I know that the title of this article may open up a lot of thoughts and avenues as to my content. When we hear promised land, we immediately think of the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. Many consider The USA or similar western nations to be a type of promised land because of the many freedoms and opportunities. Likewise, others regard those nations as the opposite since there is a history of the slave trade in many western nations.
Modern slavey still exists in many forms in the world. Everything from human trafficking in sex slaves and drugs to the pornography industry and similar forms of control over people’s lives. All of these and more contribute to what I am actually discussing. Most followers of Jesus Christ are born into the Kingdom of God and enjoy the freedom that comes with that lifestyle for a season only to fall back into the old ways and become ‘slaves’ to the life-controlling mindsets the world offers, and many never grow and mature.
The Promised Land Now
Many sermons are taught regarding Christians living in the promised land now. Since the Kingdom of God is ever increasing and we can enjoy the benefits of that life now, then we are, in a sense living in the promised land now. However, we will not enjoy the full benefits until Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom here for a thousand years.
Meanwhile, we are supposed to walk in victory and freedom in the spiritual realm just as the children of Israel were supposed to in that natural. The Children of Israel were given the land promised to them through covenant with their patriarchal ancestors. They still had to fight giants and cleanse the land of their enemies. Idolatry had taken root in Israeli society before their entry into the land of Promise.
Similarly, when we are born into the Kingdom of God through salvation, we still have issues, sins, idolatry, and generational curses that we must lay at the cross and walk into more freedom. Our sins are forgiven but being a disciple of Christ means you surrender everything to Him. That is the idea of Lordship. Yet, he keeps testing us and causing us to surrender more and more areas of our lives until we are emptied.
So, we have victory just like the Children of Israel, but we also have to continuously cleanse ourselves of the old mindsets, ways, thoughts, and sins. Paul said, “I die daily.” The Hebrews had been forced out of the land and under the rulership of another kingdom. Now they had returned under Nehemiah, and when the law was read, they were reminded that their ancestors had sinned and thus they were not in charge of their own land.
Given Over To Our Own Devices
Many believers live their entire life in the kingdom no different than before they were born again. They never deal with sin issues, life-controlling issues, or how to enjoy a kingdom lifestyle. They don’t live in the authority that Christ purchased for us at the cross. They live as if they are waiting to go to heaven and then they can live like that.
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they were still living in a slavery mindset. They saw the miracles that God performed and how He led them for forty years. Then they came into the land and could not subdue the enemy completely.
Finally, they turned to idolatry over and over again until God had had enough. He did what He promised in Deuteronomy twenty-eight when He told them if they bowed and worshipped other gods then they would go to a foreign land and others would rule their land. Essentially they would be ‘slaves in the promised land.’
In Romans chapter one Paul explains that those who serve the creation and not the creator were given over to their own devices. That means that we live our lives our way and not the way God has planned for us. Instead of the surrendered life, we live the kingdom life as we see fit or feels good to us. Thus, we are no different than the Children of Israel or the pagan nations.
In some regards, we are worse since we have been taught the Good News, but we choose to live the same we have year after year. If we are not growing closer to Jesus every day, we are backsliding. Choosing to do things our way instead of surrendering everything to God is idolatry and will be dealt with like the Children of Israel.
The difference is that we have the Holy Spirit telling us daily to come and have fellowship with Him and get in the word. We have no excuse to be walking around with a worldly mindset, which is equivalent to a slave mindset. It is just like the Children of Israel who saw signs and wonders from Heaven yet chose to follow the world’s ways or worse, their own ways.
Come Out And Be Free
But, there is hope. God is merciful and full of lovingkindness, slow to anger, and righteous. He is quick to forgive us. All we have to do is pray and surrender. It is that simple. Dying daily means that we shed the old, carnal nature and come out of agreement with things like pride, rebellion, fear, anger, idolatry, and many other areas that seek to control our every thought and deed.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Why do you want to taste the freedom that Christ purchased for you only to turn back and take on a yoke of slavery? Christ came to set us free forever. That freedom starts when you are born into the Kingdom of God and continues forever. You can live in the promised land of Heaven now. You don’t have to go backward or live in the promised land as a slave. Surrender to Jesus as Lord and enjoy life in the kingdom now.