John Hagee - The Priceless Provision Entering The Land
God promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey. That's the promise. He liberated them out of Egypt through the Red Sea. And for 40 years, they had a problem called "The wilderness". The provision now is to enter into the land when they got to the Jordan river. That's where we are in this series. Are you willing to enter the Promised Land God has designed for you from the beginning of time? One, take responsibility for your actions. Say that with me. Take responsibility for your actions.
Winston Churchill, the man who saved western civilization from Nazi Germany, said, "The key to greatness is responsibility". You become the architect of your life one decision at a time. You are the person that needs to take charge of your life. God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden. Adam looked at the Lord and he said, "This woman you gave me, she did this. She got the fruit. She gave it to me". But the dunce, he ate it, so what difference does it make? He didn't take responsibility for what he did. Shorten your stay in the wilderness by being willing to work for what you want. I want you to understand this book is a work document for excellence. The Bible says, "He that does not work should not eat". I love that verse of scripture.
A third way to shorten your time in the wilderness is don't waste your time fighting what you cannot change, because there are things in life you can't change. I've heard many young women in my office, getting ready to get married, "So I like harry, but you know I'm going to change him". My message is, "No, you won't". If you married a cowboy, he might go to a George strait concert, but he's not going to the opera to listen to Italian for two hours. You want things to be different, but you don't want to change to make it different. Listen. You don't like Pharaoh, but you won't follow Moses. You don't like Pharaoh, but you won't follow Moses.
Progress demands a temporary break with security and saneness. You've been packing a tent and unpacking a tent, and loading the mule and unloading the mule, and getting manna and not having manna for 40 years. That has become a groove, and you're in it. But to get what God has for you now, you need to get across the river and let him drive your enemies out. A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing happens there. Listen to Israel, numbers 11:6, "We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt. We remember the leeks and the garlics", the tacos and the jalapeño peppers, the grits, the fat back, the barbecue. Now all we have to eat is this mushy stuff called manna. Miss Moses has put out a cookbook, "101 ways to fix manna".
We're tired of it. We hate change: yet, change is everywhere. Everything is changing quickly. And I want to tell you, the older you get, the quicker it changes. You can't go back to yesterday. It's over. You have to live life where you are with what you've got. You can't go back to Egypt: you must go on! You must go on! You must live victoriously in Christ right now! You cannot go back to leeks and garlics. You must face the giant and that's before you enter that land. Lot's wife looked back and saw Sodom and Gomorrah, and lost her soul. Quit waiting in the boneyard of the past. Saint Paul said, "Forgetting those things which are past, I press toward the prize of the mark of the high calling, which is in Christ Jesus". Press on! Press on! Press on through the problem, victorious, knowing that victory is yours, in the authority of Jesus' name! Give him praise in the house
Fourthly, shorten your time in the problem by being generous to those who need your help. Listen. How you respond to someone in need is how God is going to respond to you the next time you're in need. That's a spin on the verse, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Because what you do to others, in time, others will do to you. That is a Bible fact. How you respond to someone in need is how God is going to respond to you the next time you're in need. The old adage, "A friend in need is a friend indeed".
The fifth principle to shorten your time in the wilderness, let your mouth be ruled by the law of kindness. Say that with me. Let your mouth be ruled by the law of kindness. Paul writes in Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt". Salt, in the Bible, is a symbol of loyalty. There's a salt covenant in the Bible that's a beautiful, beautiful sermon. But your speech is to be saturated with loyalty about the people that you're speaking to: "That you may know how you ought to answer each other". You need to put that verse on your refrigerator door. That way you would see it many times in one day.
What does that mean? There are two words, "Listen" and "Silent". They're spelled with the same six letters. It's amazing. You cannot listen without being silent. How many of you've ever been in a conversation with someone that was heated, and you knew they were not listening to what you were saying: they were just listening for you to take a breath because they were going to... They had no, no intention of hearing you? How many of you've ever done that yourself? The rest of you are lying.
You shorten your time in the problem, six, by refusing to indulge in self-pity when life deals you a raw deal. Sometimes life is simply not fair. Talking to orphans, someone who was supposed to have loved them, left them and never came back. That's a raw deal. Talk to the lady, who worked her husband through medical school, and he found someone else. That's a raw deal. Victims of tragedy, things of that nature. See yourself like God sees you. See yourself as clean and bright. You are the window through which you will see the world. You are the window through which you will see the world. Don't beat yourself up about what's happened in the past! You celebrate what God can do through you in the world tomorrow. This day will be a good day. And the rest of your life will be wonderful! Give the Lord praise in the house!
Seven, shorten your time in the problem by being a peacemaker. The Bible says, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God". You do not drift to peace: you make peace. You make peace. You go to the person that the offense has happened, and you initiate the process that makes peace happen. Don't sit around in the same house and sulk for two months over something that happened long ago. How petty, childish, and plainly stupid that is. Resolve the problem! Act like an adult whether you are or not. The four major problems God forced Israel to face on their journey are the four same problems you are going to face onto your Promised Land. The picture is Israel has been in the wilderness for 40 years. The manna in the morning, the manna in the evening, 40 years of sweat, suffering, battles, blood, tears, heartache, pack the tent, move the tent, load the cart, unload the cart. And then they come to the Jordan river, and the Promised Land is just across that river.
The land flowing with milk and honey is right there. They've arrived. You would think that they would be a stampede across that river. That's not how the story ends. Moses sent spies, ten spies, into the land of Israel. Two of them were Joshua and Caleb. They were the leaders. They were gone 40 days, and returned with clusters of grapes on a pole. This is still to this day, the symbol of the Israeli tourism department. This is the land flowing with milk and honey. Joshua and Caleb said, "Let us arise and take this land". God has given it to us. We'll drive the enemies out. This is the prosperity we've dreamed about. Let's stand and enter! Eight spies said, "We can't do this. We can't enter the land. Those giants make us look like grasshoppers". God's response? Wrath. Numbers 14:26 through 38, God immediately says through Moses, "Only Joshua and Caleb, and those who are 28 years of age and younger, are going to go into the Promised Land".
And here's word for word out of the Bible, God said, "As for the rest of you 20 years of age and older, your carcasses are going to fall in this wilderness, and your sons will be shepherds in this wilderness for 40 years until your carcasses are consumed in this wilderness". When you don't stand and enter the promise God has given you, God stops the blessing right there. You are free to give up on God anywhere and anytime you want to. If you don't want to serve at a higher level of intensity, you can level off at any time of your pleasure. But if you want to reach the prize, you've got to cross the river and face the giants. God said, I'll drive them out but you've got to cross the river. Crossing that river is faith in action. Whining about being the size of an ant, a grasshopper, is something that lacks in faith.
Ther problems that will keep you from entering your land are deception. "We are like grasshoppers", that was deception. That was an exaggeration of the problem. Look how God was seeing this. I delivered you from Pharaoh. I brought you through the Red Sea. I gave you the victory at Jericho. The four walls fell. I gave you water out of a rock that fed a million people and all of your cattle. I gave you manna six days a week. I gave you clothes that didn't wear out for 40 years. I gave you a cloud by day and a fire by night to keep you warm and cool. Not one was sick among you for all of these 40 years.
And now after all of these blessings, when you're just feet away from the prize, you're whining about being like grasshoppers! That's what God said. How do you see yourself? How do you see your future? Are you standing at the Jordan? The Promised Land that you're looking for is right in front of you, and all you can remember, mentally rehearse, is problem, problem, problem. Listen to this. You are not the product of your circumstance. You are the product of your decision. You need, with faith, to cross over the Jordan. Step into the Promised Land and watch God drive your enemies out of your Promised Land so that you can have the prosperity that God wants you to have. Give the Lord praise in the house.
The second problem that Israel faced was fear. They had fear at the Red Sea. God transformed Pharaoh into fish food. But now when they come to the opportunity of stepping into the Promised Land, they still have that same problem. Why didn't they learn the lesson? Because their fear was never overcome. After 40 years, Moses sent ten spies into the land. They returned. Two said, we can do it. Eight said, we can't do it. I want you to hear this: voting on the will of God is practical atheism. Voting on the will of God is practical atheism. If we would have voted, we would have never built this church. Fear is a raging thing when you start to make progress. If you want to know the will of God, read this. Your opinion and my opinion does not matter. But when God says, "I'll drive them out of your land with hornets", cross the river and look for the hornets to drive the enemies of yours out of your Promised Land!
The third problem Israel had to face was bitterness. God took them straight to the place of Marah, which was bitter water. Exodus 15:23, "And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the water because it was very bitter". Some of you in this room and some of you watching by television are standing at a bitter pool in your life. Do you remember a bitter childhood, a bitter divorce, a bitter business deal that left you full of deception and hurt, a bitter condition in your home that is destroying your peace, a bitter experience at your workplace, the tragedy of a life that has suddenly been turned upside down.
Listen. Stop complaining to Moses and start talking to God. The answer is with the Lord. You know you're bitter when you know everything and you believe nothing. Again, when you know everything and you believe nothing. As soon as Moses prayed, God showed him the solution. Solutions are seen when prayers are prayed. Stop blaming the circumstance. Stop blaming the conditions. Stop blaming other people. The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Stop pretending you're a prairie chicken when you are a mighty eagle, looking for the high adventure to fly on the wings of fate to do things that are absolutely impossible. Nothing is impossible with God! Do it, in Jesus' name!
The fourth and final problem is self-control. The fourth problem Israel and Moses had was the lack of self-control. As Christians, we are able to be self-controlled in every area of our life. In this age of advanced technology, we have learned to control everything but ourselves. The sun, we control to heat our houses. Mighty rivers, we control to produce electricity for our cities. We control satellites in space to transmit communication signals all over the world. You think you're lost? Just click in your phone and somebody in space will tell you exactly where you are. You get lonely, talk: it'll talk back to you.
It's easier for man to control the universe than control himself. Look at the control Jesus had on the cross when his disciples forsook him, when Rome considered him an insurrectionist too dangerous to live: when the pharisee's, who were in cahoots with the Roman government, screamed for his death: when they beat him: when they spit on him: when they gave him a crown of thorns: when they ripped his side open with a Roman spear. He had all power in heaven and in earth. With one utterance, he could have called the angels from heaven and obliterated planet earth, literally made it disappear into dust. Poof. He had that kind of power. But the man who had all that power, looked at those people who were beating him and laughing at him and had him strung up on that cross naked, saying, "Father, forgive them: for they don't know what they're doing".
That, my friend, is self-control. That is self-control. And when we get it, life is going to be beautiful. The last thing in closing: if you're going to get out of the wilderness, you're going to have to learn the principle of never quitting. Solomon said, "The righteous man falls seven times. But he gets up again and keeps going". The Bible is a book about facing your problems, not running from your problems. It's about fighting the good fight. It's an action faith from Genesis to revelation. Don't quit. If what you're doing doesn't look good, if God gave it for you to do, keep on doing it.
I close with this illustration. It's a true story about a mother, who was wanting to encourage her young son in his progress on the piano. The mother bought tickets to the Paderewski performance. Paderewski was a world class pianist. When the mother and the son went to the performance, they found seats in front of the concert hall. The little boy eyed the majestic Steinway that sat right in the middle of the stage. The mother, being a woman, saw another woman and went over and started talking to her. She got involved in the conversation. And her nine-year-old boy with all of his genius, who could only play "Chopsticks", went over to the Steinway and started playing. Clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink, clink clink. That's a tune that will drive you to the nut house.
The crowd stood up and booed! The mother was mortified. Paderewski heard the racket behind the stage, and he walked out on the stage and sat down beside the young boy, who was doing his best with "Chopsticks". And he said, "Don't quit playing. I'm going to sit here beside you and help you with this". And Paderewski, on the spot, began to create a concerto of majestic beauty. It took the sloppiness of "Chopsticks" and made it something that was wonderful and enjoyable. The audience jumped up and began applauding, because what was being done was a work of art and absolutely took something that was worthless and made it sound wonderful.
So what's the point? The point: some time in life, you think what you're doing sounds like "Chopsticks". You're just not pleased with how it's going. Just keep doing it. Just keep doing it. God, the Almighty, will sit down beside you, and he will start playing a concerto with you, and make what you're doing to be a thing of beauty. You will be amazed at how beautiful your life is going to be when God comes in and instantly begins to bless your life. Can we stand together, giving the Lord praise in the house, and bless his holy name! Bless his holy name. Bless his holy name. Amen. Amen.
I ask this question: how many of you in this audience and those of you watching by television, you're going through a difficult moment in your life? You're playing "Chopsticks" and you need for the Lord to sit down beside you and make this chaos and confusion, this heartache, this problem you're going through, a thing of beauty. You need God's help today to resolve the problem that you're going through. If that defines you, would you slip your hand up right where you are? Most in this audience, and I'm sure most in the television audience. Pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus' precious name, I thank you that the power of the Holy Spirit is now going to flood my heart and life. And God Almighty is going to help me enter the Promised Land by faith and great expectation, to fly on the wings of faith, to experience impossible miracles. God Almighty is with me. My enemies are going to scatter, and the victory is mine! The prize is mine! The land flowing with milk and honey is mine, in Jesus' holy name! Amen!