The Seven Last Lessons

We embark on a new journey with a new word to guide us: Breakthrough. What will it take for us as a church to breakthrough to the next level of favor? The next level of godliness? The next level of sharing the 3 Angels’ messages to Renton and beyond?

Rewind to Deuteronomy 1. This book of the Bible is mainly composed of three messages Moses gives to “all Israel” before he dies. They are sermons of exhortation, designed to prepare a people for transition from wilderness wanderers to promised land possessors. After 40 years of aimless wandering and unrealized potential, Moses prepares the people for breakthrough.

“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” Deut. 1:3. This verse gives us the timing of this farewell address. It is happening at the end of the 40 years in the wilderness and the people are ready for change. Breakthrough happens when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of change.

Verse 5 says that Moses spoke these words “On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab…” (“East” in NIV). This was still on the pre-occupation side; the wilderness side, not the milk and honey side. It’s the side where their faith 40 years earlier had broken down, not broken through. The place is important because they have a decision to make—whether to go on or go back—to move forward or stay put. And in many ways we face the same decision. Breakthrough is a choice.

God didn’t force them to enter the promised land 40 years earlier, and He wouldn’t force them now. We have to face the fact that any breakthroughs in our lives this year, will largely be our choice.

The stage is now set for Moses’ first sermon. He starts by taking them back to a critical time in their journey 40 years earlier. “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites…” (Vs. 6-7) This was God’s breakthrough message then, and I believe it is His breakthrough message for us today.

When Israel left Egypt, God led them to Horeb where they encamped 11 months. (Compare Ex. 19:1 with Numbers 10:11.) Horeb was where 1. They completed their formal organization as a nation; 2. God entered into covenant relationship with them as a nation; 3. God gave them His law; 4. The sanctuary services were instituted. Horeb was a blessing. But for all its blessing, Horeb was not the destination. Horeb had a time and a purpose, but it was not the land of promise.

God was saying, “If you’re going to breakthrough the Horeb experience to possess the Canaan experience you’ve got to break camp and advance.” Breakthrough requires you to let go of where you are so you can take hold of where you want to be.

My friends, what have you been holding onto that is holding you back from God’s best? 2020 is the year of breakthrough and God’s word to you today is: “You’ve been at this mountain long enough: break through and advance!”

Advance where? God tells them: “Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites…See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” (vs. 7, 8) This lets us know that Breakthrough requires forward progress towards a goal. No matter what kind of traveling you’re doing, whether it’s through life or across the country by car, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know if you’ve arrived. Pray for the courage to breakthrough where you are to take hold of God’s best in 2020.

And courage is fueled by vision and vision comes through prayer. Therefore, breakthrough requires Vision and Prayer. Helen Keller was once asked, “What would be worse than being born blind?” She replied, “To have sight with no vision.” Too many Christians have sight with no vision. We see problems but not the promises; failures, but not God’s faithfulness; Giants, but not God’s greatness.

When God told Israel, “See, I have given you this land,” He knew their ability to see the Promisor would determine their ability to possess the promised land. We need this same vision today. 2020 defines perfect vision. What do you need to see more clearly in 2020? Where do you need a breakthrough? Where have you stopped making progress? Take it to God in prayer and by His power…BREAKTHROUGH!

Pastor Randy Maxwell

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