Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Stephen P. Samuel, Senior Pastor/Teacher
“Promise, Faith, Vision, Reality”

We began the year by examining our theme which is “Taking Possession of God’s Promises.” We took time to unpack the idea of God’s Promises in three specific categories:
1. God’s Promises are made to the Children of God
2. God’s Promises are made in Covenant relationship
3. God’s Promises are made regardless of Current Condition
The promises of God are sacred oaths made to the believer by the word of God. For the believer the scenario works in this way:

I am a Child of God and I am in Covenant relationship with my Father. Therefore, regardless of my Current Condition, my Father has made me a Promise that is true and fulfilled.
Remember, the promise is fulfilled once God speaks it, but it is not manifest until I am able to live it. Therefore the challenge in this life is moving from fulfillment into manifestation.

Now, as I receive this Promise in faith, a Vision of a new reality is birthed in me. On last week we explained the importance of Vision, because it is Vision, or the ability to see from God’s Perspective, that drives us towards the new future reality. It is Vision that changes the way we think, act and live in the midst of our current reality. It is Vision that causes us to overcome the circumstances that would have before discouraged and destroyed us. Vision is a spiritual concept that brings together what we have heard (Promise of God) with what we believe (Faith in God). Simply stated:
Promise + Faith = Vision

This is why we are called to live according to our faith and not according to what we see with our natural eyes. Often times the Promises of God are contrary to what we see with our natural eyes, thus, we are never able to fully grasp the great things that God desires to do. However, when we hear the Promise from God fulfilled, and then look at our future through the lense of faith, then we see the Vision of a new reality, which is the Promise of God made manifest.

Now, it is not always guaranteed by God that we will live to see the manifestation of the Promise, even if we see the Vision. What I have come to discover is that there are usually three different types of people, who will reach three different levels when it comes to Taking Possession of God’s Promises:
1. People who hear the Promise
2. People who hear the Promise and See the Vision
3. People who hear the Promise, See the Vision, and Walk in the Reality
All three of these examples can be seen in the Children of Israel’s attempt to reach the land of promise.

1. Numbers 13: 26-33: Remember the 10 spies who went to view the land and brought back a negative report. They belong to the first category because they heard the Promise of God, and yet were unable to add faith to what they heard. Therefore, when they saw the giants in the land they were afraid. Without faith they lacked Vision. For these men the challenges of the current reality would not allow them to see the new reality that God was making possible.
2. Deuteronomy 32:48-52: Remember Moses who lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He belongs to the second category because God gave him the promise, and he had faith that God would bring it to pass. It is through the faith, and faithfulness of Moses that God allowed him to Envision the land of Promise, and actually see the land that God would give to His people. However, he was unable to actually live in the New reality that God would create. It is at this point that we realize that the plan of God is greater than any single individual. No one else could have done the great work that Moses did with the Children of Israel up to this point in scripture, because God’s grace was with him. But when God decided to use another vessel to bring in the Manifestation, Moses had to decrease. This is not to suggest that anyone who does not live to see the Manifestation, must have done something wrong in the sight of God, but instead what it means is that God’s plan works only in God’s time. Remember Abraham who was promised to be the father of many nations. Abraham did not live to see the Manifestation of that promise, but he yet believed the promise and lived his life to the glory of God so that the promise would come to pass.
3. Joshua 1:1-9: Remember Joshua who was the successor of Moses and who lead the Children of Israel across the Jordan into the land of promise. Joshua and Caleb were the 2 spies who heard the promise of God, believed that God would bring the promise to pass, envisioned the new reality, and now are able to walk in the manifestation. Remember, that it had been 38 years from the time they first heard the Promise. And yet because of the Vision they had received through their faith in God, now they were able to walk into the land of Promise.

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