BELIEVING THE PROMISES
"Get up. Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s house,” God commanded Abraham. Abraham was 75 years old when he stepped out by faith to embrace his destiny. Do not let age be a factor in your obedience. God knew your age when He called you. The psalmist David declared, "Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee" (Psalm 39:5).
An aging man, walking alone beneath the stars--now God speaks to him once again:
And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
The Lord said to Abraham, "...Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee..." (Genesis 12:1). Note that Abraham was to leave his kindred behind. Yet, in Genesis 12:4 we read, "So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him." A short statement, but one with a depth of meaning.
Lot and his family turned out to be nothing but trouble for Abraham. Problems first arose when the land could not support both of them and their livestock, and strife arose between their herdsmen. Genesis 13, records how Abraham gave Lot the opportunity to choose land and separate from him.
MOVING TOWARDS DESTINY
We learned in yesterday's devotion that Abraham stepped out in faith and began moving towards his divine destiny. Had he not done so, he might have died in Haran just like his father.
You will never reach your destiny by remaining where you are spiritually. All throughout scripture, God responds to those who move out in faith:
-We are told to ask, seek, and knock--then we receive the answer.
-We are told to give and we will receive.
-When you come boldly before the throne, you find grace to help in time of need.
ONE MAN WITH A VISION
At age 75, while living in Haran, Abraham--the son of Terah--received a call from God to go to an unknown land that the Lord would show him:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
God also told Abraham that He would make his descendants a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3).
TARRYING IN HARAN
The story of Abraham is the beginning of the saga of Israel's divine destiny. His story relates to you, as you will see during the next few devotional readings that are centered on this man. Abraham's story is recorded in Genesis chapters 11-25.
Abram--as he was first called--lived with his family in a city called Ur in ancient Babylon. He was the son of Terah and married to a woman named Sarai. She was barren, and they had no children.
And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
We are meditating on the natural birth process and applying it to the birth of a spiritual vision. The stages we have discussed previously were conception, development, travail, and the time of transition. The final stage in the process is the actual birth.
The birth. The development of a spiritual vision has an expected end, just as in the development of a human embryo. That anticipated end is birth. Your vision becomes reality.
Premature birth and delayed birth can result in death, both in the natural birth process and in the birth of spiritual vision. Do not move ahead of God and do not lag behind.
THE TIME OF TRANSITION
We are meditating on the natural birth process and applying it to the birth of a vision. The stages we have discussed previously were conception, development, and travail. Next comes the time of transition.
Transition. In the natural birth process there is a time during labor known as the time of "transition.” It is the most difficult time of travail right before the birth canal is open to permit the child to be born.
This parallels the birth of a vision in the spirit world. When God births in you a spiritual vision, you will experience a time of transition.
THE STAGES OF BIRTH
The natural birth process which brings a human baby into the world is similar to the process of the birth of a vision in the spirit world. Yesterday we meditated on conception and development of a vision. The next stage is travail.
Travail. Ecclesiastes 5:3 states: "For a dream cometh through the multitude of business" (Ecclesiastes 5:3). The meaning of the word "multitude" is "great". "Business", according to one Hebrew meaning, is travail--meaning difficulty. So a dream or vision comes through "great travail.”
THE BIRTH OF A VISION
God wants to give you a spiritual vision and reveal to you the purposes and objectives which will enable you to fulfill it. As you experience the "birth of a vision" you will become a participator instead of a mere spectator in God's divine plan.
The natural birth process which brings a human baby into the world is similar to the process of the birth of a vision in the spirit world. For the next few days we will meditate on the birth of a vision. You will experience five stages as you give birth to spiritual vision: Conception, development, travail, transition, and birth.
WHERE THERE IS NO VISION
The Bible states in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The vision to which this verse refers is spiritual vision. Spiritual vision provides direction. It provides challenge and structure for life. Without it, people become spiritually dead.
Developing spiritual vision is the process of recognizing the purpose for which you have been brought into the Kingdom of God. Spiritual vision involves seeing beyond the natural world into the spiritual world. It is understanding the divine purpose of God and recognizing your part in His plan. Spiritual vision provides a clear image of what God wants you to do and then directs every step of your life towards achieving that goal.
Your life has both a destination and a destiny. A destination is a place where you are going. As a believer, your final destination is Heaven where you will spend eternity in the presence of God. A destiny is the purpose for which you were created. It is the predetermined plan which you were destined by God to fulfill.
Sadly, many believers will reach their final destination, but will not have fulfilled their destiny.
The subject of this devotional guide is destiny, specifically your divine destiny. The premise of this guide is that God has had a unique plan for you from the beginning the world.
CONCLUSION AND COMMENCEMENT
You have been on a journey of divine destiny. Along the way, you have had to deal with some strong negatives--disobedience, your tongue, and the appeals of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
You also learned the positive strategies of developing a vision for destiny and following the pathway that leads to it--even if it sometimes winds through the desert. You studied about reprogramming your mind and heart and disarming deception.
You received power to produce the proof that God is still a miracle-working God who can save, heal, and deliver.
NOT ONE THING HAS FAILED
During this past year you have followed in the footsteps of God’s people, Israel, as they journeyed to their Promised Land. You have studied many spiritual lessons along the way, learning from both their failures and successes. In today’s meditation, we look at Joshua's last words to God's people. Joshua said:
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you;
THE SPIRIT OF A FINISHER
Judas. Demas. Diotrophes. New Testament characters with one thing in common: They started to serve God, but did not finish well. They abandoned their faith and aborted their spiritual destinies.
Then there are also men who failed at some point, but still finished well: Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, and John Mark.
The difference between those who fulfilled their divine destinies and those who did not was perseverance. Those who succeeded set their hearts and minds to finish their course, no matter what the cost.
RUNNING THE RACE
Paul compared fulfilling his destiny to running a race. He said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain" (1 Corinthians 9:14). Reaching your divine destiny is not a brief sprint. It is a lengthy, sometimes grueling race.
A tremendous true-life example is drawn from the 1954 British Empire Games held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The mile race that was held there is considered to be one of the greatest races of all time. It pitted the two fastest runners in the world against each other: Roger Bannister and John Landy.
From the start,
KEEPING THE VISION
One day, while traveling down the Damascus Road, the Apostle Paul received a vision from God that changed his entire life–his purpose, his plans, his nature, even his name. In this vision, God told Paul...
...Rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which though hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,
THE STANDARD OF EVALUATION
The tremendous flow of the presence of God will trigger an unprecedented spiritual harvest throughout the world. To prepare for this, God is raising up leaders--men and women of purpose--who will be able to work in cooperation together with Him to reap this great end-time harvest.
This world is crying out for leaders of integrity. History reveals that many forms of government which started with good intentions ultimately failed–and in most cases the failure was due to the moral downfall of leadership.
A REVELATION OF GOD
In answer to his heart’s cry, Moses received confirmation of God’s presence. God said: "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).
But God’s presence wasn’t enough to satisfy the desire of Moses’ heart. He didn’t stop there. Moses pressed on in and boldly asked, “...I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18).
There is a difference between experiencing God’s presence and witnessing the glory. Many people go their entire Christian lives without experiencing either
YOU MUST HAVE IT
A sad chapter in the history of God's people is recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 4. Due to their sin, Israel had been defeated in battle, the Ark of God had been seized by the enemy, the sons of the High Priest were killed, and the Priest himself died from an accident resulting from the shock of these events. His daughter in law, who was pregnant, went into labor and just before her death by childbirth she named her son Ichabod, meaning "the glory of God is
RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE
You may not have a million men marching against you, but your battles are just as big. You may have a mountain of debt, an unsaved mate, an incurable illness, or unsaved and rebellious children. But the good news is that if you meet God’s conditions, the power of God’s presence will go ahead of you and scatter your enemy.
The condition for releasing this inner life-flow of God’s presence is found in 2 Chronicles 15:1- 2. As Asa was returning from battle,
MANIFESTED THROUGH YOU
There is a tremendous key God has given to enable us to experience the presence of God. It is found in the Old Testament account of King Asa who ruled Judah for forty-one years (1 Kings 15:9-10). The Bible records that...
...Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God: For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers,
POSITIONED FOR VICTORY
In times past, God manifested His presence:
-In creation: Psalms 19:1
-The earth: Isaiah 6:3
-In the heavens: Psalms 57:11
-In specific geographic locations: Ezekiel 3:23; 8:4 -In the tabernacle: Exodus 29:43
-In a cloud: Exodus 40:34
-In the temple: Ezekiel 43:5
But now God is manifesting His presence in His people:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
WALKING THROUGH FLOODS
When the presence of God is manifested in your life, you will not be afraid of what people say about you. You won’t worry about what the world says. People won’t be able to affect you, cut you down, or destroy you emotionally by their opinions, comments, or actions.
Many believers are burdened down by guilt and condemnation over the past. The presence of God breaks these yokes of guilt and condemnation
THE MANIFESTED PRESENCE
God wants His people to experience the manifested presence of God. God told Moses, “My Presence will go with you!” What a tremendous promise! My presence, the great I AM, the Creator of Heaven and earth, My presence--I am going with you!”
With a promise like that...
...You can face every army.
...You can face every enemy. ...You can face every attack...
...because God is going with you! His presence is your ultimate weapon. The enemy can stand up against advertising, organization, and