Posts in Taking Ground
TAKING GROUND: Partnering With Heaven

Luke 23:46, ESV Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

in this life you are going to launch out to take all types of ground. You can do this one of two ways: 1) Solo – you jump and try to stick the landing; or 2) Connected To Him – you jump, in His direction toward His voice listening to His directions so He can catch you every time.

As you launch forward to take ground throughout your lifetime, you will find that everything in this world will fight against the good things God has for you!

CONFIDENCE – (latin: confidere) to have full trust

The Bible reveals a CONFIDENCE deeply embedded in those who partner with heaven. Over and over they rush forward with the confidence that heaven is with them and will back them no matter what they face.

  • Moses & Pharaoh – (Exodus 14:10–16) ESV When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly… Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

  • Joshua As They Enter Canaan - Deuteronomy 3:21–22, ESV And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’

  • David & Goliath - Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45–47, ESV

  • Elisha & Arimeans - 2 Kings 6:13–17, NIV “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

  • Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:18–19, ESV And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

JESUS COULDN’T RAISE HIMSELF BUT KNEW HIS FATHER WOULD!!!

  • Acts 2:26–27, NIV (Ps 16:9-10) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.

  • Acts 2:24, NIV But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

John 16:33, ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart (STIR UP COURAGE) I have overcome the world.”

  • spoken prior to going to Gethsemane

  • spoken prior to Judas kiss, being bound, taken to Annas,

  • spoken prior to being sent to Caiaphas

  • spoken prior to catching a glimpse of Peter denying him

  • spoken prior to being sent to Pilate, the crowd demanding punishment

  • spoken prior to being scourged with a flagrum,

  • spoken prior to being fit with a crown of thorns, a purple robe on His torn flesh, and paraded him before the crowd, demanding His crucifixion.

  • spoken prior to being turned over to soldiers for crucifixion

  • spoken prior to being unable to carry the 175lb crossbeam

  • spoken prior to his arrival at Golgotha

  • spoken prior to being stripped naked, clothes gambled for

  • spoken prior to being bound to the beam, nailed through wrists and feet

  • spoken prior to being lifted up and placed on display

  • spoken prior to being mocked before a crowd including his mother, family and friends.

  • spoken prior to Luke 23:46, ESV Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

  • spoken prior to piercing His side

  • spoken prior to pulling Him down, wrapping his body in burial cloth and placing his body in a borrowed tomb.

In The World: tribulation

In Me: peace, because I have overcome

Stop doing life on your own! Stop trying to stick an impossible landing! Give your life to Jesus and watch him win for you over and over and over!

Psalm 91:1–16, ESV He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.

TAKING GROUND: Detouring With Clarity

Isaiah 6:1, ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

God reveals land He has for you via the logos Word (Bible), the rhema Word (the Word spoken to you by the Holy Spirit) the inspired Word as you listen to preaching/teaching, words of your leaders speak into your life, prophetic words delivered by others, visions, dreams, and the things in your heart that grow into conviction as you follow Jesus. These are wonderful experience of increasing revelation! Far less wonderful experience are DETOURS!

The DETOUR for Isaiah:

  • he was born a Hebrew in Judah, 700 years before Jesus

  • he was a prophet and his wife a prophetess

  • he prophesied during the spiritual, social and economic decline of Israel in the shadow of the Kings of Assyria.

  • he prophesied during the reigns of the Kings of Judah including Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah – Isaiah 1

  • this Isaiah 6 moment came during his ministry during the regin of Uzziah, the first King. King Uzziah (Azariah) , was a king who - he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, 2 Kings 15:3, ESV

  • this Isaiah 6 moment was “ In the year that King Uzziah died.” Any time a king died, there was a radical shift in the nation, God’s dealing with that nation, the kinds dealing with spiritual leaders.

  • this was a moment where a detour appeared. It was unexpected moment of great change with an unsure outcome.

WHO/WHAT CAUSES DETOURS? as detours appear on our landscape, very often we become fixated on who or what created the detour. Detours can be:

  • God’s course correction in our lives

  • results of our poor choices

  • byproduct of our personal sin

  • the general curse of “this world”

  • consequence of another’s poor choices

  • effort of an enemy

  • attack of the god of this world

Regardless of cause or creator, a detour needs to be navigated with clarity. In order to move forward and continue taking the ground He has for you, it’s critical that you do so with your eyes wide open!

DETOURING WITH CLARITY

1. See The LORD

  • detours are messy and we get fixated looking at them. It’s critical to get up higher and see The LORD!

  • Isaiah did: Isaiah 6:1–5, ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

  • maintaining a proper view of God as you navigate a detour can be the difference between debilitating distraction and destiny.

  • acquiring a fresh view of Him is critical in detours!

  • detours are unexpected, but He is unchanged by the detour as well as his good purposes for you!

  • You may not know what a day holds, but you know WHO holds your day!

2. See Beyond The Detour

  • Isaiah 6:5–7, ESV And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

  • see Him! don’t look back, don’t fix your eyes on the here! fix your eyes on Him!

  • Hebrews 12:2, ESV looking to (fix your eyes on) Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • look at HIM as you take steps forward: we end up where we are constantly looking!

  • regardless of who/what caused the detour, he holds your day

  • Romans 8:28, ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

  • Joseph: Genesis 50:19–20, ESV But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

3. See The Chance To Learn & Grow

  • detours gives sight to new things and require new driving skills

  • you can spend your time being irritated and resist or you ask, “LORD, what can I learn in this season?

  • Romans 5:3–5, ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  • growth doesn’t happen in a La-Z-Boy, it happens in the uncomfortable places where you’ve never been before.

4. See New Opportunities

  • too often we look back and see what was lost, but we need to look forward to see what is to be gained!

  • Isaiah 43:18–20, ESV “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

  • this route has unexpected opportunities

  • when God creates detours, it’s usually for our growth, and our growth leads to greater fruitfulness

5. See New Relationships

  • Ruth/Boaz: Ruth 2:2–4, ESV And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.”

6. See It Through

  • it’s critical to persevere through the detour! Jesus did: John 1:5, ESV The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • John 16:33, ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • 1 John 5:4–5, ESV For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

  • Isaiah 6:8–9, ESV And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go…’

CLOSING:

  • if you don’t follow Jesus, you are experiencing constant detours to capture your attention. You’re actually stuck in that detour! Say yes to Jesus and get going on your journey with Him to possess the great land He has for you

  • if you do follow Jesus, and you are in a detour, make it count! Get everything out of it you can and travel through into the next great season of your journey!

TAKING GROUND: Dakota Elliott

Dakota Elliott - Flip Your Focus

Numbers 13:27-33 NIV “They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.””

Joshua and Caleb were looking at the same giants, the same fortifications, the same problem.

Notice:

  • “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

  • It doesn’t say “we were”.

What was the ten spies focus on?

  • Expectations

  • Their own ability

  • Their strength

Flipping your focus is acknowledging your source

What was the two spies focus on?

  • His Calling

  • His ability

  • His strength

If we want to Take Ground in our marriages, in our workplace, in our children’s lives, in our schools, we have to FIRST flip our focus.

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness because of the wrong focus.

Your best life, your future, the ground that God has destined you, and this church to take can only come when we FLIP OUR FOCUS.

TAKING GROUND: Moriah Willams

Moriah WIlliams

“For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.” Hebrews 9:16-18 ESV

Main Idea: Through the death of your will, a life of purpose is born in Him

*Lower your pride to elevate His praise*

2 Timothy: Second epistles of Paul to Timothy, Paul says “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

  • A soldier doesn’t live the same way a civilian does.

  • Mentally are never the same

  • They carry a weapon

Isaiah 2:11 “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

If you want gods will//humble yourself and allow God to work

*Exchange expedient desires for eternal rewards*

Luke 14:28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

  • Running a race for God, not the right gear.

  • Putting on the right gear, sometimes means taking the wrong gear off

Surrender: To cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to the authority.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

TAKING GROUND: Connor Gillihan

Connor Gillihan - Growing Relentlessly

Big Idea: We are called to be actively continuing growth in Christ through our actions.

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement. And this we will do, if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3 NASB

1: God calls us to continue growing in Him throughout our walk

  • Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about Christ, let us press on to maturity Hebrews 6:1

God wants us to be transformed and take ground for the Kingdom in our lives. We should be growing constantly. Hebrews 6:1 shows us that our journey through our walk with Christ is a process of continuing growth. Life can be busy. Living a weekly routine that does not grow us can become a normalcy. I am just as guilty of becoming wrapped up in routine and not seeking growth at times.

2: We must partner with Christ in order to continue growth.

  • And this we will do, if God permits. Hebrews 6:3

Action Steps:

1: identify an area of your life that God is challenging you to grow

We can do this through prayer, reading the scripture, and/or examining our lives and what God has laid on our hearts. I would challenge everyone here today to spend the next day or two thinking on an area that you can actively work towards improving instead of just going through the motions of life. Once you have something, write it down. It might not seem grandiose or large. It could be to be more patient, kind, humble, positive, or prayerful, but if God is calling you to a change, it is important to him. That makes it a priority for us.

2: identify a plan for improvement of your life.

We can begin this by getting direction from those who have gone through this situation before. We can ask God to show us the steps to begin action. Then, we must actively engage in a plan to improve our lives. Prayer is an important factor in this since it is the invocation of God’s power

TAKING GROUND: Journeying from 'NOW' to 'THEN'
  • Genesis 37:5, ESV NOW Joseph had a dream…

  • Genesis 41:39–40, ESV THEN Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

God reveals land He has for you VIA: Bible, Rhema, prophecy, dreams, visions, leaders, preaching, things in your heart that grow into conviction.

Once land is revealed, there is a journey to be taken, preparations, plans, work!

The from ‘NOW’ to “THEN’ Journey

  • Dream 1 - Genesis 37:7, ESV Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”

  • Dream 2 - Genesis 37:9, ESV Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

  • His dream happened when He was 17 years old

  • That same year he was sold to slave traders, landing in the house of Potiphar

  • He served Potiphar 11 years, when he accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife

  • At 28 he was thrown into prison two years

  • At 30 he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and was released from prison and elevated to 2nd in command in Egypt.

  • 9 years later, at age 39, his brothers arrive in Egypt, he remains unknown

  • For the next two years his brothers journey back and forth, and after Joseph reveals his identity, the bring their father.

  • At age 41, almost 25 years later, he is reunited with his father who bows down with his brothers to Joseph

Why does it take so long to take the land God has for us? There are a number of reasons, but THE BIGGEST? the WHO YOU CURRENTLY ARE must journey to the WHO YOU NEED TO BE, so that the OPPORTUNITY can MATURE and the OUTCOME can be HIS BEST

  • most ground promised is conditional - are “if you do X, then I will do Y…” therefore “if you don’t do X…

  • Samson was promised great ground, but it was polluted by his failure to BECOME the man who could live out the vision.

  • too often we often think our greatest obstacle to us taking our promised land is our CIRCUMSTANCES when in reality, the greatest obstacle is actually WHO WE ARE.

TAKING HIS GROUND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO BECOME SECOND

  • We see ourselves as the center of everything!

  • Joseph’s 1st Dream: “MY SHEAF AROSE, YOUR’S GATHERED AND BOWED DOWN.”

  • Joseph’s 2nd Dream: “I HAD ANOTHER DREAM! YOU WERE ALL BOWING DOWN TO ME.”

    • the fact that he told family

    • the way he told family

    • how he celebrated a second dream

  • He was filled with PRIDE – improper assessment of self; measuring yourself with a standard other than God’s (over value or under value).

    • Proverbs 16:18, ESV Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

  • PRIDE will always place self at the center of the vision (I can’t do it, or I can do it)

    • God’s has called me to do great things vs. God wants to do great things for others and he is allowing me to play a role.

  • Situations have a way of revealing our PRIDE so it can be dealt with:

    • no opportunity offered when you feel like you should have one

    • an opportunity “beneath you” is offered

    • someone else gets the opportunity you should have gotten

    • when you struggle with feeling overlooked, under-appreciated

    • when you feel like someone holding you back

    • when you feel like you should be in charge instead of them

  • Joseph saw himself as center, but:

    • in the end, the real story was the people that would need his help

    • in the end, his role was never more than second:

      • we will only ever be stewards

      • Genesis 41:39–40, ESV THEN Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

      • his FIRST-SHIP and our SECOND-HOOD must be established or our entire lives will be out of alignment.

  • Joseph’s transformation was remarkable in this arena – the way he honors his family and brothers in remarkable.

TAKING HIS GROUND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO SOW/REAP HERE FIRST

  • there is an exciting piece of ground in your future, but before you get there, the piece of ground you stand on now matters!

  • Here is not a circumstance you are passing through, it’s the foundation that the building will be built on.

  • Faithfulness on this piece of ground is the stepping stone to future pieces of ground. (this job, this ministry, this income, this house, etc.)

    • Matthew 25:21, ESV His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

  • Here is also the training ground for there - crawl, walk and then run

  • Here matters!

    • Joseph was not out in the field with His brothers

    • Joseph was not part of the harvest or it’s solutions

    • Joseph was not building rapport with the team

    • Joseph was looking to the day when all would bow down.

  • part of sowing/reaping is doing so in spite of pushback - failed with Potiphar’s wife, but quickly learned in prison.

  • you cannot allow someone’s wrong actions to keep you from right action

TAKING HIS LAND WILL REQUIRE YOU TO WIN OTHERS TO YOUR CAUSE

  • early on, Joseph’s greatest weakness was his people skills

  • all ground is taken via favorable relationships

  • relationships of today will lead you to the army you will need tomorrow to accomplish all that God has called you to do.

    • The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. Proverbs 11:30, NLT

  • Fifteen years from now you will need the references of someone in this room.

  • There are no unimportant people in your world!

  • Winning your enemies is critical

  • Josephs greatest transformation was his people skills

Joseph was clearly one of the most flawed people to start with, but he allowed the process of God top shape His life! During your journey, you are in His process of being transformed from who you are into who He’s called you to be! Surrender to His Process!!!

  • Isaiah 49:1–3, ESV The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

TAKING GROUND: Strengthening Your Faith

In order to possess the land God has for you, you are going to need to many things such as favor, opportunity, resources, wisdom, help, etc. The list is long. But on that list, you will find that there is one essential that you cannot do without called faith.

Whether you know it or not, you already have faith inside of you. God put it there. It exists. But the truth is, in order for you to take possession of all God has for you, the faith that you currently have is not enough. But there is good news. Your faith can grow!

FAITH is the process of hearing, believing and acting upon the things God says, causing the supernatural release of things promised.

FAITH: EVERYONE RECEIVES A PORTION FROM GOD

  • Ephesians 2:8, ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

  • Romans 12:3, ESV For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure (GK – metron) of faith that God has assigned.

FAITH: MEASURED IN TERMS OF STRENGTH

  • some function with no faith: Mark 4:40, ESV He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

  • some function with little faith: Matthew 17:16–20, ESV And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

  • some function with great faith: Matthew 15:25–28, ESV But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

FAITH: IMPACTS YOUR ABILITY TO TAKE THE GROUND

  • Hebrews 3:19, ESV So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

  • Matthew 9:29, ESV Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”

  • Mark 11:23–24, ESV Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

FAITH: CURRENT STRENGTH NOT SUFFICIENT TO TAKE FUTURE GROUND

  • Matthew 17:19–21, NASB95 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

FAITH: CAN BE INTENTIONALLY INCREASED

  • Luke 17:5–6, ESV The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

    • the disciples wanted Jesus to increase their faith

    • their request was out of alignment with kingdom principles

    • the kingdom functions like a seed

    • the process of faith increasing is in the process of faith functioning

  • seeds planted create more and more seeds and faith exercised increases faith!

EXERCISING FAITH TO INCREASE FAITH


1. INGEST THE WORD

  • Romans 10:17, ESV So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  • clarifies God’s character and will

  • clarifies your prerequisites and methods

  • define the things that are actually in your lot

  • read and listen to it

  • listen/re-listen to preaching

  • read books

  • reread/listen to prophetic promises

2. TELL OBSTRUCTIONS WHERE TO GO

  • Matthew 21:21–22, ESV And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

  • asking has a place - whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith

  • declaring plays a key role in faith-filled prayer - if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.

  • let mis-alignment be a magnet

  • be bold to pray

  • be persistent

  • partner with others


3. FAST

  • Matthew 6:16–18, ESV “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

  • fasting is not a hunger strike to convince God to do something

  • fasting intentionally creates a difficult moment for you to rely on God to sustain you through the discomfort.

  • the pain of fasting is the same as the burn of lifting weights – it’s the evidence of stretching to the next level.

4. LEAN IN TO MOMENTS REQUIRING FAITH

  • Matthew 14:28–29, ESV And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

  • Romans 12:6, ESV Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

  • step out a little farther

  • don’t look for a substitute – trust God!!!

5. TITHE, GIVE, REPEAT

  • Malachi 3:7–12, ESV From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

  • Luke 16:10–12, ESV “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

6. SPEAK LIFE OVER THINGS THAT ARE CURRENTLY DEAD

  • Ezekiel 37:3–6, ESV And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

  • 1 Corinthians 10:10, ESV nor grumble (onomatop – to mutter, murmur, complain), as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

CLOSING:

Genesis 12:1,4, ESV Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. So Abram went,

TAKING GROUND: Surveying Your Land

If you are going to see the land God has for you, if you are going to begin to take possession and occupy it, you are going to need REVELATION (unable to be seen with the natural eye) from God for ground He has for you!

Biblical Surveys of God-Given Land:

  • Garden Of Eden: Genesis 2:8, ESV And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. (gan – and enclosure, garden - from ganaan – to cover, surround or defend)

  • Promised Land - Deuteronomy 11:23-25,

  • Land Assigned To 12 Tribes - Joshua 13-21

  • David’s Lot Lines: Psalm 16:5–6, ESV The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance

If My Life’s Lot Lines…

  • Have been planned for me - Jeremiah 29:11, ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  • Have been prepared for me - 1 Corinthians 2:9–10, ESV …what God has prepared for those who love him”

  • Are mine to possess - Philippians 3:12, NIV …but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

How do I know where my lot lines actually fall?

1. My Lot Lines Are Delineated In The Word of God

  • Psalm 119:105, ESV Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Read God’s Word:

  • consistently

  • methodically

  • for facts

  • for revelation

As you read, learn to trust the survey lines - God has your best in mind!

The Word Reveals Key Things That God Has Or Your Life:

  • Salvation - 2 Peter 3:9, ESV … not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9, ESV

  • Forgiveness - 1 John 1:9, ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  • Resources - Philippians 4:19, ESV And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

  • Good Things - No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11, ESV

  • Healing - James 5:14–15, ESV Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

  • Holy Spirit - Luke 11:13, ESV …how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

The Word Reveals Key Things He Wants You To Avoid:

  • Forgiveness - Ephesians 4:32, ESV Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

  • Theft - Ephesians 4:28, ESV Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

  • Words That Kill - 1 Peter 2:1, ESV So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

  • Drunkenness - Ephesians 5:18, ESV And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

  • Sex Outside of Marriage - 1 Corinthians 6:18, ESV Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

2. My Lot Lines Are Unearthed By Spiritual Leaders

  • Ephesians 2:10, ESV For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  • Ephesians 4:11–12, ESV And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

3. My Lot Lines Are Disclosed By The Holy Spirit

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9–10, ESV But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

  • inspired written word

  • inspired spoken word

    • Rhema

    • Prophecy

    • Word of Wisdom

    • Word of Knowledge

  • spiritual dreams

Life often creates distance between what God has spoken and what we are experiencing – DREAM AGAIN!!!

Joshua 21:43–45, ESV Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

4. Marked By My Surrendered Heart

  • Our Heart Is Wicked - Jeremiah 17:9, ESV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

  • Our Heart Can Be Cleansed - Acts 15:9, ESV and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

  • His Desires Become Our Desires - Psalm 37:4, ESV Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

People who have surrendered hearts to God shouldn’t be afraid to make decisions about what’s next or what to chase after if it’s in their heart.

TAKING GROUND: Accessing Your Land

1 Corinthians 2:9–10, ESV But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

Jesus came and gave his life to purchase the good things that He has prepared to build your life out of. In fact, He has better for your life than you’ve seen. He has better for your life than you’ve heard. He has better for your life than your heart believes. He has better for your life than mind has imagined!

The average person struggles to believe this because:

  • They don’t believe God is that interested in people in general

  • They don’t believe God is that interested in them specifically

  • They don’t believe that is part of His character

  • They don’t believe it’s on His calendar

  • They don’t believe God is that good, or wants to be that good to them

  • They don’t see it in their past, so they believe it’s in their future

  • They don’t feel qualified or even worthy to receive that level of a life

  • They think that type of life is for heaven only

I am believing for a revelation to open your eyes about the days and weeks and years ahead that He has prepared for you. A revelation is critical because if you don’t see it, you won’t journey to it, you won’t take possession of it, you won’t occupy it, you won’t thrive in it, you won’t share it with others, and their lives will go without, and a large part of why Jesus died for you will not be activated in your life!

To Access Your Land, You Must Follow Jesus.

  • Your best life is only possible as you follow Him.

    • Mark 2:14, ESV And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

    • “Follow me” an invitation to start something new. It’s a proposition to stop following your current leader so that you can begin follow a new leader.

  • John 10:10, ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

    • The difference good land and less than good land is ultimately in WHO you follow.

    • Some people have a decent life without Him, but it’s less than what it could be!!!

To Access Your Land, You Must See It In Advance.

  • You can’t invent your own land, nor can you possess someone else’s.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

  • You need a REVELATION!!! He wants to show you!

    • Jeremiah 33:3, ESV Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

  • His revelation of your land will include every aspect of your life including your relationship with Him, your relationship with others, your purpose, your fruitfulness, your provision

  • What you look at determines your direction and destination!

  • SEE THE FORESHADOW OF YOUR LAND

    • Eden - Genesis 2:8 (Eden = luxury, delight

      • Genesis 1:31, ESV And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (very – meod – muchness, force, abundance) (good – tob – pleasing)

      • Genesis 1:28, ESV And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (barak – to kneel before to bless)

    • Canaan - Exodus 3:8, ESV and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (flowing zub - to flow, gush)

    • David’s Kingdom - Psalm 16:5–6, ESV The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

    • Jesus Kingdom - John 10:10, ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have (echo) life and have it abundantly.

    • Heaven - Revelation 22:1–5, ESV Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

  • See your land for what it is – VERY GOOD!!!

To Access Your Land, You Must Take The Next Step.

  • It’s not going to appear!

    • Philippians 3:12, NIV Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

  • It’s been provided but you must appropriate it

    • Joshua 1:11, ESV …pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”

  • It will also require wisdom

  • It will require OTHERS