This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Focusing on Dying To Self”. A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to the following passage and we have been walking our way through it. Let’s get back to it today.
The Apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one person died for everyone. So all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him. From this time on we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we don’t think that way now. When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!” (2 Cor 5:14-17 ERV).
We have been focused in on the line: “But we don’t think that way now.” Flowing in this vein, I shared several scriptures with you last week and I briefly discussed each. One of the scriptures was Deuteronomy 1:8, where the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have given you this land.” (Deut 1:8). Yesterday we looked at the fact that the Lord had already promised Canaan to Abraham 440 years before He made this statement to Moses. The Lord even forewarned Moses that the land was inhabited during his ‘burning bush’ experience. So it’s a shame that 10 of the 12 spies lacked the ability to SEE what God was giving them. Once again, the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have given you this land.” The Lord spoke in past tense. The land was already theirs. As far as God was concerned He had already given it to them. But they lacked the ability to SEE what God had given them. They lacked the ability to SEE in the Spirit. They lacked faith.
The writer of Hebrews explains it very plainly. He said the nation of Israel had the Gospel preached to them. The Gospel, or good news, in this case was that the land was theirs. These people had been slaves all their lives. They had never owned property. They worked all their lives for the Egyptians. When the Lord delivered them from Egypt, He made sure they did not come out empty handed. The Lord had the Egyptians to give the newly freed Israelites all their gold, silver and precious stones. They were born slaves, but they were walking out of Egypt free and rich. And now the Lord was GIVING THEM property. This was land promised to their forefathers to give them. However, millions of Israelites missed out on the promise because they lacked the ability to SEE what God was doing. The writer of Hebrews tells us that they did not mix faith into what they heard from God (Heb 4:2).
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. If you can’t SEE (by faith) what God is attempting to give you (by grace), you run the risk of missing out on God’s best.
2. God speaks to you about the plans He made for your future, but you must mix faith with what you hear.
3. Without faith you won’t have the ability to SEE what God wants to do in your life, and if you can’t SEE IT, you can’t HAVE IT!
4. One of the greatest inhibitors to experiencing God’s abundant blessing is your ability to SEE in the Spirit. You will never accept, believe or receive what God wants to do if you can’t SEE it.
5. The Israelites did nothing for the gold, silver and precious stones they walked out of Egypt with. God just moved on the hearts of the Egyptians to GIVE it to them. Likewise, God was willing to simply GIVE millions of acres of land to people who had been slaves all their lives. This was land the Lord had already planned to give them. They did not have to work for it, but they did have to believe for it.
a) God has made plans for you already; plans to bless you and use you in this world. He made these plans by His unearned and amazing grace.
b) While God’s plans come by grace (completely unearned and even undeserved), they must be received by faith.
c) You must develop the ability to SEE what God wants to do in your life. You don’t have to work for it, but you do have to SEE it!
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. I bring my life into focus in 2016. I develop my ability to SEE in the Spirit. I don’t just learn, I learn to discern. The more I discern, the more I am able to be led of Your Spirit. The more I am led of Your Spirit, the more I am able to flow with You and allow You to flow through me. You don’t just want to do things FOR me, You want to do things WITH me. So I flow with You and You flow with me. Living this way I am able to SEE all You want me to BE. I am able to PERCEIVE all You want me to RECEIVE. You made plans for me by grace and I am determined to use my faith to complete my divine assignment before I die. I will not die because I am sick. I will not die because of some freak accident. I live my life with an ability to SEE in the Spirit. Living this way I know I will only die when I’m done! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.