The Promised land – Let’s try to define the promised land in modern terms relevant to the Kingdom:
1) Living the desire of your heart and releasing the creativity, initiative, and entrepreneurial spirit that naturally flows with enthusiasm.
2) Knowing that your dream is also on your Father’s heart so that you have confidence, boldness and authority in prayer, word and deed.
3) Experiencing God’s favor and wealth and promotion flowing from the value of your work,
4) Seeing ministry occur as part of your normal day instead of an annual mission or a Sunday altar call.
There is a huge war raging behind the scenes to keep believers outside their passions and their land. That is exactly the battlefront. The Bible is not short of examples of both droughts and floods that try His people. It seems like an oxymoron to be in, or pointed toward, the Promised Land and end up back in Egypt because of a drought! Let’s take a look.
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. Gen 12:10 NIV
Abraham – Genesis 12 is primarily about God’s promise to bless Abram and to make his name great. But a drought puts him in Egypt, and on the way he offers his wife up as his sister (Gen 12:14). This all stacks up as a rather unspiritual vacation. However, God blesses Abram in Egypt. Listen to how he comes back from this vacation.
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. Gen 13:1-2 NIV
There is currently a bit of drought going on in the Promised Land, and Kings are finding themselves outside their dream. I want to suggest that God can still bless us so that when we do enter our heart’s desire we are already blessed like Abram.
Isaac – We see the same drought and famine driving Isaac out of the Promised Land, only this time the vacation is in Gerar with the same, odd story of offering his wife as his sister… sound familiar?
Now there was a famine in the land — besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time — and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you… So Isaac stayed in Gerar. Gen 26:1-6 NIV
On his vacation, Abram saw the Egyptians irrigating out of the Nile River, and shared it with his son, Isaac. Although there was no Nile River in Caanan, Isaac apparently applied the irrigation lesson from his father because his servants are digging numerous wells. This little piece of ingenuity produces some remarkable fruit that is “drought resistant” …something we all need.
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. Gen 26:12-15 NIV
You and Me – We could go on with stories of Joseph and the whole nation of Israel going to Egypt over drought and famine issues. Let’s talk about 2012. We still have occasional droughts where our dreams seems to get postponed indefinitely. At least that’s the way it feels. I want to suggest that “your heavenly Father knows that you need” (your dream to come true) and he will bless you in Egypt or Gerar.
Question – So why can’t we just stay in the promised land? The answer is simple and important for our perspective. Don’t take drought and famines personally, as though God is after you. Those seasons are part of warfare that goes far beyond us. Are we affected? Most certainly, but we can survive, resurrect and prosper even in difficult seasons. Yes! Sometimes there’s nothing left of our dreams and possession but Jesus… and that’s exactly the point. He is the rock, and if we are standing on Him we will survive and flourish.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matt 7:24-25 NIV
Faith is all about connecting the Father’s words and heart for the Kingdom, seeing the same desires in our own hearts, and resonating with those same words. Living out of the passion in your own heart is a delight, not a sacrifice. You can take the promised land with you during a famine… the Kingdom of God is within you. God himself will make a way for your gift. You will not be left out of your destiny. You will not miss your promise of blessing. He will more than sustain your heart, even during famines.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lam 3:21-24 NIV
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Ps 55:22 NIV
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isa 46:4 NIV
Your role in the Kingdom is worth the investment of your time to put that plan into place and to get the help you need to do it. Here are some suggestions for next steps. We may be able to help you with a heart plan.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov 16:9 NIV