Knowing Is the Key to Possessing (Pt 2)

Daily Devotion | Day 314

“And the LORD said to Abram [Abraham] . . . ‘Lift your eyes and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever . . . Arise, walk in the land through its length and width, for I give it to you’” (Genesis 13:14-15, 17).

Before we get into today’s message, let us recap what we said yesterday. Our Father has bestowed upon us abundant blessings. And He wants us to possess these blessings. To help us possess the blessings, He wants to equip us with knowledge of those blessings, because knowing is the key to possessing. In this process of knowing and possessing, the Holy Spirit plays a vital role. According to the Scriptures, the Father gave His Spirit to us that we might know the things which He has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12). Therefore, throughout this series let us keep 1 Corinthians 2:12 in mind. It forms the basis for the things we are discussing. Yesterday, we saw that God gave to Adam and Eve knowledge of the blessings He had bestowed on them. Today, we will look at another example from the Old Testament. It is about God’s dealings with Abraham. From tomorrow we will shift our attention to the New Testament, God willing.

Let us pay attention to the details in today’s opening Scripture. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, had just departed to settle in the land of Sodom (Genesis 13:5-13). Not long after this incident, God spoke to Abraham concerning His plans to bless Him. Recall that He had previously promised to give him the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:7). But in today’s passage He reinforces the promise. Notice how He goes about it. He commands Abraham to perform a set of exercises. The purpose of the exercises was to help Abraham visualize the blessing. God, therefore, asked him to survey the land and become acquainted with its boundaries and its riches.

First, God told Abraham to lift his eyes to the north, south, east and west. And He said to him, “all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.” Second, He commanded him, “Arise, walk in the land through its length and widthfor I give it to you.” Now observe this: From God’s standpoint the land belonged to Abraham. However, if Abraham was going to possess the land, he first needed to know that the land had been given to him. God asked him to walk through the land to reinforce his knowledge of what he and his descendants were about to possess. Knowing is the key to possessing. This is why God has sent us His Spirit that we might know the things which He has freely given us.

Before you take possession of an inheritance or estate, you need to know the content and extent of the estate that you are about to possess. Our inheritance in Christ is vast and infinite. If you are unaware of what belongs to you, you cannot enjoy it. May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see what belongs to you in Christ Jesus that you might possess and enjoy your blessings. Amen.

To be continued . . .

For further studyDeuteronomy 1:5-8; 11:1-22

Knowing Is the Key to Possessing (Pt 1)

Daily Devotion | Day 313

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12, NKJV).

Knowing leads to possessing. What you know, you can possess. What you do not know, you cannot possess. If something is yours but you do not know that it is yours, you cannot possess it. In fact, you might even feel unworthy to have it. The point is, you can have something without knowing that you have it. And you cannot enjoy something you do not know you have. Ignorance is the enemy of progress and a weapon of the enemy. If the enemy can keep you ignorant, he can keep you enslaved and impoverished.

God has freely given you many wonderful things. And He wants you to possess and enjoy them. But first, He wants you to know what those things are and to know that they are yours for the taking. One of the main reasons we received the Holy Spirit, Paul says, is that “we might know the things which have been freely given to us by God.”  After all, what is the point of having something if you don’t know you have it?

 The purpose of our current series is to help us understand the connection between knowing and possessing, and the role the Holy Spirit plays in this process. We will discuss the first part of this teaching by visiting the Garden of Eden. Something important happened there, and for our edification we want to find out what it is.

Immediately after creating Adam and Eve, God gave them an inventory of the things He had given them to possess as well as the range of their dominion. God did not leave them ignorant of this matter. He gave them knowledge of those things, because knowledge is the key to possessing. If Adam and Eve did not know those things belonged to them, they could not appropriate them.

Therefore, in Genesis 1:28, God let them know that He had given them “dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Imagine what would have happened if they did not know that they had dominion. You cannot occupy a throne if you do not know that you are a king and that the throne in question is rightfully yours. In other words, you can exercise dominion if you know that you have dominion. God is aware of this, and He made sure Adam and Eve knew what had been given them.

In Genesis 1:29, God let them know also that He had given them for food every herb and fruit that yields seed. In Genesis 2:16, He told them they could eat freely of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Essentially, God was showing Adam and Eve an inventory of the blessings He had freely bestowed upon them. God wanted them to take possession. But first, He needed to make them aware that those things were theirs to possess.

The Father’s plan has not changed. And the principle remains: Knowing is the key to possessing. This means as a Christian, pursuing knowledge of God’s mysteries should be your priority. Once you know what is yours, you can possess it without stress. God willing, we will continue this subject tomorrow. Until then, keep knowing and keep possessing. Amen.

For further study1 Corinthians 2:6-16

“Money, Come to Me!”

Daily Devotional: Day 101

“And He [Jesus] said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses’” (Luke 12:15, NKJV).

Jesus made the above statement about 2000 years ago. Yet His statement is extremely relevant for today’s generation. Our society makes a big deal of people’s net worth. Gradually, the trend is to measure people’s value by their material possessions. Fascinated by celebrity lifestyle and driven by our consumerist culture, young people (and even some older people) are increasing seeking validation through material possessions.

Our society is constantly pushing the false notion (via movies, TV shows, magazines, books, the educational system, peer pressure, etc.) that a person’s worth is primarily measured by the material possessions he has accumulated.

Even more disturbing is the growing obsession in our churches with the so-called ‘Gospel of Prosperity’ and its persistent emphasis on ‘sowing seed.’ Instead of being an example to the world, churches are also falling for the lie. The effect is that the poor among us and those who are struggling financially are made to feel  awkward in the house of God.

That is what happens when you’re made to feel that your lack of financial prosperity is probably a sign that you don’t have enough faith, or you don’t sow enough seed, or you don’t pray enough, or you don’t pay your tithe, or you’re under a curse, or you just don’t ‘confess’ the right things.

In fact, on some occasions Christians are even encouraged to confess by faith: “Money, come to me! Money, come to me!” But this is a different Gospel – which is no Gospel at all. It is not the Gospel preached by Jesus, the Apostles or the Prophets.

True, the Bible talks about ‘sowing and reaping’ to describe the blessings of giving (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15). But like everything in the Bible, one can pull passages out of context or capitalize on biblical concepts, blow them out of proportion and create ungodly practices or doctrines out of them. We all need to carefully examine Jesus’ statement in today’s Scripture reading. He says, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (emphasis mine).

Jesus is not against material prosperity. But He is against obsession with material possessions and the giving of the impression that people’s wealth – or lack thereof – is the measure of their worth. Don’t give in to the ungodly pressure to prove your worth. Your true worth as God’s child is measured by your standing with the Father and how much treasure you have stored in heaven through your faithfulness to God’s calling. 

Your worth is not about what you have, but who you are in God’s sight. God sets your true worth, not Hollywood, not Wall Street, not your bankers, and certainly not your friends. 

Prayer:

Lord, I am what I am by your grace. I give you all the glory and honor. Help me to always realize that my true worth is based on your love for me and your divine calling upon me. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

For further study: Luke 12:13-34