Summary: This sermons encourages the christian to live in victory.
Theme: Go up and possess the Land!
Text: Deut.1: 5-8
A. Taking a closer look at our churches today, what can we see? I can see people who called themselves Christians, who come to church contentedly in a once-a-week basis. There, as their custom, they had their “worship service”. Everything is fixed, programmed, and routine. They sit, stand, listen and sing piously, and at the end, as if everyone is satisfied, they receive the benediction with a great “Amen”. But where is the victory? Where is the growth? Where is the productivity? They looked the same! They felt no difference! They lived as usual!
B. Why, what is the problem? They say it’s the devil. So some groups had mean business to “bind and defeat” the devil. But this is impossible! Please church, we should pray with our heads! Satan is already a defeated foe. We are already victors in Christ! And to bind satan is not our work to do; it’s Christ’s when He comes to set up His millennial kingdom.
C. The liberal teachers are not the problem either. The worst enemy of the church is the dictatorship of the routine. When we are satisfied with what we already are or have, then there is no more room for anything to become. If you don’t desire to grow, you won’t grow! If you stop desiring for productivity, your life will produce nothing worthy for the church to rejoice. To this kind of church or Christian God has a message: “Go up! Possess the Land!”
D. God’s people don’t have to stay where they are; they must be going forward. The church must not be satisfied with what she already is or has, or she closes herself the door of greater experience that is for her. The church is not a dead monument; it is a living, dynamic organism that has the state of becoming.
E. If you look at our text, God spoke to His people through His servant saying, “Enough of your stay here! Go up and possess the land!”
F. What is the implication of this command of God to His people? What is its significance to the church?
I. IT IS A CALL TO ADVANCE.
Ø God is so ardent for the advancement of His people. In this passage, God says, “You have stayed long enough in this mountain…now set up your journey. Go up and possess the land.” It is both a command to leave the place where they were staying –a place where they were already accustomed, and to advance their journey toward the Promised Land.
Ø God’s desire for His people is not to stay in a spiritual status quo, or what we called the customary life. Instead, He wants to see His people progressing with great measure in their spiritual journey.
a) FIRST, God wanted to see the intensity of His people’s emotion toward Him.
· As the Israelites lived long enough in Mt. Horeb their passion for the Promised Land had grown cold. Their emotional fervor, their excitement and their exuberance for God’s Promise had to some extent been alleviated. “It’s okay here. We’re already accustomed here. No more adjustments.” The promise was still in their minds, but the intensity of their passion for it has waned. So God came to rejuvenate their emotions. “Go up and possess the land.”
· God dislikes half-heartedness, lifelessness, and, as the Spirit of God says to the Church of Laodicea, “lukewarm” spirituality.
· Both Peter and Paul understood this and said: “continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior and Lord.”
· There must be an increase of devotion; there must be more passion, more fervor, more joy, and greater willingness to sacrifice for the Lord!
b) SECOND, God wanted His people to come to a new horizon of experience.
· The Israelites were becoming accustomed and contented with their stay in the mountain. What more could they long? They had comfort, ease and safety in that mountain. Everything is fine, why should they go up to another place? First because that was not the place where they should be. Next, they can never come to that place until they leave the place where they were. This gives us the principle that “what has been should not determine what will be.” So for them to be in the place God wants them to be, they must go through new horizons of their journey. Exactly true with us. If we want to be a person God wants us to be, we must be willing to go through new horizons of our spiritual journey. What we have been should not determine what we will be or what we are to be spiritually. That’s why Paul said: “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching…let us press on to maturity.”