~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Renee Roeckelein. You can hear the whole sermon, Taking God at His Word (part 2), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in.'” (Num. 14:28-30)
We can live our whole life, still go to Heaven, and never possess what is in the Word.
We have a choice to be either like Joshua and Caleb or like the rest of the Israelites. What set Joshua and Caleb apart? Seeing and agreeing! Caleb and Joshua saw with the eyes of faith. They saw His promises and agreed with His promises. All the Israelites had the same promise and saw the same things as Joshua and Caleb, but the other Israelites agreed with the giants. Joshua and Caleb (like David later) agreed with God – not the giants! “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the Living God?” (1 Sam 17:26) Just like with David, for Joshua and Caleb, it was a matter of WHAT THEY SAW and WHAT THEY SAID! The Israelites spoke what they believed and they got it! Faith does not deny the reality of difficulty, it declares the power of God in the face of the problem. In Kingdom Warriors, Joe McIntyre says “Our mouths are to become the vehicles for God to speak and release what He desires in the earth.”
Faith does not deny the reality of difficulty, it declares the power of God in the face of the problem.
In her book, In The Wilderness: How An Ordinary Christian Encounters an Extraordinary God, Renee says something very similar: “we need to agree with what God’s Word says about us and NOTHING ELSE.” There is a power in agreement! We get to choose. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for a promised child and were still fully convinced! They hoped against hope! Daniel looked to God while in the lions’ den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, yet they would praise Him either way! The giant in David’s eyes was God, not Goliath. Joseph was in prison in person but in God’s hands in His mindset; his trust in God elevated Him to the top of the earthly kingdom – even with a demonic ruler in power.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.'” (Daniel 3:16-18)
All these heroes of faith had situations and circumstances where they chose to believe God instead of their circumstances. Sometimes we wonder – is believing all that important? The answer is it is so important, that you can’t be born-again with out it (Rom 10:9-10) None of this is automatic; were it to be, we would be without our free will. Two elements combine to release the reality of His Word in our lives: God’s Word + Our belief = Reality. Jack Hayford says “He won’t without us, and we can’t without Him.”
God’s Word + Our belief = Reality
Seeds don’t sprout on a podium, they sprout in good soil – in our heart! That’s why Prov 4:20 “guard your heart with all diligence.” We will bear fruit with patience! God is the performer of His Word! (see Isa 55:10-11) Don’t make an Ismail! (see Gal 4:21-31) “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) Our role is just to get the Word into our heart! God will even get the belief in there too, and then He will perform the Word! God’s Word shall not return to Him void! Look at Num 23:19:
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Joshua 23:14 says “you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Not one of His Words will fail for you. As a believer, they are for you and are the land promised for your possession. Will you be a Joshua and a Caleb – and enter into what God has prepared for you? It’s your decision and we all do well to consider the Isrealites and their example – whether good or bad – in order to possess His Promises!