Deuteronomy 8:7-10 – “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.” NASU
We have songs in the Christian church about “Camping in Canaan’s Land” and “Crossing Jordan” all pointing to and referring to heaven. I am about to step out on the edge and tamper with the theology of a lot of people but those songs, in my view, are misinterpretations of the Bible. There is no question that CANAAN is, in Scripture, always THE PLACE OF PROMISE. It is a type of the PLACE OF VICTORIOUS LIVING that the believer “legally” has in and through Jesus! Canaan was a real place with real people and real problems. There were enemies living in there and those enemies had to be “dispossessed” before Israel could “possess” the promise of God. Canaan was a land flowing with ‘milk and honey’ in the natural and a place to be desired. It was the prize plumb of the Middle East and the place that God promised Israel as an inheritance. (That is in the natural).
I must ask a few questions to illustrate my belief that Canaan IS NOT a type of Heaven but a type of Victorious Life here on Planet Earth and a Place of Preparation for Heaven. I know that I’m no shaky ground with some, but I ask that you give me the opportunity to explain my reasons for the interpretation I am offering. I ask that you think about this for a moment and ask yourself, ‘exactly what is the Christian Land of Promise?’ If Jesus promised, and He did, ABUNDANT LIFE in the here and now, what is that? I believe that virtually every believer understands that there is far more to the Christian Inheritance and Abundant Life than our initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. That begs the question: “Is the Christian Promised Land Heaven/Paradise/the New Jerusalem/the Resurrection from the dead/Christ Himself?” My answer would be yes and no. Each of those is an integral part of our Inheritance and play a vital role in our entrance into the Place of Promise but they are not synonymous. The Place of Promise or the Promised Land of the Hebrews was described in specific terms in numerous passages in the Old Testament. The Christian Place of Promise and Promised Land is also set forth quite clearly in the Scriptures. I hope I have your attention now!
REDEMPTION – The New Birth, has a specific beginning followed by a specific walking out of that experience in our lives. There is a Goal (Philippians 3:14) that we, as believers, are aiming for. That Goal encompasses the Ultimate Reward of Eternity with God as well as the Process of Getting to that Final Destination. It involves the here as well as the hereafter. If the only objective of a Christian is getting to heaven, the most wonderful thing God could do is take us home immediately after we are born again. If there is an assignment or purpose(s) in this life that each of us is to fulfill and enjoy. We are to be epistles known and read among men. Our lives are to be testimonies of the Power, Love, and Purpose of God. Victorious Living is not Problem Free Living but Faithful Overcoming Living!
TOO MANY TODAY – Have little comprehension of our Promised Position in Christ. Many have little knowledge or understanding of their Position, Portion, or Power as a believer. If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then we have AUTHORITY over all the Power and Authority of the devil. Many live more in fear of the devil than confidence in God because they are focused on getting to heaven rather than seeing the fulfillment of the Prayer Jesus taught, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth AS IT IS DONE in heaven.” If God’s will is done on Earth in the life of every believer what would that mean?
I want to pause here before I discuss more fully the Place of Promise and the Wilderness Experience. May the Lord be with you and richly bless you as you enjoy this day!