“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:39
The promise of the Gospel: forgiveness of your past mistakes, the remission of those sins (washing away), and the infilling gift of God’s Spirit is more than just the ticket to enter into His Kingdom.
It is more than just a promise of eternal rest.
It is more than just a promise of things to come “someday.”
This promise is for us now.
The gospel, the good news, is an ever-present help, TODAY. You don’t have to WAIT for heaven to experience peace, still waters, and calmness for your soul.
Does that mean the temptation to worry will not be there? NO!
Does that mean the temptation to be overwhelmed will not be there? NO!
Does that mean the temptation to be fearful will not be there? NO!
Does that mean the temptation to quit will not be there? NO!
But….. when you feel those things, you have so many promises to overcome the enemy of your soul.
Here is one of them:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The Old Testament foreshadows the promises of God that we find in Jesus though out the New Testament.
Everything about Egypt, the wilderness and the hope of the Promise Land was a parallel of deliverance and the fulfillment of REST on this earth.
God was not talking about heaven when he talked about the Promise Land. He was talking about a place where His people would live and have REST from their enemies, defeating them.
Joshua 21:43-45 NLT “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.
And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies.
Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”
A couple of points to note from these scriptures…..
- There are still enemies even after you receive the promise…
- God’s intention is for ALL of us to have REST during potential attacks from the adversary!
- When attacked, God will help you and me conqueror our enemies.
- There is NO promise left unfulfilled!
Now I want us to apply this to our individual lives today.
The Promise Land for us is a place we live in God’s rest and peace when we receive the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The death, the burial and resurrection are for us to be transformed NOW before we get to heaven.
In heaven, we will have new bodies (no more sickness, no more pain).
On earth, we will live in the same bodies, but receive power to have rest in the midst of everything these natural vessels will fight.
And the fight is REAL. But the promise if GREATER.
Alan Redpath says, “In the light of the Cross, is it not true that the enemy has no right to dwell in the land? Is it not true that Satan’s claim to your life was taken from him at Calvary? Is it not true that sin has no right to a foothold in the life of the child of God? Is it not true that Satan has no power in the presence of Omnipotence? (ALL POWERFUL)
Is it not true that by virtue of His blood and His resurrection, Jesus Christ is pledged to destroy the enemy utterly? Is it not true that in the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit there is strength for every temptation, grace for every trial, power to overcome every difficulty?”
Now let’s see how God puts it all together for us today.
Hebrews 4:1-11 TLB “Although God’s promise still stands—his promise that all may enter his place of rest—we ought to tremble with fear because some of you may be on the verge of failing to get there after all. For this wonderful news—the message that God wants to save us—has been given to us just as it was to those who lived in the time of Moses. But it didn’t do them any good because they didn’t believe it. They didn’t mix it with faith.
For only we who believe God can enter into his place of rest. He has said, “I have sworn in my anger that those who don’t believe me will never get in,” even though he has been ready and waiting for them since the world began. We know he is ready and waiting because it is written that God rested on the seventh day of creation, having finished all that he had planned to make.
Even so they didn’t get in, for God finally said, “They shall never enter my rest.” Yet the promise remains and some get in—but not those who had the first chance, for they disobeyed God and failed to enter.
But he has set another time for coming in, and that time is now. He announced this through King David long years after man’s first failure to enter, saying in the words already quoted, “Today when you hear him calling, do not harden your hearts against him.”
This new place of rest he is talking about is not the land of Israel that Joshua led them into. If that were what God meant, he would not have spoken long afterwards about “today” being the time to get in.
So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation. Let us do our best to go into that place of rest too. We must be careful not to disobey God as the children of Israel did, thus failing to get in.
Guzik writes, “You can hear the word and have spiritual experiences, but unless the work of God is mixed with faith, it will do no good. This explains why two people can hear the same message and one benefits while the other does not. It also shows that when there is more faith – more of the anticipation of blessing and favor from God – there is more blessing indeed.”
Guzik continues, “Think of the joy Israel had in coming out of Egypt and approaching the Promised Land – and then think of all the graves dug in the desert. A wonderful promise was available but unattained. They came short because though they heard God’s word, it was not mixed with faith.”
There are many of you that stand on the verge of the promise.
To enter, you must mix the Word of God with FAITH.
“Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR…” (Hebrews 11:1)
The Promise is for you today!