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    Who Said It Was Going To Be Easy?

    Who Said It Was Going To Be Easy?

    As the children of Israel began their journey from slavery to freedom, they encountered numerous shocks and surprises along the way. Probably the biggest one was learning for the first time that the God that delivered them from Pharaoh was a Holy God and did not stand for their rebellious hearts. He also established laws to introduce them to a way of life and thinking they were unaccustomed to. Many rejected these changes with some paying the ultimate price for their part in rejecting God’s will and purposes as He was revealing them.
    Possibly the greatest shock came when they came to the place God had promised to them as their new home forever. Spies were sent out from them and most came back with a report of this new home that God called evil reports. Although one part of the promise given seemed true enough, a land flowing with milk and honey, it was the other side of this report that struck fear and terror into their already doubtful and untrusting hearts. There were GIANTS in the land and the spies noted that they were but grasshoppers in comparison. Imagine the impact on these people when they realized that transitioning from a life of slavery to that of free men was going to be such a difficult task. I am certain their expectations were completely different. Who would have thought that “inheritance” could be translated to “warfare” against what later seemed to be against impossible odds. Although God said He would go before them, this did not assuage their fears. It is because of their expectations of an easy transition that when the reality hit of a journey to their promised land was going to be met with such difficulty, so many rejected Moses’ word and wanted to return to Egypt. It didn’t matter to them what God had done already to deliver them and provide for them in their journey to this point. After all they went through, surely the rest of their journey would become easier, shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t God have already dispossessed those nations BEFORE they were brought this far? After all, aren’t we the ‘chosen’ people. Aren’t we the children of promise, the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob? Why is it that the only way we can inherit peace, safety and prosperity is to fight our way through it? It’s just not right! It’s not fair! Haven’t we suffered enough through 400 years of slavery to have to endure this too?!?
    How quickly did these children of Israel forget how God had destroyed what was considered the greatest army in the world when He caused the waters of the Red Sea to swallow them up. But as far as this is concerned, what they were facing now was completely different. They could accept that He had delivered them from those that had held them captive and in slavery but this…no comparison. 
    So it was for all that generation with the notable exception of a few, they would pay the price for their refusal, their fear, their rebellion. They would all go back to the desert with no one over the age of 20 returning to receive of the inheritance God had promised. Not until that nation of Israel’s evil heart of unbelief had died will they, as a nation, return again to claim their inheritance.
    So it is with us today. Just like the children of Israel of old, once we have been delivered from that slave master and the captivity we were held in for our whole lives, we feel that inheriting the kingdom of God should just be handed over to us without a fight. But little did we realize that in order to inherit this wonderful land flowing with milk and honey, there would be such a battle. Wait, wasn’t the battle already won for us through Jesus defeating the god of this world? Since He won the battle and delivered us from darkness, why can’t we just go in and take the land of our lives without resistance.
    You see, the problem with this thinking is that we are still walking with the mentality of slavery. Who hasn’t heard the saying, “You can take the slave out of slavery but can you take the slave mentality out of the slave.” You get the point, right?
    What most Christians believe, incorrectly, is that we don’t need to do anything once we’ve said those magic words. “I have sinned, deserve condemnation, have mercy on me and forgive me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.” Sure we are encouraged to learn about our faith through bible study, going to church, tithing, fellowship and going to church. Some are even encouraged to share their new found faith with others. But that is pretty much the extent of it, isn’t it? Isn’t this all that God requires? Oh yeah, maybe we should also learn a little more about Him too. Some even say we should come into a greater relationship with Him but what does that really mean?
    The whole idea of becoming a Christian seems so hard at first but why does it become so difficult the more I try to live as a Christian. Shouldn’t there be some rules or guidelines to help us on our way. Why do we continue to have problems. I thought all that was supposed to just take care of itself. This is the problem for most of us believers. We feel somehow entitled after we ‘gave our lives’ to Christ and life after that is on ‘cruise-control’.
    Let’s look at what the children of Israel experienced, again. God instructed the Israelites to send spies into the land of their inheritance. The purpose was not to frighten them but allow them to see what was really there. He wanted them to see the incredible fruitfulness and blessing that would be theirs as well as the obstacles He intends to remove through their obedience. You see, we too have obstacles to overcome in our own lives if we are to inherit the promises of God in our lives. The attitudes and mind sets we have lived for so long with, those things we have lived with in agreement when we were still slaves to the dictates of our own selfishly minded heart. In this land of inheritance where peace from our enemies is promised, rest from our labors and incredible prosperity, there are those giants and evil nations that still occupy this land and they MUST be driven out. Holy Spirit was sent to aid us in this and Jesus was sent as an example of how we can do this. So if we just obey all that we are directed by Holy Spirit, these mindsets and strongholds will all be defeated. 
    You see, the whole of the New Testament refers to the battle for our inheritance. It is NOT just simply handed over to us but we must put on the armor of Christ. Why would He mention putting on armor if there is no battle to fight? We must understand, Egypt was defeated but that was not the whole war. The Deliverer (Moses/Jesus) was sent to get you out of Egypt but Joshua (Jesus/Holy Spirit) was sent to help you take your inheritance.
    Those giants in the land of your life are all those things that have convinced you your entire life that you will never be able to overcome. Anything you feel you are powerless against, that is your giant. Those evil nations are those areas of unforgiveness you still hold on to along with mindsets you’ve established since your youth that continue to have sway in your choices in life. We’ve made promises to ourselves based on the adversity we’ve faced all through our lives. If we suffered with one or both of our parents being addicted to drugs, alcoholic, sex, perversity, etc., then there is a very strong likelihood we have made ourselves promises of what we will or will not do and how we will react or respond if faced with any of those adversarial conditions. Would we respond to what we face with a heart of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and obedience to God or will our first reaction be according to what we have trained ourselves to say or do based on our ‘experiences’. Like Lazarus rising from the grave, although free from sin and death, he was still bound by those things that bound him in death. Even though he came out alive, he was not free. It was Jesus’ instruction to those who were alive and nearest him to loose him and let him go. Once we have become alive, there yet remains more work to be done. We MUST be delivered from our graveclothes. Graveclothes and those evil nations are the same thing. We are not to compromise with them. We are to remove every piece that still attaches itself to us. When Lazarus was called alive, we know he had been dead for at least 4 days, time enough for his body to begin to decay. This means that as his body began to decay, fluids were released and began to soak into his graveclothes, causing them to stick to his body. They also retained that awful smell of decaying flesh. So when those near him obeyed Jesus’ command to loose him and let him go, they could only remove those pieces that bound his extremities. The rest would have to be removed by him in his own home. Otherwise he would have been left naked. And once all these graveclothes have been removed, he must thoroughly wash himself with the washing of the water of the word of God.
    God promised Israel He would go before them to drive out those nations from before them. They were instructed to not allow any to live, destroy their gods and destroy their altars. Also, they were told to not intermarry with those nations. Failure to obey would be reason for God to send His judgment against them…pricks in their eyes and thorns in their flesh until they would be driven off the land that they were promised.
    They were also told that they would not be able to take their promised land in a year’s time but little by little would they take it until they have grown and increased, otherwise the beasts of the field would become too numerous for them. For us, this says that we will not be able to reach maturity in a relatively short time but it will be a step by step process until we have grown and increased in grace. The beasts are representative of those demonic forces that are arrayed against us to hinder us and distract us from growing up into Him. When Paul says that he has fought the good fight, this is indication that he too was not given the golden key that allowed him to avoid that process of growing into the fullness of Christ. 
    When we entered into God’s kingdom, we entered into a war for our souls. We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness but must now allow His Spirit to retrain our minds, break down our will to be reshaped in order to see as He sees and understand as He understands. This is a little by little process. There are no shortcuts. Maturity does not come because we will it to but comes as we yield ourselves to His instruction through the daily laying down of our lives in submission to His will.
    Receiving forgiveness of our sins and faith in the finished work of Christ is the door that allowed us to enter into His kingdom. Obedience is what will bring us to fully possess our inheritance, the land of our lives. Holy Spirit is at work in our lives building in us a habitation of God. How much of Him will be in our life is up to us. Will we give Him total reign in word and action? Easier at times to say yes but it is the doing where the work or battle takes place. Have we truly set our eyes on the prize that will strengthen us for the battle? For the joy set before Him, Jesus was able to endure the sufferings of the cross.
    So do not be shocked or become fearful at the adversity that lies ahead but be of good courage. He promises to go before you if you do all that He instructs you to do. If we do, then the inheritance will be ours for all eternity. Then the transition from sinner to saint will be fully realized along with the freedom promised as we learn more of the truth.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: Who Said It Was Going To Be Easy? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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