have to ‘feel’ it. Likewise to know if a promise belongs to us we don’t need a special feeling, we know it by faith in the Word. It’s great when we have a special experience, but we can’t rely on that or else we will stay babies.
Those who are carnal are occupied with the sensational. They get their identity, confidence, guidance and confirmations from experiences, walking by feelings instead of faith in the Word. They are O.K if they ‘feel’ the anointing, but they are nowhere if they don’t. One moment they feel it, the other they don’t. So, they are unstable, caught up in the flesh trying to feel, basing their confidence on that, because the Word is not enough to settle their heart.
As a result they are not in position to receive the blessings God sends: “If any of you lack wisdom, 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 (of God’s Word and liberality) for he who doubts (who does not come to a quality decision to believe based on the Word alone) is like a wave of the sea driven
and tossed by the wind (of thoughts and feelings blowing this way and that). For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (the Lord gave it when he prayed but his hands of faith can’t receive the gift); he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).
Instead we should look to the Word -for ultimate truth. Don’t be so impressed by experience - be impressed by the Word. Sometimes I feel blessed, but sometimes I don’t. It makes no difference. I am blessed because the Word says I am blessed and I believe it I am not blessed because I feel blessed, I am blessed because I believe God’s Word. Smith Wigglesworth said: “I am not moved by what I see, feel or touch. I am only moved by the Word Of God.”
SAY: “I have what the Word says I have. I am who the Word says I am. I can do what the Word says I can do.”
When the Word is established in you, you know that God has already given it, so you just have to call upon Him and receive. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who
don’t see and still believe.” God is pleased when we walk by faith, not feeling (Hebrews 11:6). Two people can be prayed for, one could fall over and feel a lot, but not be healed because he does not mix faith with it. Another could feel nothing, but if he believes he will be healed.
The way of faith is described in Romans 10:6-13. “The righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend
into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."
It does not try to add to Christ’s work or try to make Him do something He’s already done, or give something He’s already given or feel something, but it receives what He has already done and given. "But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach).” He has paid the price and released the blessing so now all we need is the Word which gives us the Faith to receive. When you receive the Word you receive the blessing. "..that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there
is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For: ‘all who call on the name of the LORD shall be saved (healed, delivered etc - the word ‘salvation’ includes every blessing)."
The Spirit has already been poured out, we must believe and confess: “It is mine, I receive it now.” Put your foot down on the promise and call upon the name of Jesus, believing you receive (Mark 11:24).
5) So, put God’s Word first in order to enjoy His life.
Proverbs 3 and 4 describe our Promised Land that Wisdom (the Word of God) will enable us to possess. It is a wonderful Land of good things:
“My son, do not forget my Law (the Word), let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you... favour and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct (straighten) your paths... It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase. So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats overflow with new wine...
Happy is the man who finds wisdom (the Word), and the man who gains understanding (of the Word); for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She (the Word) is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand. In her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her...
My son, let them (the words of God) not depart from your eyes -keep sound wisdom and discretion. So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes forthe Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught...
Wisdom (the Word) is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honour, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you. Hear, my son, receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many....
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction (the Word) do not let go; keep her, for she is your life..My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh.”