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Sunday, June 29, 2014

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 52

The Natural Man Receiveth Not the Things of the Spirit (continued)

Occupy the Land

When Saul and his army faced Goliath, the Philistines had reached their greatest strength; and this is because Israel had not heeded God's command to possess the land. They had not fully possessed the land of their inheritance. Over 450 years had passed since Joshua and the children of Israel had entered the land of promise, and God's people still had not possessed their rightful inheritance. Generation after generation had come and gone, and the war with the Philistines continued; and most of this time, the children of God were in bondage to the Philistines and the Canaanites. Joshua 1:11 tells us that God gave "the land" to them in order that they might possess it. This land speaks of the inheritance of God's people, and it is figurative of that which we have in Christ. It is not just speaking of that which we are promised after we die, but it is speaking of that which we have been given in Christ from the instant we are saved by grace.

This is why Israel is told to possess the land, which means they are to occupy the land by driving out the enemy who has built his stronghold upon the inheritance of God's people. Then, as they possess the land, they must occupy each part of the ground taken; this means that they must live in the reality of the inheritance God has given them.

So not only was Israel told to possess the land of their inheritance, but they, and the generations to come, must continue to possess, to occupy, the land of their inheritance. They must guard it! They must keep it! They must live in the good of that which has been given them!

Beloved, as those who are saved by God's grace, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ. However, we must keep in mind that there is also a great spiritual warfare taking place in the heavenlies, an unseen realm that is outside of the realm that is in Christ, and in this realm, which is not in Christ, are spiritual wickednesses (Ephesians 6:10-18). And the goal of these spiritual wickednesses is to stop us from living in the reality of that which we have in Christ.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 53)

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