In this third study I would like to again start with the words of the Apostle Paul, and define what a conqueror is.
Romans 8:37-39. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we already said, the Greek Word for conqueror is hupernikao. Vines New Testament dictionary says that hupernikao is to gain a surpassing victory, lit., "we are hyper-conquerors," i.e., we are pre-eminently victorious. Literally, super conquerors.
In this study let's look at the ultimate goal of a conqueror. That is to take and inhabit the land that God has called us into. What would be accomplished if we could take the land, but not inhabit and maintain what we have been given?
Lets look at the commission the Lord Jesus Himself gave us before He departed this Earthly realm.
Matthew 28:18-20. Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'' Amen."
The great focus of the modern church has been to go and get people born into the kingdom. This is certainly an important first step, but that is not what Jesus said to do. He said to make disciples of all the Nations, also teaching them to observe all the things that He commanded. Lately, I have come to see this in a new light. A nation can be won to Christ but not discipled. This is a nation that can be lost as quickly as it was won. There are some real examples of this in history. The great Welsh revival of the early 1900's transformed a nation, however approximately 100 years later, less than two percent of the nation goes to church. The impact the revival had on that nation was in itself unprecedented in modern history. However, the long lasting affects of the revival were not sustained. Regardless of the move of God, we have to look ahead through God's eyes and see not just what He is doing, but where He is wanting to go. He always has a purpose for what He does. God doesn't start things just to see them die out. It doesn't have to be that way. We have been given the authority to do what He told us to do.
Think about this, Adam was given dominion over the whole Earth. Consider the implications of what that means. Man was given the ability, the desire, and the authority to walk in total dominion upon this planet. We still have this innate desire within ourselves to want to control and dominate. All you have to do is look at the mess the world is in, and you can see this for yourself. New threats of nuclear disaster are popping up every day. Nations are threating to annihilate one another. To want to control and dominate outside of the plan and purpose of God is a very dangerous thing. However, with God and within His purpose, it is the destiny we have been called to fulfill through Christ Jesus.
The authority Adam lost has been restored. Jesus said "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore. The authority has been given to me, and I am turning that authority over to you, therefore go out and make disciples of all nations. It seems Christianity has become just another religion who co-exist with everyone else. Nobody wants to offend anyone, so in the wake of political correctness we just roll over and play religion. I realize this is a harsh statement. It is not meant to offend, but to be a wake up call, and to make us realize we have a job to do.
If you have spent any time in the Old Testament you will see that here are examples for us to follow, types and shadows of what we are supposed to be. The children of Israel would not trust God, and cross into the promised land that God had ordained for them to conquer. This was a serious thing. God still loved them and took care of them. He blessed them as much as they would let Him, yet this was far below what He wanted for them. They became used to it, and their carcasses died in the wilderness. God wanted to bless them and He could not. They refused the blessing. When you are willfully disobedient to God, you refuse the blessing He wants you to have whether you realize it or not. If you look at the parallel of the modern church, you can see this same attitude. We haven't dared to step over into what God has called us to be. In some circles if you dare step out and declare that God has given you the land, and you say that God wants me blessed and prosperous, you would be called arrogant and greedy. Many would say just who do they think they are anyway? Many have backed away from their destiny because they didn't want to cross that line, never fully considering that it is a line that God called them to cross over. If the devil can make you think you are not worthy to cross over into your inheritance, then he has won the battle without even having to fight.
Lets look at the second generation of the children of Israel that actually went over into the promised land. A land of milk and honey, a land of prosperity, a land that God ordained for them to live in. This is a type of what God wants for us, to conquer and inhabit our God ordained place, our place of prosperity. He does not want us to lay down and die in the wilderness. That was not His will for the first generation and that is not His will for us now in this present generation. The second generation started out with a completely different attitude than the first generation had. Lets look at how they started out.
Joshua 1:16 And they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17. "Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses.
They started out with the affirmation, we will follow God wherever he will send us.
Quite a different attitude than the one the first generation had wasn't it? Under Joshua's leadership, the children of Israel began to systematically take the land. They conquered it, then they also inhabited it, and in doing so they fulfilled God's will. If you read through the book of Joshua, you can see how important it was for them to conquer the land and inhabit it. Joshua actually scolded some of them for not aggressively doing what they were told to do.
Joshua 18:2-3 But there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance. Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: "How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?
Joshua said that God had already given them the land, yet they didn't take it to heart and actually possess the land that God had given them. Joshua called this negligence. When you don't possess your God given inheritance you are being negligent, and this is a form of disobedience. Throughout the Bible, the people of God who were the most successful were not always necessarily the most perfect ones, but they were the ones who fulfilled God's will. King David was certainly not perfect, but he was somebody who fulfilled God's assignment. God highly blessed Him for His obedience. You will see this over and over again. When people put God's kingdom assignment first, God blesses them.
Deuteronomy 8:18 "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
The word of God said this of David...
Acts 13:22 "And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, `I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'
Even though David messed up, his desire was to complete the mission God had given him and fulfill God's will. Its not how big of a ministry you build or how well known you are, but did you fulfill God's will? This is a question we each have to ask ourselves, what is God's will for my life? We each have a God given place, God wants us to inhabit the land he has called us to. Our blessing is in the land He has called us to inhabit. We can't get our God ordained blessing going south if God has called us to go north. If you want to prosper, then you have to be obedient. Thats the way it works. If you can enlarge your vision a little, you can take a little more. The bigger the vision the more you can take.
Joshua 17:14-18 Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given us but one lot and one portion to inherit, since we are a great people, inasmuch as the Lord has blessed us until now?'' So Joshua answered them, If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you. But the children of Joseph said, "The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel. And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph to Ephraim and Manasseh saying, You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.
Joshua didn't say well you greedy little buggers, don't you know God doesn't want you to have all that land, just who do you think you are anyway? No, and God didn't get angry with them either. Joshua said go for it. You can do it. Take what you need. You can surely conquer the land!
I pray this Scripture in Isaiah takes on some new meaning now.
Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Are you willing? The next step is obedience, so go for it, and be a man or woman after God's own heart, and do all His will. Inhabit your promised land. Amen
The Olive Branch