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You Always Have a Choice (2 of 3)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 10
Now notice this. The people of God started in Egypt. They were in a place of slavery. They were in bondage. Did they have any choices? No, they had to do what they were told, or they were whipped for it. So they were in a place of slavery, a place of no choices, a place of loneliness and isolation, grief, resentment, bitterness, all kinds of stuff. God saved them and got them out. Now what God had in mind, was a people that would become a great nation, that would impact the world; but to get them like that, He had to get them to change how they were thinking. They had lived all their lives knowing nothing except: I'm in bondage, I'm helpless, I can't get out of it. Now He got them out of it, but they still thought the same way; so what God did in the season called 'the wilderness' is, He allowed them to experience a few challenges. Every challenge was designed to surface in them, the pain of their bondage, the wrong believing they had; and to give them a chance to choose to believe and trust God.

Every time you face a challenge, a problem, a pressure and you feel powerless, helpless, resentful, angry, blah blah, all the old stuff, you have an opportunity to think, and respond, differently as a believer: God is faithful. God is powerful. God is with me. There is a way through it, I've just got to find what it is. You getting the idea? And so Canaan was a land of huge opportunity. Canaan was a land where God expected initiative. When they were in the wilderness, God wanted them to learn how to depend on Him, rely on His word, lean on His word, trust in Him, so whatever came, when the time came, they could go in and take initiative. The people God is building in this hour, an apostolic people going into the world, are a people of initiative, a new generation that trusts God, and actually take initiatives to make things happen. But to get like that, you have to change out of the old slavery, bondage, victim, blame, helpless mentality that you had when you were before Christ. So to get you there, He's got to send you a few challenges. How about that?

The challenges are to get you to stop blaming or excusing and living powerless, and to take responsibility, and to look in faith to God. Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that wonderful. Learn God is powerful. Before I was powerless. Now I'm discovering: God is powerful! When I've discovered God is with me, and God is powerful, I can go and face a whole hostile world, and I am powerful, because God is with me, and nothing can stop me! Now you see the problem was, that every time Israel faced a new challenge, a new problem, a new difficulty, a new pressure, they always responded the same way. They felt powerless, got resentful and angry, and complained and blamed: oh blame Moses - you got us out here! Blame someone you can see. Blame the church, blame the government, blame your father, blame anyone except: face the challenge. See, now that's what God allowed them to go through. Now every time they faced a challenge, they complained bitterly; and so every experience God designed to prepare them to go in and occupy a land, and have all of these things, by the time they got there, they had no faith built in their life. So when they saw the problems, they said: we can't do it. He said: you're right, you won't.

I wonder what dreams and destinations God has prepared for us as a body of people, and has prepared for you individually, and on the journey of preparation, as God is giving experiences for you and I to grow in faith, we complain and blame and act like a victim, act in bondage. We are slowly and steadily disqualifying ourselves, because we won't grow forward in faith. That's a challenge isn't it aye? Think about that one. How much better if we be like Joshua and Caleb! Now you see Joshua and Caleb, when the time came for them to enter the Promised Land, to take initiative, to go and conquer, to advance, to see victories, to see breakthroughs, to see things happen, they said: we can do it, we're well able! But the others said: we can't do it. They're infected with unbelief and negativity and pessimism. That was the problem. They are still acting like a slave. If you think like a slave, and you speak like a slave, and act like a slave, you will be in slavery all your life, even if you're a free man; and what Jesus says is: He set us free, but now we have to change the way we think and respond, so we don't think and respond like a person in bondage. We begin to think and respond like a person who's free, and who's joined to almighty powerful God, who promised us: there's nothing you're going to face today that's too much for you.