Obstacles In The Promised Land
By Fred Pruitt
Follow-up to “How Do I Enter the Promised Land?”
Thanks fred, for your reply. I’m just begin to read part one of “The Axe Laid The Root”.
One thing I don’t understand, why God Himself doesn’t let us to enter His rest (Heb 4:3). It looks like we can enter the promise land anyway, but God prevents it. Is it dangerous if we take our old man into the promise land?
The children of israel didn’t get in Canaan because they afraid of giant. Does the giant speak about greater challenges that is waiting for us if we enter the rest of God?
Fred Pruitt January 22 at 11:44am
The answer to your first question is not that it is dangerous to take your “old man” into the Promised Land, the truth is it is impossible. “No flesh shall come into my presence,” says the Lord. So the wilderness time is the time where we learn that God is our only strength. It is a very, very necessary time, because we do not learn when things are full, but when things are lacking. The “lack” times are to train you over and over that God is your substance, God is your strength, God is your only source of Life, God is your only sufficiency. That is the purpose of that training time. We must thoroughly know who we are “not” before we can fully see who we ARE.
As far as your second question, the point of the story about the fear the people experience and believe when hearing about the giants, is to demonstrate first, that they still do not know themselves, because they see the giants and then look back at themselves and were “in [their] own sight as grasshoppers.” Where did they look to save themselves? They looked to themselves, and found themselves lacking — and they were right!
That is what we must see. We MUST be confronted with strong obstacles that we have no way of overcoming — just in ourselves. It is the prerequisite to entering mature spiritual life.
Why? It is because these confrontations bring out the truth of our experience and true faith — whether our trust is in ourselves or in God. The first confrontation the people had with the Land were these fierce scary giants and “great walled cities.” And they were right, compared to those obstacles, they were impotent in themselves to overcome them.
Now I will say that is often the first reaction to obstacles and tough things. The problem, whatever it is — money, food, people, etc. — raises its head and our first thoughts are often, “O me, what am I to do?” So there is a moment of “forgetfulness” as we are confronted yet again with another “problem” that seems too big for us. So these folks at the edge of the Promised Land, wanting to go in because they’re tired of the desert, see this obstacle, and then see themselves, and they stopped right there. They did not take their sight on into the Lord God, Who, had they eyes that saw and ears that heard, they would have known that He had brought them out of Egypt by a mighty hand with signs and wonders, drowned Pharaoh’s hordes in the sea, given them water out of a rock and manna every morning. Even though they are walking somewhat in “sight” because their path is determined day and night by the cloud of the Spirit, still they are dead in their spiritual understanding, because they have not yet discovered inwardly what Moses had learned at the bush — that God was their inexhaustible strength in the middle of them. So they looked only to themselves and thus the fear and the cowardice to go forward, forgetting the Lord God and all He had done, and therefore entered into a curse on that generation preventing their entry into the land forever.
Now that is a parable for us, because what it is saying is indeed a joyous thing — that we cannot walk into God’s fullness until we have thoroughly discovered the truth of He in us as our life, strength, truth, love, etc. He is all those things in us.
But in order to learn that, we must first discover who we are NOT. So the Israelites discovered who they were NOT by that first attempt to cross the Jordan. To discover who you are “NOT” is to discover that you have no goodness in you to perform the works or commandments of God. That’s what the “flesh” self thinks. It sees the commandment and thinks, “I can do that, all I have to do is try.”
Like King Saul. Saul’s great problem that lost him the kingdom, was his presumption. He was to await Samuel’s arrival to perform the sacrifice. Samuel was God’s appointed prophet and the only one at the time who could perform it, but Saul, like the old self who thinks it still runs the show, decided he can do the sacrifice himself, since Samuel hasn’t shown up. And when Saul, as representative of all of us who go this way, “presumed” to take upon himself the job of performing the sacrifice, as the false “independent self” always does. It thinks it can perform the commandments of God quite nicely, with God’s help, of course. It does not yet know it is impotent and has only taken to itself damnation to presume to act “as God,” and this is what Saul did, for Samuel pronounced then and there Saul’s kingdom would fail because of his presumption in taking on himself that which had not been given him by the Lord.
So we all start out our life in Christ that way. But at some point we discover we cannot fulfill His life. We fall FAR short, everyone of us! Because we have this mistaken notion of being able, in ourselves, to “do” what God requires. The wilderness is about dashing that notion to pieces, which seems to us to be like death, and it is in a sense, in that we are losing our false consciousness of ourselves as little independent beings, with God over there or up there, and we over here or down here.
But the truth is Christ is our inner holiness, and we are His temple. The life in us is not just us alone — for it never was because from birth we have been run by the “spirit of the power of the air” and have been carrying around with us the “nature of wrath.” But now in Christ that has died, and the wilderness is finding out to the uttermost that this old me has thoroughly died forever. I am no longer that. I owe it nothing more. The old me learns its death in the wilderness, because we completely learn its impotency – in fact it is impotent because it is something that is only existing in our imagination anyway. We never were “independent selves” and never can be. So of course this old horse cannot make it across the Jordan. It must be discarded in the wilderness.
The “new me” (New creation) is what walks over Jordan on dry ground. The old me, that which came from my sojourn in Egypt (spiritually signifying our life of and in sin), has perished in this wilderness in my consciousness. The truth actually is that it perished in the Cross, but the wilderness time teaches us the truth of it in our consciousness by experience.
That is why Romans 7 comes after Romans 6, when everything seems to be wrapped up by Romans 6. Romans 6 tells us we are no longer our old selves, indebted to sin, but are now instruments of righteousness. But Romans 7 seems to say the opposite, as Paul’s “beliefs” in Romans 6 are on their way to becoming his “reality” in Romans 8, and there is only the little matter of Romans 7 that brings the transition.
One of the things you come out of the wilderness having learned to the uttermost, is that God is now your life, that you are an expression of Him, Christ, the Son of God, in you, so that the life you are now living is His life manifesting as your life. When once we have seen that by the Spirit’s revelation, then what is on the other side of the Jordan does not matter. What obstacles may come our way, after this wilderness time, we have thoroughly learned that it is God who fights for us. It is God who defeats whatever might come against us. And finally, entering the “land of Promise,” a whole new world opens up, where it is no longer ever again “about me,” because now the thrust of the Spirit’s life in us will no longer be to train us, but for us to take our training the Spirit has brought us through and realize we have now entered the “self-for-others” life. It is no longer about my needs or meeting my needs. Love exists to forget itself and to lose itself in the others. This is the life of Christ!
The “whole new world” is the astounding revelation of the Spirit that the Life that now lives in you and guides and sustains you, Christ in you — as you, is no longer about us. It is not about getting a “blessing.” It is not about becoming rich or having big houses. It is not about getting healed. It is not about US anymore.
We now become the food that others eat in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the bread of heaven,” and told the people to eat of Him, because the manna in the Old Testament represented Him Who has now come to be the “bread of heaven” in each and everyone of us. But it is not a sedentary life of repose and eating grapes on a couch, but a life of activity in the flow of the Spirit Who now reveals your life in Christ every step you take and every word you speak.
Getting into the “land,” , is about finally coming to know the truth in yourself of Galatians 2:20. This scripture you must make your own. It must apply to you. How can it? By your faith and acceptance, really. Very simple.
If it speaks truth to you, even though you may understand only a little, agree with what it says in faith.
“I am crucified with Christ” —
That means that in Jesus’ death on the Cross, I was there in Him and I died also —
“Nevertheless I live” — “Wait a minute. I did die. I have no more strength. I have come to the end of myself and have expected death. But here I am still alive!”
“Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” — “Hmmmm — but my life is different now. I know that I died in Jesus’ cross, but now I am alive, but for the first time, I am realizing it is not I, the I that I was, but now this new I is Christ! It is now Christ and not “me” running my life! Hallelujah!
“And the life I now live in the flesh” — “Here I am, still living “in the flesh,” but not “of” the flesh, and this life that is being lived is lived by the faith OF the Son of God, expressed in me! It is not even MY faith. He has replaced my old sense of “me” which a new consciousness of He and I “as one person,” as it says in John 17:20-22, and 1 Cor 6:17.
THAT is crossing into the Promised Land, ! There is much to learn of course; we learn every day. But now we are taken with a new life and a new purpose, driven from within by the Love of the Spirit to manifest Christ in the world — in and as YOU! YOU are the temple of Christ in your world! You are the bread of heaven to those around you. You are the light of the world. You are abiding in Him as a branch on a vine and you WILL bring forth much fruit, because He promises that you will. You are a vessel of mercy, dispensing the love, grace and mercy of God as the Spirit moves you in your environment.
Do not be afraid. Only believe.