God's Word for 2016
This is Your Year of Promise!
From Manna to Fruit
Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, that I have given to you, as I said to Moses. (AMIV)
This is your year of promise. It is not news that God has called His Church to a walk of prosperity. It was not news that God had promised Israel a Promised Land. They knew that for hundreds of years, but yet somehow we find ourselves in the wilderness eating manna.
Perhaps that is you right now. God has given you a promise. You can see the possibility of your Promised Land. We have had many prosperity teachers come along and teach, “Yes, you are to be blessed. Yes, God has promised you healing. Yes, God has promised you that spouse. God has given you all these promises...”
But yet, you tithe, you pray, you fast and God is not unfaithful. You have indeed eaten of your manna. Just enough before you lost hope, you got your little manna wafer, your little bit of honey on your tongue to remind you of His grace, to remind you of His goodness.
But, Church of God, I am here to tell you that the time of manna is coming to an end and the time of eating from the land has come.
Here is the problem though. We are so used to giving our little tithe and doing our little prayer, but tell me something - how much of that has brought the promise to pass? We have this strange thinking in the Church that if God has given you a promise, you will wake up one day and “boom” that promise will just be upon you.
Well, the Israelites had their promise for hundreds of years. So tell me, why didn’t they wake up in Egypt one day with the Egyptians handing them the key to the city?
Come with me, because I am taking you through a transition today. I am leading you into your year of promise. The time of manna has come to an end. Are you tired of your little wafers morning, noon, and night? Are you tired of the crumbs off the table that remind you that there is a greater blessing? There is a whole big roast lamb on that table, but all I am getting is a little wafer when God has promised me the buffet.
Yet, I find myself eating of the crumbs. It’s not like we are ungrateful. Let me tell you, it’s not like this is all God has for you. God has more for you than some crumbs. God always has had more for the children of Israel than a few wafers. That just sustained them for the bigger picture. It had its purpose. Let’s not “dis” the manna. It had its purpose.
The manna was for a season. A season of what? To build up their strength, to position them, and to prepare them to enter into the Promised Land.
Making the Transition
After God said to Joshua, “I have given you this land,” He didn’t leave it there.
In verse 7 it says, Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: do not turn from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
8 This book of the law will not cease [to come] out of your mouth; but you will meditate in it daily and at night, so that you are sure to carry out everything that is being written in it: for then you will cause your journey to be prosperous, and then you will succeed wisely.
9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; do not be afraid, neither be dismayed: for the LORD [Yahweh] your God [is] with you wherever you go. (AMIV)
It doesn’t say, “And the Lord your God is with Himself wherever He goes...”
Wherever you go, God goes with you. Where are you going today? You see, it’s time to make that transition. I am here to tell you that with the transition, the rules are going to change. As such even now, we will begin to see the teachers and the evangelists rise up at a new level as never before.
Why? Because it’s time our mindsets change, Church of God. It’s time that we realize that if we are going to enter the Promised Land, and put away our season of manna, the rules must change. They had strict rules in the wilderness.
You collected for six days, double on the sixth, eat on the seventh - very strict rules. Things changed up when they entered the Promised Land. They could pick their fruit any day they wanted to. They weren’t limited to two little grapes.
Two little grapes, that’s enough for you? No, He said, “I have given you cities that you didn’t build. You are going to eat off vines and figs and fruit trees that you never planted.” An abundance, a land flowing with milk and honey. Not a sip or a sliver of a taste. Not one wafer, but an abundance.
First Thing You Will Need - Your Spirit in Line
With that abundance comes a change of rules. The rules are laid out in Joshua 1:7-9. You are going to need to do a little more than pray and tithe if you want your Promised Land.
The first thing you are going to need is obedience. What did the Lord just say there? He said, “Observe the law!” With every promise comes an instruction, through the Word, through your life.
You look at the promise and you say, “I am so excited, we are going to take the Promised Land. We are going to take over! I am going to have a new house. I am going to have a new car...”
Then you forget to read the small print... there is always small print. Even for Joshua, there was small print. But, how full of hope was the Lord? “Don’t be afraid Joshua. Be strong and of courage. Obey to the letter of the law and I will be with you wherever you go, as you walk out obedience. I indeed will be with you every step you go!”
That’s why we are going to need those evangelists. First, we need the teachers to teach us these new principles so that we know how to take this land. Then, secondly, we need the evangelists to come and remind us of the power, the anointing, and the miraculous hand of God that will move the mountains.
We tend to over-swing. We tend to try and take the mountain all by ourselves and then we give up and go back to the wilderness, and then complain because, “Well, God didn’t give me my Promised Land!”
Did you take it His way, with His power?
You are going to need faith. “Be strong and courageous, trusting in God completely!”
Then, you are going to need hope. You are going to have to focus! I love what it says here. It says, “Meditate on the promises day and night.” Focus. What do you meditate on day and night, child of God? Are you meditating on the promises or are you meditating on the impossibility of your circumstance, or are you meditating on your little wafer of manna?
What are you meditating on? Whatever you are meditating on, you are going to see it come to pass in your life. So right now I want to challenge you: what have you been meditating on? What has consumed your mind, your emotions, your will? Has it been conflict? Has it been fear? Has it been guilt? Has it been anger? What has it been that you have been meditating on?
Has it been peace, blessing, and the promise God gave you? Because when you meditate on the promise of God day and night, it focuses your spirit, your soul, your body. As you walk out in obedience, and in faith, you are going to see that land open up before you.
Most importantly, you need a reality of His love. He said, “I will be with you wherever you go! You are not on your own.”
You know, things really were shaken up between the manna season and the Promised Land season. In the manna season, the people cried out, “God, we are hungry,” and God gave them manna.
But, when they entered the Promised Land, that very day, the manna stopped. The day that they ate of the fruit of the land, the manna stopped and the rules changed. Instead, God put a sword in their hand. They didn’t need to fight for their manna. They just had to seek the Lord, and trust Him. They had to go out and do a little bit of work to gather their manna every day. You know, He gave them their daily bread.
You get up at 5 am to go to work. You make your daily bread. God blesses you in your workplace, He blesses your children, you have a nice life, but yet, somehow you are saying, “Where is my Promised Land?”
When they stepped into the Promised Land, the Gentiles in the region didn’t lay the keys of the city down at the feet of the Israelites and said, “Please help yourselves to our fig trees, and our vines, and our cities that we built.”
This is your season of promise. Let me ask you this - are you willing to fight for it? Because the second thing you are going to need in order to take your promised land, is weapons training.
Second Thing You need - Weapons Training
Joshua had to walk the promise out. For hundreds of years, the children of Israel had their promise in their possession, since before Moses, since the time of Abraham, since the time Abraham walked on the land... their promise was written in stone. But not once did they eat the fruit of that land until one day Joshua picked up the sword, led them across that Jordan river, and took Jericho down.
They had to fight for the land that God had promised and it was in the days of Joshua that they saw the promise that God had given to them fulfilled.
Well, here is the thing - where is your sword? Do you want to survive on manna for the rest of your life, or do you want to take the land that God has indeed given to you? Well, then you are going to have to pick up your sword. That is why this season that lies ahead of you, is a season of spiritual warfare.
Now, before you think it’s the kind of warfare where you are sitting at home and the enemy comes banging on your door, and you have to defend yourself, I want you to think again.
The Israelites were bold, and they were courageous. They picked up their swords. They picked up their ram’s horn, their harps, their tabernacle, and everything else they had in their possession. They went into the land that belonged to the enemy, and they took it back. They didn’t accept the wilderness as their home any longer.
They were determined to walk the promise out in obedience according to the rules God had set with His power. This is a season of warfare and of faith. This is a season to pick up your sword in faith, stretch it out in hope, and to overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony.
Your First Stop - Opposition
Tell me child of God, is your promise worth fighting for? What is the first thing that happens when we receive a promise from God?
You get so excited! You can’t wait to tell the whole world. You make plans. You make preparations. You start praying and quoting the Word, and getting in there. Then the first thing that happens is that a big, fat, wall called Jericho, hits you right in the face, impossible to penetrate.
The first thing that hits you, is opposition, and the first thing that goes through your mind after that is, “I missed God! Because surely, if God is leading me in this way, wouldn’t the Gentiles and Philistines just have laid their swords at my feet?
Would the doors not just have opened? Would the king of Jericho not have come, opened his big doors to his city, and said, ‘Come on in, take my house, feel free! Please guys, take over!’ If God is leading me in this direction, why all the opposition?”
It’s because the rules have changed. Now, you can stay in the wilderness, and you can have your little dish of manna every day and be content therewith, but then don’t complain to God because you are not seeing the promises fulfilled in your life.
Let me tell you, He is promising you this year of blessing. He has been promising it to you for some time now, in fact. Is it important enough for you to fight for? Because, the first thing that is going to happen when you actually allow the seed of faith to grow in your heart, is that you are going to face the Philistines, the Amalekites, and everybody else that is going to come against you.
Yet again, we have a strange doctrine that says, “Well, the doors didn’t open... I guess that direction wasn’t of God...”
Anything worth anything in this world, is worth fighting for. It’s when you have fought so hard for something, that it has value. Tell me, what price did Jesus pay for salvation? What price did Apostle Paul pay to give you the gospel today? What price did Peter pay to give you the gospel today? What price did Abraham pay to birth a new generation?
So, was Abraham unled when he left his family, still with no son, and he faced one opposition after the other? His own cousin opposed him. Was he unled? Was Jesus unled when the people turned against Him and spat in His face?
So, when we face opposition after God gives us a promise, why do we say that we are unled? Do we think that it’s just going to fall at our feet? Take a good look in the spirit and see that there is a sword in your hand - a double-edged sword that cuts the through the joint and the marrow, the light and the dark.
You will see that there is a word of God in your spirit that when it’s sent forth, it doesn’t return void. And you know, when I look at the journey that Joshua took with the Israelites, they didn’t just fight one little war or two little wars... they fought until they had overcome.
Here is the hard part - when the opposition comes from Kora, and the guys that are closest to you like your family, your loved ones. I have this promise from God. This is what I believe God wants us to do. They think, “Are you mad? Where did you get that from? You are in deception. You are crazy! That is never going to happen!”
You get so discouraged. For a little while you try and cling to that promise, but then you end up fighting so much with everybody who is opposing you, that you forget that you are meant to be fighting for your promise, not against everybody else who is opposing your promise.
What just happened? Your hope, got distracted. Now, instead of focusing day and night on the promises of God, you are focusing day and night on what everybody has done to you. Then you say, “Lord, why is your promise not being fulfilled?”
He says, “Did you meditate on it day and night? Did you cling to it? Did you walk it out? Did you allow me to fulfill it through you?”
Opposition doesn’t mean that you missed God. Opposition means that you have to fight. Pick up that sword in the spirit once again, because you have begun to think, as the children of Israel began to think.
“Perhaps, we thought amiss. Perhaps, I put too much emotion into it. Perhaps, I misunderstood God and He didn’t really mean what He said...”
You forgot to meditate. You forgot that you are meant to have that word on your mouth day in and day out until it’s all you know, until it’s all you think, until it’s all you feel. But what have you been meditating on? What have you been speaking? What have you been confessing?
“Well, I tithed, and then I took my favorite scriptures, and I paced up and down, up and down, up and down, and now my blessing is going to come.”
Go watch the Law of Obedience. It takes a little bit of time. That might get you some manna, but if you want to take your Promised Land, it’s going to mean walking it out in obedience - step 1, step 2, step 3. What has God asked you to give up? Where has God asked you to go? What has God asked you to take on? What load has He called upon you to carry? What character trait has He asked you to put on the cross?
Because every instruction that He has given you, just like He gave to Joshua, leads you closer to your Promised Land. Didn’t it seem strange to walk around the walls of Jericho? Didn’t it seem strange to send the priests and the ark ahead into a flooded Jordan river?
Yet, as he obeyed the letter of the law, God was faithful. Just as it said there, “I will be with you wherever you go. I am the driving force. I am the power that brings down the walls. I am the power that parts the waters. I am the power that stops the sun in the sky. I just need you to fight. I need you to want it badly enough and to do according to what I have told you to do.”
Taking Your Promised Land - Some Guidelines
Here is an interesting twist. I have been speaking to you about entering that Promised Land, and taking hold of your year of promise. But, that would be a little futile, if you hadn’t yet got the promise. That’s like planning on decorating the child’s nursery, and you haven’t even started trying yet, or you are not even married.
A leap of faith, or a leap of stupidity... you decide! Here is the thing - you cannot hold God to His word, if you haven’t got it yet.
Step 1 - Get the Promise
Step number one in taking your promised land, is this - get the promise. Have you spent enough time in His presence, to hear His voice? I journal every day. I spend time with the Lord and there are so many times He gives me amazing promises.
I am going to share with you what I do. I pray it motivates and challenges you to do the same. Every day that He gives me a promise - He doesn’t give me one every single day, but you know, you get those ones when He wakes you up at some crazy hour and speaks to you these fantastic things. You think, “Wow, was that you Lord?”
Well, when He gives you such a promise, write the promise down. Write it down with the date, but don’t stop there. Because with every promise God gives you, He is going to give you an instruction. Write that down too.
Every time God gives you a promise... Get yourself a little program, like an app on your phone. I have got a little flash card app on my phone and every time God gives me a promise, I write it down. I write down the date that He gave me the promise and the instruction that He gave me along with that promise.
Step 2 - Meditate on the Word
Step number two is to mediate on the word just as Joshua did, to change the way that you think. How much time do you spend reading the newspaper, watching the news, listening to your neighbors about what they have to say about how terrible things are - and how much time do you allow the Word to shape “possibility thinking” into you, instead of the world to shape the “possibility thinking” out of you?
Allow the Word to shape the way you think until your eyes are so filled with what God can do instead of what the devil wants to do.
Step 3 - Focus on Those Promises Daily
Focus on the promises day and night. Before you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Pull out your happy little flashcard app, or whatever it is you have got, and you read over every single one of those promises. But, don’t stop there!
Remember that little small print? Remember those instructions? I want you to read those too. Isn’t that what God told Joshua to do? He said, “I have given you the land that you put your feet on. But, Joshua, I need you to be bold and courageous. Joshua, I need you to abide to every letter of the law. Joshua, I need it to be on your mouth day and night. I need it to consume you. When you do all that, I will be with you wherever you go.”
Step 4 - Root Out Bitterness and Walk in Love
Don’t allow anger and bitterness to sidetrack you. This is a tough one - somebody comes against you. You get that spiritual warfare and you react. Next thing you know, there you are in the wilderness, eating your manna again... frustrated at everyone.
How quickly do we allow fear and bitterness to sidetrack us with the reality of what the devil wants us to believe, instead of the reality of what God is about to do in our lives.
Step 5 - Follow Instructions of Obedience
Above all, follow the instructions of obedience. It’s not good enough to just read the instructions God gives you all the time. You actually have to do them. What has God told you to do? Has He told you to quit your job? Has He told you to get a new job? Has He told you to get off the couch and just get a job?
Has He told you to have a child? Has He told you not to have a child? Has He told you to move church, stop church, go to church, start a church? What has He told you?
“God promised me that I am going to be an international preacher!”
“He said to start a church, but I am waiting for the right time!”
Fear, doubt, bitterness against God. So they had to wander in the wilderness. It wasn’t God’s timing that they were out of. God’s timing was always go, go, go. What? DO you think He gave you the promise just to dangle it like a carrot in front of your nose, saying, “I promised you this, but sorry you can’t have it for another forty years! Sorry about that!”
He is not that kind of God. He gave them that promise so that it might be fulfilled. He gave them the Promised Land so that they might conquer and not fail. God didn’t take you there to fail. He has brought you here to conquer and to take the land that He has promised you.
Stand up and Fight!
So what are you going to do about it? It’s time to begin fulfilling it. You know, I love this part.
Joshua 15:14 And Caleb drove there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. (They were giants by the way!)
The point here is that he took the land and kicked their butts. The part that I am trying to draw your attention to is the fact that this dude was old. This is Caleb. He has been around. You know, Joshua and Caleb? He was old. He was one of the elders of Israel. He and Joshua were the old guys, the old fogies, you know.
They were young men when they were spies, but it had been a good few years that they had wandered around in the wilderness until the old generation had died off, and the new generation was ready. They were the senior citizens of the day. Yet, I look at this guy - my goodness is he showing these young ones what to do.
Here is someone who really just had enough of the manna. Now, I don’t doubt that there were much stronger men, fitter men in the day. But, there is Caleb, picking up the sword and taking the land. This came after a challenge from Joshua. You see, what had happened was that they got super excited about taking the land.
“Promised Land. Yay - we are taking the land. We are taking ground.”
It says that Joshua said, “Guys, there is still so much more land that needs to be taken. There is so much more of the promise that has not yet been fulfilled. You have only seen one little promise. There is so much more. Who is willing to pick up their sword, and take hold of the promise?”
There were so many others who could have had the strength to take that land, but he was not satisfied with a bit of the promise. You will have as much promise as you are willing to fight for. The promise is not moving. The plan is set in stone. The blessing of God is upon you. His anointing is upon you. You are a child of the living God. You are a King’s kid.
All of these things are available to you. Now, let me ask you, “What are you going to do about it?”
Sit there and say, “Yep. I am a King’s kid!”
“But... you never rule and reign?”
Caleb could have sat there and said, “Yep, that land has been promised to us. This land, and that land, and oh, those beautiful green meadows... that has been promised to us too. While I go to my little hovel and my little shack down the road, I will tell my grand kiddies one day about the land that was promised to us...”
Yet, Caleb was a man who picked up the sword, and takes the land, and takes hold of the promise! That is the word that I have come to bring you today. Are you content with little? Are you content with the crumbs off the table?
Nothing wrong with crumbs. A little bit of crumbs is still a lot in the kingdom of God. In His economy a little bit of crumbs goes a long way - but God intends so much more. He intends for you to be seated at the banqueting table, with His banner of love over you.
He desires for you to realize that you are favored. You are meant to walk in this world as a light in the darkness. You are meant to be above and not beneath, the head and not the tail. You are meant to be a model in business, an example in the world, in friendships, in the music industry, the movie industry. He doesn’t want you to just be a shining light in your church on Sunday.
He wants you to be a prime example of what a King’s kid looks like. He referred to Israel as a beautiful young bride, whom all the nations looked at and were in awe of. We, the Church, are called the bride of Christ. What bride, on her wedding day trips, fumbles and crawls to the altar?
Does she not take hold of the dress that she has been given? Does she not adorn her hair with the jewels and flowers, and makes sure her shoes are spotlessly clean? Does she not wait for her groom to put the ring on her finger? Or does she sit in her dressing room thinking it’s all going to happen while she sits there in the back?
She has to walk down that aisle and meet her groom at the front. We are the Church. We are a light in this darkness, but if we don’t take this light and put it on a hill, who will see us shine? If you don’t take those promises that God has given you, and fight for them, who is going to fight for them?
Who is going to have the courage, who is going to be bold enough to take God at His word? There is a prophetic word, after prophetic word that goes out every year. But this year, are you going to fight for the word God gives you, or are you just going to allow it to tickle your ears, making you feel all goosy all over, and wait until another good, exciting word to come, as you sit on your porch in your rocking chair and wait for God to do something?
He will. He will give you manna! He is so gracious. He will give you your daily bread, the meager little crumbs. But He has promised you a lot more than that, hasn’t He?
So come. Let’s bring our promises before the Father, and let us allow that fire in us to be ignited once again. Let us be reminded why we had to go through the wilderness. Let us be reminded, why we had to go through river Jordan. Let us be reminded of the times when the Lord did indeed part the Red Sea.
Let us face these walls of Jericho together, and realize that we don’t stand there by might, that we don’t stand there by power, but in obedience and by the spirit of God.
We have a sword in one hand and we have a trumpet in another, and we are not afraid to use it. We are not afraid to call these circumstances that are in rebellion into line with the promises of God. We are not afraid to stand and to say, “Excuse me devil? Seriously? Did you just walk on my land?
I don’t care if you think you have ownership. This is my land, and God says, where I place my feet, He has given to me. This world belongs to Christ and His inheritance... by the way, that’s me!”
I am not going to sit at home anymore, waiting for the devil to knock on my door. No, we are gathering an army and we are going to his kingdom and we are taking down his strongholds. We are knocking on his door and we are saying, “Let God’s people go! You loose every promise God has given us. You have rented this land long enough, but the lease is in my name!”
Faith is not enough. Joshua had a lot of faith, let me tell you. He was an incredible man of faith. But until he picked up his sword, that faith wasn’t realized. You have all the faith in the world. You have been spending all those years in the wilderness, building up your faith. You have got more than you realize.
You keep thinking, “Well, I must need more faith. I must need more faith.”
You need to pick up your sword. It’s time for warfare. It’s time to say, “In the name of Jesus every knee will bow, every tongue will confess. I am not wrestling with flesh and blood. I am tired of these curses in my life. I am tired of this bad luck, of these doors slamming in my face, of this opposition...
You seriously want to give me a wall of Jericho? Well, just give me a few runs around the block because you are coming down and I am not giving up until you are coming down. I don’t care if I have to do it seven times seven. You are coming down, because God promised me!”
You see, that’s the point. You have got to have the promise first. When you have it, then you can stand in conviction and nothing is going to stand in your way. Nothing can oppose you when you have that kind of conviction.
So come, come with me. What’s your promise? Let’s bring them before the Throne Room of God, shall we? Let’s make this next season your year of promise!
“Thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you that you empower us, and that you have our back one hundred percent, and that you are with us wherever we go. You are the pillar of fire, the cloud to lead us to this promised land.
We come before you, every last one of us. We bring every promise.”
I see lots of promises. I see them like keys in the spirit. There are some golden keys, there are some gem-studded key, there is a diamond key, and this little brass key. There are some keys that are brand new, and there are others that are all faded, and others that are all rusted. There are yet others that are stuck under the bed, being hidden away and forgotten. Those that were locked away. Whole bunches of keys.
I see how you are going through the house and you pick up all these keys in different shapes and sizes. As you start collecting them you start to realize, “Wow, I had a lot more than I realized.”
As you start meditating on the things God said He would do, the things He confirmed through others, the things He confirmed through His Word, the things He told you in His journals, you realize you have more than you know.
“Holy Spirit, I just thank you that you reveal every last promise, that you reveal to your children right now the promise that you came to give us. Jesus, you paid a big price to lead us into a life of blessing that we might be a light to this world, that we might be an example and exalt your name. I thank you Father!”
From, myself and Craig, and the team here at Apostolic Movement South Africa, we want to wish you a very blessed 2016. No - I decree over you a year of promise over 2016. I have tremendous expectation. God has given us impossible promises.
Even as I was seeking Him in these last couple of days, He said, “Colette, I am putting my people together in tribes and in tongues.”
And He said, “They are all going to start seeing. Each tribe will see in their own direction. They won’t all be the same. But, as I bring all of them together, they will fulfill a greater purpose.”
Find your tribe. Find your purpose. Find where you belong, and get moving. We are part of something - you can feel it - we are part of something that we are going to see in the Church that generations before us didn’t see.
Forget that - we are making it happen! This apostolic move... how humbling is it that God has put us on the forefront of the next wave that He is moving over the Church. We will have stories. We will be like grandpa Moses with our children on our knee, telling them of the mighty things God did. We will be like old Joshua with his great-grandchildren, telling them of the time when the walls came down and the waters were opened.
All that is required from us, is that we believe, that we are strong and courageous, and that we walk in obedience. But, never think that you have to do it alone. You are part of a body. You are part of a Church. A glorious Church, that is set to change the world. AMEN!
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