Accessing Your Canaan
There is so much going on around me, especially in the sprit realm. I believe the Lord is preparing me for my next assignment. I am processing so much information from Him. It has been an exciting time in His presence. In my prep class, He took be back to the time He made a promise to the children of Israel to give them Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. It has been a very rewarding class.
The Israelites had been slaves for so long that the concept of freedom in a land flowing with milk and honey was difficult to apprehend. This explains their constant murmuring at every turn in their journey. Every time a problem arose, their song was to go back to Egypt. They would complain, murmur, abuse Moses and in the final analysis, “Egypt is better than this’. What they did not understand was the fact that when God makes promises, He starts at the very end, then takes you back to where you are to start the journey with you to the promised destination.
I guess that explains why, the promise is usually so out of this world. It is usually far bigger than we can handle. The children of Israel were promised a land of freedom flowing with milk and honey. They had been in bondage for over 400 years and now this stammering fellow called Moses comes from nowhere after forty years of hiding in the desert, telling them freedom from Egyptian slavery is possible. How? It did not make sense.
The Bible says, Exodus 3:7 ‘And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows”. It sounds like they were simply crying in their pain not really expecting much to happen.
There are times in our lives when we give up on our dreams simply because they have taken too long to materialize. They actually die in our hearts. When we remotely remember them, we either smile or sign depending on our moods. Whether we smile or sigh depends on what other things God has done in our lives. If we can see His faithfulness in other areas, we smile. However, if all we can see is bleak, the sigh would be our response. The latter must have been the case for the Israelites. They had nothing to hold unto. All they could see was slavery, and slavery. At the time Moses showed up, hopelessness was all they knew.
Moses comes to them and begins to paint the picture of freedom, escape from the cruelty of slavery, a land in which they could live freely. It was too much to comprehend. That is the place I was in when the Lord began to speak about my next assignment. I had long given up on this dream of mine. I counted it as lost for Christ. I was of them that smiled though because I have seen God’s goodness in so many ways that I could let it go without feeling bad. But like the Israelites, I could not begin to understand what He was talking about. ‘Lord why are You taking me back to the place I have long walked away from’. I needed a mind readjustment for this new place. That is what the prep class was all about.
So the Israelites first had to receive what God was saying to them. Moses had to do signs and wonders to help them believe what God was saying to them. They saw Egypt being depleted by the plagues and it built their confidence. Even though the taskmasters were even more wicked, they found strength in what God was doing in Egypt. He eventually took them out, got them past the Red Sea, cloud by day and fire by night, gave them water from rock, manna fell from heaven, quail fell, defeated the Amorites Kings and brought them to the edge of the Promised Land.
That is where my prep class actually begins. Moses sends 12 spies into the land and they come back with reports. They came back with succulent fruit from Canaan. Ten of the spies had this report. Numbers 13:27-33 ‘We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there………………We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants’ and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants…….and we were like grasshopper in our own site and so we were in their sight’. What? After all this time with Moses and seeing the mighty hand of God, this is all they could see? They were grasshoppers!!!!!!. Why grasshoppers, why not any other animal? Grasshoppers!!!!!!
On the other hand, there was another report from the same visit to Canaan. You won’t believe it was the same land, this time 2 people. They had a totally different perspective. Numbers 13: 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it’. He saw what the others saw. However he saw it against what God could do. That is why he knew they could ‘overcome it’.
Numbers 14:6-9 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh………………….and spoke to the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land , for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them’.
What was the difference in perspective? They were sure God was with them and for them. There was no need to fear. They recognized that God had created a space for them and would help them occupy. They understood that the descendants of Anak were huge but small before their God, in fact they were now bread for eating. There was no need to be afraid.
The house was divided. How could people from the same house see the same situation from such different perspectives? Slavery has a way of destroying one’s mind. It is difficult to get it to adjust to new realities. Except the Spirit of God is at work, nothing can happen. The solution as far as God was concerned was to prolong the wilderness experience by another 40 years, so that all the people with Slavery/Grasshopper Mentality could be destroyed and only the people who could apprehend what God was doing would enter the Promised Land. It took another 40 years.
So my first assignment was to adjust my mind to the things God was saying to me. They looked so impossible. I felt so incapable. I felt so inadequate. I felt I was ignorant. I was so sure I would be the joke of the year to everyone who knows me. However I began to face my concerns and fears. I looked them straight in the eye and began to change my thought process concerning this Land of Canaan I was about to enter. Like Joshua and Caleb, I began to feel excitement deep in my heart. I read this Joshua story over and over again. I read circular books to address my areas of need. I promised myself I would do whatever it required to make sure I am equipped to enter my new God provided space. I prayed a lot, constantly communing with the Holy Spirit. It has been a beautiful experience.
Back to the Israelites, the next 40 years were full of all kinds of experiences for Moses and the people of God. They truly tried God’s patience. Moses got really mad and eventually hit the rock twice instead of once. Even he could not enter the Promised Land. Joshua had to take over. One again they find themselves at the borders of Canaan, and spies were once again sent out to see the land.
This time only two men went. They came back after their encounter with Rahab and had this to say. Joshua 2:24 And they said to Joshua, ‘Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are faint hearted because of us’. This time they saw what God was saying and it was time to take the land.
Joshua was confident in the God who spoke to them. He had always been. Even though Moses was dead, he believed he could take the children into the Promised Land. He told the people of Israel, Joshua 3:10 ‘By this you shall know that the living God is among you and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites…….and all their cousins.
From my prep class, I was now sounding like Joshua to myself and even beginning to share it with others. My dream was alive again. I had enough confidence to talk about it, no matter how impossible it looked. It all starts with what we believe. Belief takes place in the mind. Once our minds can let go of the disappointments and the losses of the past, we can embrace the brilliance that lies ahead. However if we allow our minds to continue to atrophy in Grasshopper/Slavery Mentality, we will fall short of God’s plans for our lives. I am not going to let that happen to me.
So God gives Joshua a quick win that elevates him in the peoples’ minds. Knowing the children of Israel, they would have challenged his every move if God had not shown them He was with him. The Jordan parted under his leadership. That settled it. In the same way, if we can let go and receive what God is saying, He will give us quick wins to confirm what He is doing in our lives. He knows we need encouragement to walk in faith and He will send it.
I remember one such experience from my past. It was a new phase in my life, pretty much like this one. I had to go through a prep class like this one to get into that Canaan. I had been out of the corporate world for 5 years and needed to get back in. I went to one interview with Grasshopper/ Slavery mindset and performed so woefully. I made up my mind I would go through the prep class and never have to face such self humiliation again. By the next interview, I got a job I did not apply for. I was interviewed for HR but got a job as a Foreign Exchange dealer. My boss had to go on leave a few days after I started work, I was on my own. But guess what, my unit profit went up by 300% in my first month. I was a guru, all by God’s grace.
So after the Jordan parts, then the victory chant begins- Circumcision at Gilgal, then the walls of Jericho collapse through the shout, the Ai is defeated through ambush, then the sun stands still as they defeat Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. It was one victory after the other until the entire land had been taken and allocated. What does that tell me? Canaan does not just come to me as promised. Every time God promises a Canaan, it is an opportunity to build the fighter in me. It is usually a fight I cannot win on my own but with Him on my side, I cannot lose no matter how fierce the battle is. Even if He has to make the sun and moon stand still, He will. In one such battle fought by Deborah, the prophetess in Judges 5: 20, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. He will make sure that which He said to me comes to pass. All I have to do is believe enough to show up for the fight.
Ultimately, the entire land was taken, and allotted to the different tribes. At the end of the day, Joshua 21: 43-45 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
In my Bible, I have this part marked as the best part. I don’t have to see the end to know that God will give me that which He has promised. I have moved on from the years of letting my dreams go to allowing God give them new life. That is resurrection power for you. I want to encourage you who is reading, allow the Lord bring your dead dreams to life. They might have died to you but to Him, He simply put them in the cooler, like the extra 40 years in the wilderness for His people. Why would He do that? He needs to bring you to the place where you can position yourself for the fight to take possession of your land.
If you happen to read this piece under any circumstance, then receive this as a Rhema word to you to open your heart to the new thing God is about to do in your life. Don’t allow yourself to be like the 10 spies who just refused to move into the new phase of their existence as the people of God. It does not matter what you have to overcome, ‘you are well able to overcome them’. It won’t be in your strength but my His Spirit. What do we have going for us? We have the Spirit Himself living right within us. That’s all we need. Joshua did not, yet see what he was able to do. Let us arise. Let us take receive what He says so we can possess. He is faithful who has promised. He will fulfill His word to us to the last letter. CK