The Promised Land
Everyone has a “Promised Land”. For some, it’s winning the lottery, for others it’s finding a perfect spouse, perhaps a wonderful job, or even an amazing place to retire. Whatever we view as the Promised Land, it is a place with no problems, no pain, and overflowing abundance. All of us have been there in our imagination! And all of us are hoping we somehow get there in reality.
Our Promised Land
On Sunday, January 1st, Dianne and I shared a message entitled “New”. The focus was that God was about to do something new in the year 2017—We would be entering our Promised Land. We would like everyone who calls Vineyard home to listen to this message. You can watch the full message here.
The Original Promised Land
The concept of Promised Land comes from the great story of Exodus. The Israelites who had been enslaved for 400 years in Egypt were lead out of Egypt into the land of Canaan—their Promised Land. The land was to be a place flowing with “milk and honey”. In addition, it was to be a place of rest, prosperity and abundance. No wonder people have wanted the “Promised Land” ever since they’ve read this story.
40 is a huge number in the Bible. It rained 40 days and nights in the flood with Noah, many kings reigned 40 years, there were 40 days of Jesus being tempted, and 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension. In the life of Moses, he spent 40 years as a prince of Egypt, 40 years in the wilderness and 40 years leading the people from Egypt to the Promised Land. For some reason, God seems to love the number 40.
Hap & Di—40 Years
In 1977—40 years ago, Dianne and I first encountered the Holy Spirit. It was perhaps the single most life changing event in our entire lives. To be clear, we received Jesus in 1972 and spent 5 years unaware that the Holy Spirit even existed. Upon meeting the Spirit, everything changed. In that year, we were given revelation on our healing from barrenness and called to start the church that we have today. Now prayerfully entering 2017, we both began to sense that this was a year of breakthrough.
“Jesus—Bigger, Better and, More Beautiful”
This is the year that this phrase will come into a much sharper focus. Of course, our entire 40 years have been helpful in teaching, preparation, and drawing us together as a family. However, it is in the Promised Land that we walk in the milk and honey—the good things God has given us. Milk is often equated with righteousness (Hebrews 5) and Honey has been equated with healing throughout the Vineyard movement. It appears that the Holy Spirit is preparing us for an amazing year. What’s more, this is not a one year event, this is for the rest of our lifetime!
When the word was shared on January 1, it is possible that some thought it would just be a good word for the church. Actually, it’s a word for the church family and for every individual family who calls this place home. God’s blessings always involve both levels. The Israelites entering the Promised Land were meant to be blessed, both as individuals and as a group. The families were to have their own homes, prosper, have many children, etc. The blessings will be upon all of our families.
The major thing that God is looking for from each of us is faith! We are to believe the word, pursue the things of God to the best of our knowledge, and partner with the Spirit at every opportunity. Talk freely about it with one another, encourage each other, and help each other be all that God has called us to be.