The promise given to Abraham when God called him from Ur was to establish his family in a land that would belong only to them. This was a great promise, but there was one problem; the land that would eventually belong to them currently belonged to a number of other nations. When Moses led Israel out of Egyptian bondage to enter that land of promise, God gave him specific instructions that the possession of this new and wonderful place would require a dispossession of those other nations. Exodus 34 provides the details of this dispossession, but it was earlier, in Exodus 23:31, where God promised to enlarge the territory that He was giving to them.
The land as presented in the Old Testament is a type of our own souls. Once held in captivity by sin and Hell, we are liberated and then led into the possession of wild, unsettled places in our souls along with areas that are already settled, but occupied with cultural thinking, values and patterns of life that are different than the life we are called to live within God’s kingdom and under His authority. The possession of an enlarged territory in our soul includes the same sort of things that Israel was encouraged to face and do. One Bible commentator I read on this Exodus passage wrote, “There is no possible enlargement without a dispossession of the land that is already occupied.” We have to recognize the same reality in the domain of our own souls. I speak with people all the time who are living in very small and confined places emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. The primary reason for this confinement is that there are huge areas of their soul that are still wild and unsettled, or land there that remains unconquered.
Jesus is promising you enlargement. Are you willing to confront those unsettled or unconquered lands in your soul? Some of you have given up. You’ve forgotten the promise. You’ve contented yourself with smallness and limitations that Jesus never had in mind for you. Take some time today and ask the Holy Spirit to bring you back to a boundary line beyond which He intends to lead you right now. I framed that as bringing you “back” because I know that you have stood at that boundary before. We retreat from those boundaries because the work seemed too difficult, or the current possessors too strong. Please remember as you stand here again that God’s promise to Israel is still true for you, “…For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you,” Exodus 23:31 (NKJV). This is His work first and your work second. Receive the promise from God that He intends to enlarge the land of your soul. Trust in the strength of the Holy Spirit to settle wild places and overcome strongly-dominated patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. Your action of driving out the nations follows that promise and trust. Lift up your eyes to a new horizon; God is enlarging your land.
“Togethering” Today: Join with others for an early morning prayer time from 6:00 to 7:30am in the Café.
“Togethering” Tomorrow: Join us for a collective time of prayer and seeking from 12:00 to 1:00pm in the Sanctuary.