Tyranny, Terror and Fear in Your Life are a Choice

Tyranny, terror and fear in your life are a choice. The prophet Isaiah gave us powerful words of encouragement in Isaiah 54 as he prophesied to the remnant in Israel, a nation overtaken by Assyrians to the north and compromising with pagan practices in the south. He was speaking to a remnant of believers. The words he spoke have application to the nation of Israel, to the New Jerusalem (see Rev. 21), and to the church today. I will focus only on verse 14 of Isaiah 54to teach a fundamental principle of the faith. Stick with me on this!!!!

Isaiah says in verse 14 ‘in righteousness you will be established: tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.’ Isaiah’s words prophesied from the old covenant to a future time on this side of the cross; to the era of the church immersed in grace and walking in righteousness without fear. He is saying we must be ‘established in righteousness’ if we want to live free from the control of tyranny, fear, and terror. How does that happen?

As believers in Jesus Christ we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Gal.3:27; 2 Cor. 5:21). To be clothed means to be covered so that the Father actually sees us righteous in His eyes. Jesus purchased that righteousness on the cross and established it in His resurrection. Therefore, our position before our Father is that we are clothed, established, covered, immersed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is the essence of grace. We didn’t work for it. We received it by faith. The Father loves us so much he has completely covered us in His righteousness through our faith in Jesus!

But Isaiah prophesied that we would be ‘established’ in righteousness to the point of not experiencing tyranny, fear and terror. To be established means to be firm, secure, fixed, and permanent. Many believers understand intellectually they are righteous only by faith in Jesus, but waver and wobble daily in their thoughts and actions proving they don’t believe it in their hearts. They have intellectual agreement but internal disagreement. They are not ‘established’ in righteousness!! They are saved and have eternal life, but have not come into complete agreement in their hearts to the point of being firm, secure, fixed and permanent in walking that out each day. Therefore they open themselves to tyranny of the old covenant law, wrathful fear of the Father, and terror of man bringing an invasion into their life. They allow the Old Testament law to control their thinking. They embrace an Old Testament fear of God that causes them to run from, rather than run to the Father. They open their heart to terror as they listen to world news, see political turmoil, and experience economic downturn. The new covenant fear of the Father is that of an awesome, worshipful attitude toward ‘Abba Father’!!!
Tyranny, fear and terror becomes THEIR choice. You cannot be controlled by tyranny of the law, fear of the Father, or terror of man unless you choose it!!!! Isaiah prophesied that you can be ‘established in righteousness’ to the point where any kind of tyranny, terror or fear will be far from you!!! It may be all around you but it is NOT near you.

I will close with three points of encouragement. First, come into agreement with Isaiah that ‘tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear and terror will be far removed.’ You are the only one that can make this decision. Second, speak against the demonic powers that try to influence your thoughts and beliefs. Bind them and cast them out from your life. Third, renew your mind by reading and declaring what Isaiah has prophesied; that you are established in the righteousness of Christ and you are clothed in righteousness by faith every day.

Now go forth and be established, you fearless man or woman of God!!


New Territory Brings a New Level of Leadership

This is my third post regarding three major changes we can expect when we occupy new territory for the Kingdom of God. From previous posts we know that new territory brings a new level of freedom and new provision. The third thing we will experience is a new level of leadership in you and in those who follow. After Joshua and the nation of Israel possessed and settled the new territory of Canaan, we find this conclusive statement, ‘Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel’ (Joshua 24:31). 40 years in the wilderness, multitudes of battles, crossing the Jordan, conquering cities and continual evidence of God’s presence transformed the leaders and people of Israel.

Coming out of Egypt they were a wounded people with wounded leaders; wounded by slavery and dominance of a pagan culture. Their only unity coming out of Egypt was the unity of whining and complaining. They complained about Moses; complained about the giants in Canaan; complained about manna. And, the leaders had no leadership experience, only slavery experience. All that changed in the desert. After failing to enter the land under the leadership of Moses, the new emerging leadership unified around a common cause; fulfilling the Father’s desire to survive the desert and enter the Promised Land. Their common experience in trials, struggles, battles and victories brought them together as a nation. The leadership became unified as they approached the Jordan River. This time they would NOT back down. This time they would participate with God to fulfill His promise. They were going to cross that river and take that land!!

The church in much of western culture today is much like the Israelites coming out of Egypt. Much of western Christianity tends to unify in complaining; the services are too long…the music is too loud…the pastor is outdated…the chairs are too small…the youth wear strange clothes…..the coffee isn’t from Starbucks…and we need to have a special day to bless our animals…….they’re important too!! Christians are very comfortable in being comfortable.
However, the church in the Middle East, Asia, and parts of Africa and South America is different. Freedom doesn’t come easy; many Christians sit on a concrete floor to hear Good News; the music is a little soft because they can’t afford a sound system; the pastor is outdated because he’s already spent half his life in jail for the Gospel….the services are very long and that’s the way they like it; they don’t care about the coffee cause they only get one meal a day; and the animals…well, they ate most of them at dinner time.

We do not enter into new territory for Him until we experience ALL of life together with Him. Opposition to the Gospel and to the church brings forth a level of leadership, a unity of purpose, and a common cause that makes the Jordan River only a minor annoyance to be pushed back enroute to entering new territory.

As you lead yourself and others from the desert to new territory, thank God for the challenges that unified and transformed you. Thank Him for the manna, though you desired fresh grain and fruit. Thank Him for bringing you victories TOGETHER. Thank Him for the common enemy over which you were victorious. And, as you enter and possess that new territory, embrace the new level of leadership; confident that slavery stayed in Egypt, freedom is before you, and provision will be more than enough.

The Apostle James said in regard to trials and challenges that they test us so that; ‘perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything' (James 1:4). You will have what you need so that it can benefit those who follow you into new territory. And you will serve God and His purposes all your days!!! Go forth and possess it…it is His and it is yours!!!


New territory brings new provision

New territory brings new provision. This is my second post describing three aspects of change you can expect as you cross into new territory in 2011. Joshua crossed the Jordan River into Canaan thus fulfilling God’s promise and bringing a new dimension of provision to the nation.

We see in Joshua 5 that the entire nation has crossed the Jordan and is camped at Gilgal poised to conquer Jericho. ‘The day after Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan (Joshua 5:11, 12).’ Manna, the supernatural provision for 40 years, stopped as soon as they ate of the provision in Canaan.

As you follow the Holy Spirit into your new territory new provision will be waiting for you and those who follow. This is the second major life change you will experience in new territory. Every leader who enters into God’s ordained new territory to establish His kingdom will experience new provision. The nation of Israel survived, persevered, grew in the wilderness, but nobody was sad to see manna replaced by bread and grain, provision of the new land. We all have wilderness experience where the Father supernaturally provides for us, but the provision of the wilderness is not the provision of the promised land. It is sufficient provision, but not necessarily His full provision.

As leaders in business, ministry, and government we must faithfully believe that walking into new territory FOR HIM will bring new provision FROM HIM. It will be new and more satisfying and more of His promise. The desert was a necessary, but undesirable season, but fulfillment of promise is in Canaan.

The Apostle Paul worked hard making tents, but the church in Philippi was the first to share generously with him. When writing to them he said ‘you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied… ‘ I believe that you will have all you need; you will be amply supplied. Expect new and more satisfying provision. Expect provision not only in temporal things like money and food, but eternal things like fresh spiritual perspectives, fresh bread from the Father, streams of living water, and steady flow of your gifts, talents, and leadership.


New Land Brings Forth True Freedom in Your Heart

Freedom of the Heart

s you lead yourself and others into new territory, three aspects of life will change. We see these reflected as Joshua led his nation into Canaan to possess the land of promise. Today I will address the first change in God ordained new territory.

The new land brings forth true freedom in your heart. We see in Joshua 5 that after crossing the Jordan River the nation set up camp and had a circumcision ceremony. Every adult male who had grown up in the wilderness had not yet been circumcised as the outward sign of Old Covenant law. Something had held them back. The massive ceremony brought several hundred thousand men into compliance with the Law. What is critical to note is what happened as a result. We find this in Josh. 5:9 ‘Then the Lord said to Joshua, today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you’. ‘Reproach’ means shame, disapproval, and blame. Centuries of slavery in Egypt created a mentality of shame, disapproval and blame within the heart of the nation. They still had a slave mentality even though they had been free of Pharaoh for many years. Even though this generation had not experienced slavery, they still carried the ‘reproach’ in their hearts; a reproach passed on by their fathers. They knew intellectually that Pharaoh no longer controlled them. They knew that God would provide for them. They knew the land of Canaan was the fulfillment of God’s promise, but there was still a nagging, burdensome oppression buried deep within them that, in a sense, was Egypt. It was not until they stepped into new territory and clearly, visibly, and completely came into agreement with God’s plan and promise that the reproach was rolled away. They had circumstantial freedom in the wilderness, but heart freedom came forth in the promised land.

Just as the stone sealing the tomb of Jesus rolled away bringing forth the reality of the resurrection, so the shame of slavery rolled away bringing forth fullness of freedom in the heart of the nation. Life changed! They moved from ‘what was’ to ‘what is.’ The people experienced heart freedom rather than just head freedom.

You and I live under the new covenant, but many believe only intellectually in the new, continuing to carry reproach of the past. They have not stepped into the fullness of what Jesus promised and provided. Stepping into new territory rearranges much in our lives. Just as the Lord told Joshua ‘do not be afraid’, so I say to you ‘do not be afraid’ of life being rearranged. It’s a good thing! Come into complete agreement with ‘what is’. Go in and experience the reality of the freedom in the new land.