229. No-One Said It Would Be Easy

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Subdue

No-one said it would be easy (or if they did, they lied).

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen 1:28).

So apparently there was something in their destiny that Adam and Eve would need to subdue. And it is always that way:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Most of us are familiar with that scripture, but how many of us really do consider it joy when we encounter difficult situations? Yet we would probably all say we want to be mature, complete and lacking in nothing. Do we see every obstacle as an obstruction and a barrier, or as an opportunity to overcome and grow in faith? That is what will make the difference in our experience.

Every battle on the pathway of our destiny is intended to create dependence on and intimacy with God. We are not supposed to overcome it alone, independent of Him, but to learn that we need Him. When we come up against something that seems impossible, if we keep looking at the obstacle it gets bigger and bigger until we end up in despair. If we look instead at God (who is God of the impossible), we get hope. Faith can arise and then nothing is impossible.

Jesus said we could speak to obstacles and tell them to move, but only if we have hope and faith in our hearts. He has been there and knows what it is like to face obstacles. If we try to avoid the battles, conflicts, trials and tribulations then we are cheating ourselves of experiential intimacy, growth and transformation. That will actually hinder our development into maturity. Sadly, the kind of gospel preaching many people have responded to has completely failed to prepare them for the battles they will face.

The first step

When God gives us a vision, usually we do not immediately get to see the whole of His purposes in it. Often, we only get the first step or two, like Abraham did: ‘Leave everything behind and I will show you where to go’. This encourages us to pursue Him for further revelation, and we then find that this only comes by first pursuing relationship with Him.

He uses that initial encounter or vision to get us started on the pathway. Sooner or later we will meet opposition which we need to press through to overcome, often from well-meaning believers, friends or family who try to put us off doing what God is asking us to do. Other people’s negative words have hindered many from fulfilling their destiny.

Fight for it

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel” (Gen 3:15).

Adam lost his inheritance but God’s ultimate plan did not change. He promised restoration through conflict. There is conflict, enmity, between the path of the tree of life and the path of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

We have to be willing to fight for our destiny. Jesus himself overcame the circumstances of His illegitimate birth and an early attempt on His life. Later on, He faced temptation and opposition from all kinds of people, from his own family and disciples through to the religious and political leaders. He persevered even to sweating drops of blood in Gethsemane and willingly giving up His life on the cross.

Abraham

Many other people we read about in the Bible experienced the same thing. Abraham did not just get the Promised Land handed to him. God took him (and his descendants) on a journey in which they could learn to trust Him and be obedient, with varying degrees of success. When the people of Israel came out of Egypt they crossed the wilderness to the Promised Land only to find it full of giants needing to be conquered. But God gave them divine strategy to overcome the opposition they faced.

So where are you? Are you in slavery in Egypt, wandering around in the wilderness, or are you in your own Promised Land, fighting to take possession of your inheritance?

Joseph

Joseph had wonderful visions, but his family reacted badly. He had a coat of many colours, favour, a double portion… and it seemed he had lost it all. He was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery in Egypt. He suffered false accusation and imprisonment. He was forgotten and let down by other people time and again.

Most people would have given up, thinking ‘those dreams must not have been from God’. Not Joseph. He continued to believe that God’s plan was alive and well. The reality is that he started out somewhat naïve, and his destiny for ruling could never have been learned in his father’s house, so God removed him. His experience of exile and prison taught him about people: through encountering animosity and jealousy he became streetwise.

Instead of being deflected from our purpose by treating everything we face as misfortune, how about we call it ‘refining’, and allow it to transform and change us?

David

David eventually became the great king he was destined to be, but not without first facing family opposition, killing a giant, surviving the previous king’s attempts to assassinate him, living in a cave with a bunch of oddballs (which sounds a lot like ‘church’ to me) and fighting off Philistines trying to rob him of his family and possessions. Only when he had overcome all that could he fulfil the purpose of God in his generation.

Esther

Esther was seemingly on a fast track to nowhere. Orphaned, kidnapped to a harem, separated from her remaining family, not allowed to speak to anyone, she went through a whole year of purification in order to spend the rest of her life in futile servitude at the whim of the king. God had other ideas. As her uncle Mordecai asked her, ‘What if you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’ God is saying the same thing to each of us today.

She saved a whole nation by taking her life in her hands, stepping out of cultural expectations and going to see the king uninvited. You may not know the significance of your destiny, what its consequences might be in the plans and purposes of God for yourself, your family, your nation, your world. God has a purpose for you. Be an agent for change. Be a world-changer.

Let’s be willing to be transformed, to come into maturity. Let’s embrace the fullness of who we are and fulfil every part of the destiny God has for us. We sing,

I am royalty
I have destiny
I have been set free
I’m gonna shape history
I’m gonna change the world
(Jake Hamilton – The Anthem).

It’s great to sing that we are going to change the world – but it will only happen if we believe that, because of who we are in God, we really can.

SoundTrack: Jake Hamilton – The Anthem

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36. Blessing the Whole Earth

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Mike Parsons – 

There is a level of resources that the church currently does not have but is going to need in order to accomplish what God intends in these last days. This is no surprise to Him, and He has planned for it in advance, so that throughout scripture we can find His promises of a wealth transfer – of financial resources coming to His people in these last days, out of the world and into the kingdom.

Promises

We looked at some of those promises last time, and I encourage you to go over them again and again, until you grasp the magnitude of what God is planning. Those promises are there for us to begin to seize upon, and pray into, and to see them manifest. But to help us, one thing we have noticed before is that for every promise yet to be fulfilled in its fullness, God has given us forerunners, examples, little tasters if you will, that have already happened. So before we go any further in this post, let us look at some of those examples in the Bible, of wealth transfers that have already taken place.

The first of those is Israel coming out of Egypt. ‘I will grant this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed… Thus you will plunder the Egyptians’ (Ex 3:21-22). You can read about it there (and in Exodus 12): they went out with all the gold and all the treasure of Egypt.

Secondly, Israel inherited the promised land. Maybe you have never seen this as a wealth transfer, but that is what it was. They didn’t go in to a land that was empty: it was full of all sorts of good things. ‘I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant’ (Josh 24:13). We need to realise that God has a provision for us which has nothing to do with how much we can get for ourselves.

Again, maybe you have read the story where four lepers walked into the camp of the Assyrians – they were outcasts and desperate men – and yet they collected all the wealth of the Assyrian army, because God had come and scared the Assyrians, so that they had all run away (2 Kings 7). God can do that for us.

Joseph, as we have seen before, was promoted from the dungeon to the second highest office in the land and was able to administer all the wealth and produce of Egypt.

Covenant

Now Deuteronomy 8:18 says this; But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The reason God wants to bless us, to give us an abundance, is so that we can fulfil His covenant, the covenant in which He promised: ‘And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed’. Notice that the covenant is intended to bring the blessing of God, not to one person or even to one people, but to the whole earth. God’s desire is to see every family of the earth blessed, coming under His kingdom power and authority, and becoming part of His family. We are the people through whom He has chosen to accomplish that, and that is why He desires to bless us.

So if you want lots of money in order to have all kinds of nice creature comforts in your life, then you have really missed the point of these promises. The point of this transfer of wealth is to confirm His covenant and to enable His people to fulfil the dreams and visions that He has given them. God does want to bless us, He does want to transfer wealth to us; but we need to be positioned to receive it. We need to be prepared, so that when it comes we will not squander it, but will be ready to put it to proper use.

Over to you:
What dreams and visions has God given to you?
What financial resources would it take for you to accomplish them?
Are you expecting a wealth transfer?
(Please feel free to post your comments below).

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