Am I fighting for my rights or resting in God’s promises?  Moses was God’s choice to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land.  In Numbers 12 is the record of Miriam and Aaron rebelling against Moses.  Moses did not have to oppose them, God dealt with them.

After Moses’ death, Joshua was the Lord’s choice to take the next generation into the Promised Land.  God promised Joshua: “There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not fail you nor forsake you”, Joshua 1:5.  This is part of our birthright as we walk before the Lord in obedience and humility.  The world has a saying, terms and conditions apply.  In our spiritual walk with the Lord, the terms and conditions God requires of us in order to walk in a deeper experience of our birthright in Christ, are humility and obedience.  Jesus was the full expression and demonstration of these.  He came to do the Father’s will and always sacrificed His own.  He only spoke the words His Father gave Him.  He only ever did the things that pleased His Father, living every moment in constant communion with Him.

What are the other characteristics of a man walking in obedience to the Lord?  Joshua was on the threshold of entering into the Promised Land when God gave Him promises and instruction that if he walked in obedience to His laws, he would inherit “every place the sole of his foot would tread upon……no man would be able to stand against him……obedience resulting in prospering wherever he went and success”, (Joshua 1).  The Lord encouraged Joshua: “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of a good courage, do not be afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”, Joshua 1:9.

When the Lord had dialogue with Joshua, He spoke with authority.  He commanded, He did not ask Joshua if he thought a few recommendations of His were just good ideas to be considered.  God knows, and desires, His very best for us.  We still have freedom of choice to obey, or disobey.  Do I reverence Him as Almighty God to obey, not His recommendations, but His commands?  As I walk in humility and obedience I enter into another measure of my birthright in Christ, possessing, and enjoying, another portion of the Promised Land.  

If I am experiencing opposition anywhere in my life, whether it be relationships, financial problems, health issues etc., my first enquiry should be to seek the Lord in order to understand His perspective on any matter concerning me.  As I consult Him, the Holy Spirit will reveal direction as I walk in truth and humility, terms and conditions apply!  Wherever my life experience does not come up to my birthright in Christ, I am challenged as to where the blockage lies in me.

We have considered the characteristics of a man walking in God’s promises from the Old Testament.  Let us now take a look in the New Testament which fulfils the Old.  Galatians 5: 22-26 lists the fruit of the Spirit.  A heart search under the Holy Spirit’s guiding light can be beneficial and necessary at times.  He will convict if necessary.  As I embrace the truth of any lack I have and humbly repent, the life of Christ can supply that lack with the endless supply of His abundant life, my birthright in Christ Jesus!  He is my Promised Land, filled with all the fullness of God.  He searches for vessels that will empty themselves, the crucified life of self…….making daily dying choices where the Holy Spirit directs, in order that the life of Jesus Christ can flow freely through an unblocked channel.  A surrendered vessel will demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, the life of Christ.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance; against such there is no law.  They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  Galatians 5: 22-25

The Lord Jesus is our Pattern Man.  He was utterly severed from self interest, always seeking to please His Father.  Our adverse reactions to people, circumstances and situations demonstrate our self hood rising up and actively protecting it’s self preservation.  Jesus rebuked Peter: “……you are an offence to me, for you do not savour the things that be of God, but those that be of men……..If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever will save his life shall lose it, and whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it”,  Matthew 16: 23-25.

God promised from the very beginning that if we walked in humility and obedience before Him, that our days would be as of heaven upon the earth, (Deuteronomy 11:21), our birthright in Christ.  When we entered into salvation, God birthed in each of us a desire for Himself.  Only He can fulfil the desires of our heart.  When He has pre-eminence, His rightful place, everything else falls into place in His divine order in our lives.  If He does not have first place, the order is wrong and we do not function correctly.  We hang on to earthly desires, desperate, unanswered prayers because we will not surrender and allow Him to be sovereign in our lives.  When He is our first desire, He will give us the desires of our heart because those desires will change.  A surrendered heart is a vessel of beauty and honour to the Lord.  Why hang on to the right to ourselves when the fullness of our birthright awaits a surrendered vessel?  Our Father gets all the glory, and we receive all the benefits of His joy, peace, rest and, an equipping in His strength, to enjoy our ongoing journey with Him.  In this position we will enjoy God’s promise of “days of heaven upon the earth”.

Photo by Sam Schooler on Unsplash