Here we are, 2018! Every new year provides a fresh start and the opportunity for new beginnings. That said, I believe there is something special about 2018 and new beginnings. Eight is a biblical number associated with new beginnings, and I believe even the calendar year itself is speaking to new beginnings this year.
The year’s first super moon was New Year’s Day evening, and it was radiantly brilliant. In Tucson, the moon’s light interacted with the atmosphere to create surreal light rays across the sky. A sign? Perhaps, but one thing I do know, 2018 is a year of new beginnings and a time for the glory of God to shine brighter than ever!
It’s a year for the followers of Jesus and his Church to shine with the glory of the Lord! Truly, the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will cover the earth like the waters cover the seas. The darkness is seeing a great light in this hour—it is God’s glory through his radiant bride, the Church!
2018, A Year of New Beginnings, a Year to Occupy and Possess what is yours in Christ!
Foremost, Jesus is our priceless inheritance! Your certainty this year is in Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith! The Apostle Peter declared, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” 1 Pet 1:3-4 NLT
Your born-again experience brings you into God’s family and into Kingdom inheritance. In Christ, you have a priceless inheritance—this is both a future and a present reality.
Maintaining a kingdom mindset apprehends this reality by faith and lives from assurance that inheritance is available presently—as well as future.
There are promises and prophecies which God has spoken to you – they are part of your inheritance now, and you must learn how to possess them. Re-read the words spoken over your life, pray and declare them afresh this new year!
Jesus said His words are Spirit and they give life—words from the Father, when spoken through the Spirit, are life-giving and they build faith.
God wants us to become what He says, to apprehend what He has promised. The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans how Abraham, against hope, became what God said he was—by faith. (see Rom 4:18) Hope dispels discouragement and attracts what we hope for. We are now the light of the world, because Jesus, the light of the world, has changed who we are the moment we believed. Let your light shine this year!
Let’s look at some principles behind Joshua’s success at possessing his promised inheritance as an aid to possessing our inheritance this year (You can read Josh. 1:1-11 here.)
Remember that a whole generation of Israel wandered 40 years—longing, wishing for the Promised Land, but they died wishing. Faith is not “wishing,” but acting on God’s promises!
Their wandering turned the Promised Land into a mere Fantasy Land. Disneyland and World are wonderful places to vacation, imagine and dream, but you can’t live in fantasy land!
During those same 40 years, Joshua nurtured a victory within himself. He was becoming what God declared and promised. When God commissioned Joshua, he responded and turned others’ dreams and wishes into land, cities, homes and possessions—the inheritance for generations to come.
Why did Joshua succeed where others didn’t? The answer is found in Joshua’s heart, not his circumstances.
Joshua KNEW God intimately (see Exod. 33:7-11). There are few of us who have the “right circumstances,” but faith operates out of relationship! Joshua’s worldview was anchored in God and His promises. He wasn’t swayed by the news or circumstances. This came as he learned to wait in God’s presence—his mind was renewed and the impossible became probable.
Many today are fearful in our world. The threats of terrorism, climate changes, the middle east, North Korea, and political tensions to name a few have caused anxiety. However, our certainty and expectation are anchored in Jesus; He is our hope and peace!
Like Joshua, your success is in God, His Word and how you apply His promises for yourself—not in your circumstances. That’s the difference between what happens for some people and what doesn’t happen for others. This heart attitude and firm faith come from abiding in God, in His presence.
Principle 1: Realize your greatness is in God.
Twice the Bible makes this wonderful, all-inclusive statement: “for all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27 NASB, cf. Matt. 19:26). Note the preposition with. To you all things are possible, with God.
Joshua did not have a red carpet rolled out for him! He didn’t ride into Canaan on the back of an Arabian stallion, but marched in upon the basis of knowing God and His promises. God told him “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” (Josh. 1:3)
Notice, it’s past tense. God told Moses 40 years prior the land was their inheritance! But the people of Israel failed to trust God and act on what was revealed.
God expected Joshua to act in faith on what had been revealed to him, knowing that God had already gone before him and would be with him.
As a follower of Jesus, your life is hidden in Christ. He is the vine, you are the branches—your ability to bear fruit, to possess the promises depend on your dependence upon Jesus, his Greatness. If God be for you, who can be against you? Rest in God alone!
Principle 2: All of God’s promises to others are yours by faith.
God’s Word is for you as much as if He personally appeared and spoke it to you. Your only requirement is to believe and act on His promises by faith.
There are situational promises, but at times God will take a situational promise in scripture and allow it to become a Rhema word to you …a God breathed word
What had God promised Joshua? “From the wilderness … to the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.” (Josh. 1:4) For Joshua and Israel, the only land remaining to be possessed was what Joshua had made up his mind to have. It was theirs by faith. And it happened when he decided. Joshua’s faith, courage opened door, history made.
The Israelites had to cross the river Jordan, and seize the gift offered. They literally had to tread with the “sole of the foot” upon the land they desired to receive from God.
Every promise of Scripture is intended to provoke you to action.
What has God promised? How much of His kingdom is available? How much have you made up your mind to have? There are realms in God’s kingdom that will only be realized as you determine to possess and occupy with God.
Principle 3: Get God’s vision of what you should do, then work to bring it about.
What is the vision God has given you for your life, your family, your church?
Faith sees the promise as realized, and then acts to cooperate with God. Your faith in Jesus enables you to see His vision for your life, but it unfolds over time through intimate relationship with Him. You must “lean into” God, expect to hear and see!
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deut. 29:29
Vision isn’t automatic—if you aren’t looking, leaning into God, you won’t see what God is revealing to you. “Come follow Me” must mean something to the believer, more than mere creedal agreement!
You are valuable to God, and He has placed His Spirit within you and wants to empower you to fulfill His vision and purposes in your life. Grace empowers you to become who you are not apart from Jesus!
Joshua was a servant, the assistant to Moses. He was faithful, and from this place, God could entrust to him vision to fulfill what God wanted done. When we are faithful in little, then we can be entrusted with more, and become faithful in much!
Sometimes your vision, even breakthrough, is tied to a corporate vision and call.
We tend to view our “salvation” as merely an individual experience in God. Yet, there are corporate dimensions to what we experience individually—we are interconnected. We are the “body of Christ,” living stones being built into a spiritual house.
Principle 4: Know that God is with you as much as He is with anybody.
One “unbelief” some have is that God is with some people greater than with others. But from the beginning God said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Josh. 1:5)
He promised this to Joshua and repeated the same statement 1,300 years later by the writer of Hebrews, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5) And Jesus, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
God is with us not because we are good or because we have great faith; He is with us because He has committed Himself irrevocably to us. If God was with us only when we had success, success would never come!
Don’t wait for the right circumstances, God is your circumstance. He is with you!
If the wave isn’t moving, create a wave! A good example of this is ocean surfing. When we move in power (dunamis) it’s like catching a wave and riding it in. Authority (exousía) is different. Power is the atmosphere of heaven changing earth. Authority is a position given by Jesus himself, and we start the wave knowing our authority in Christ.
Others before you simply took advantage of this truth—God is your circumstance. They simply believed it and acted on it. They refused to give into fear but acted in faith.
You can go in the name of Lord, with the same courage God imparted into Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage” (Jos. 1:6); “Only be strong and very courageous” (Jos. 1:7); “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor be dismayed.” (Jos. 1:9)
Jesus said the “gates of hell will not prevail against His church.” The powers of hell may roar, but we need to remember we serve the living God, and nothing is impossible with Him. Live from a revelation of the victory of Christ, your identification with his ascension victory, and from the truth of his goodness towards those who believe.
Principle 5: Believe God’s Word and act on it.
God didn’t give Joshua much forewarning when He said within three days they would cross the Jordan River to possess the land (see Josh. 1:11).
Israel had been on the east side of the Jordan for an entire generation. They were used to thinking of the other side of the Jordan as Fantasy Land. They had even become “grasshoppers” in their own sight (see Num. 13:33).
If you think you are a grasshopper, you are; because as a person “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). But in God you are not a grasshopper—ever!
You are never alone, never abandoned, and never outmatched in God! A renewed mind sees the impossible as the environment for God’s miracle power to be displayed!
Realize what was happening when God called Joshua. “The Lord [said] to Joshua: ‘Moses … is dead. Now therefore, arise, go’” (Josh. 1:1-2).
What a moment for purpose to unfold, for inheritance to be received—it began with a funeral! It was a disastrous hour for Joshua and the people of Israel. Their leader, Moses, has died, vision? However, God specializes in bringing life out of death.
Sometimes it’s in the transition, the uncertainty of the hour that God’s purposes begin to unfold and become clear.
Remember, your greatness lies only in God. Believe God’s promises and act upon them. Cast off feelings of inferiority and act upon what He has revealed confidently. That’s why Joshua succeeded—because the same God who was with Moses was with him. He’s the same God who is with you and will never leave you nor forsake you!
2018 is a year of new beginnings, a year to occupy and possess in God the inheritance he has given you! It’s a year for you and for the Church to shine greatly, believe this an act confidently as the Lord leads this year!
For a more in-depth look at this topic, be sure to watch the Passion Church video “Possess Your Inheritance”: