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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spirit of Joshua

Dear beloved:  Of the two spies who brought back a good report about the promised land to Moses, Joshua was eventually chosen to be the leader whom God appointed to take the children across the Jordan and into the land. Joshua, the son of Nun, was chosen as the leader of the tribe of Ephraim to be among the twelve spies to go into the land. Numbers 13:8 From the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea, the son of Nun.  The name Hoshea, in Hebrew means "salvation", so we see that Hoshea, or Joshua, is the old testament type and shadow of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Gr. Joshua, "Yahweh saves"), who leads us into salvation and the eternal promised land.

God first speaks to Moses  about Joshua in Deuteronomy 3:28 But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go across at the head of his people, and he shall give them as an inheritance the land which you will see. We know for sure that Joshua was full of the spirit of prophecy as he was in agreement with the Lord's vision for the promised land for the children of Israel;  he saw the giants of the land, but his spiritual eyes were fixed on the greater vision, taking the land by the strength and power of the the Lord who would go before them.  But also, Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, the same as one of the seven spirits of God residing in Jesus (Isaiah 11:2).  Deut 34:9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the SPIRIT OF WISDOM, for Moses had laid his hands on him.  So the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.  If we are to ask the Lord for anything this day, first it should be the spirit of wisdom so we can make good decisions, so our paths will be straight and we will bring glory and honor to the Lord in everything we do.  It is interesting to note that Joshua received this spirit by Moses laying hands on him and imparting it to him.  The mantle of wisdom and leadership, and the anointing that goes with it, is transferable, so get around strong and wise leaders and submit to them and learn from them.

One thing we would all be in agreement about is we need more strength and courage, not only in our daily walk, but in moving out in bold, new ways where God has called us forth as leaders.  Joshua was no different, the Lord knew he would need strength and courage to go along with his spirit of wisdom.  Seven times it was spoken over Joshua, either by Moses, or by the children of Israel, Be strong and of good courage. (Deut.31:6,7,23, Joshua 1:6,7,9,18).  I'm sure by then Joshua was starting to understand that the position God was calling him to was way above his human ability or understanding; the only way he could accomplish what the Lord was calling him to do would be to submit totally to the Lord's leadership. That is God's will for us as well, He will not call us to any task that is not a challenge to our human abilities.  He always calls us to a place where we have to trust Him more, lean on Him more.

The first time I went to Africa to preach crusades, I was feeling very weak and inadequate for the job I had signed up for. Traveling alone to Africa, into an unknown land full of pagans and witch doctors,  I was beginning to shake like the proverbial leaf in the wind. As I headed out for Kansas City to board the plane, I passed a brother in Christ who was stopped along side the road in his car. I stopped and asked him to pray for me, which he gladly agreed to do. He prayed,  " Be strong and courageous, for the Lord God goes before you.  It is He who will fight the battles for you!"  Beloved, pray for the spirit of Joshua upon yourself and your family, and your brothers and sisters in the battle.  Pray the Lord will give you a spirit of wisdom, then the strength and courage to carry out what He has called you to do.  May God bless you as you pray this day.  in Christ, Jim

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Spirit of Caleb

Dear beloved:  Of the twelve spies who were sent by Moses to spy out the promised land, only two were able to see the Lord's plan and lay hold of the future for the land, those two being Joshua and Caleb. Concerning Caleb, the Lord said this about him: Numbers 14:24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.  That different spirit in Caleb was manifested in Caleb in several ways, first in the spirit realm, for him to be able to agree with the Lord's plan for the land, that is the spirit of the prophetic.  And so the Lord protected him even when the other spies and their people picked up stones and were ready to stone Joshua and Caleb. Numbers 14:10  But then (at the time of stoning) the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

 But secondly, he was blessed by God in his physical body because his spirit was in alignment with God.
At this time in our country, even in the body of Christ when so many are weak, sick and ailing, we need the spirit of Caleb as never before. Caleb tells his story in Joshua 14, talking about his physical strength.  Joshua 14:7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was IN MY HEART. v8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. v9 "So Moses swore on that day, saying, "Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God." v10 " And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old." v11 "As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in."

How amazing was that blessing on Caleb, when after 45 years in the wilderness had passed, his body had not lost any strength?  Caleb was ready for an even greater challenge, taking the mountain in the promised land that his feet had tread upon.  He wasn't sitting back resting on his laurels, or using his age as an excuse to stay out of the battle; in fact, he relished the opportunity to go in and inherit the land. Numbers 14:12 "Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said."  v13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance.

Beloved, pray that the Lord will bless you with the spirit of Caleb, that you will be strong spiritually and physically, and be ready to conquer the mountains in your life. Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.  May God give you strength this day,  in Christ, Jim

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God is Calling Forth Leaders

Dear beloved:  As we enter into this new year of 2014, God is calling leaders to come forth with extraordinary boldness and clarity.  This is the requirement of this day, when the devil is pouring forth all his corruption and deception to tear the saints away from their calling and the kingdom of God.  As we enter into unprecedented territory of darkness here in America and all over the world, those who are called to lead must pick up the mantle and move forward with it.

When Moses sent out the men to spy out the land that was to be the future home of the Israelites, he was instructed by God to choose 12 men for the mission.  Numbers 13:2 "Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers' tribes, every one a leader among them."   We know from study that only two of the twelve who were sent out came back with a good report, the other ten gave a bad report. Numbers 13:32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying,"the land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size."  Numbers 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;  v7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, "The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.  v8  If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us-a land which flows with milk and honey."  Note that all the men were leaders and good men, chosen from among their tribes, but only two had the vision for the land that God did.

In the body of Christ, the vision to see the future and believe for it is represented by the prophetic mantle.  The prophet is the one who guides into the future, he is the "seer". Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. The prophetic mantle allows those to speak of God's blessing into future events; to see the milk and honey and the good land, and not see the size and strength of the giants. The ten who came back with a bad report were good men, but they couldn't see God's plan for the future, therefore, they didn't believe God was able to defeat the giants.  Not only were they not allowed to lead the Israelites, but they were not even allowed to go into the promised land. God didn't want their doubt and unbelief to permeate the belief of those who were going in. so He allowed only Joshua and Caleb to go in and lead the young people 20 years and younger.  Beloved, as you pray today ask the Lord to strengthen you with the mantle of Joshua and Caleb, that you may step forward as a leader of God's children, fully equipped and prepared for every battle.   God bless you, Jim