From "By" to "In"

There is far too much promised by God that we have not yet possessed. We cannot say that God is holding them back and not releasing them to us, for Peter says in his epistle: God hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:3,4). All things pertaining to life and godliness have been given to us. You might ask, then, “Why don’t we have them?” He gives them to us as provisions, and these provisions are found within the exceeding great and precious promises. The first step in obtaining a particular provision is to believe the promise, but not as a promise that has its fulfillment in the future. When we put the fulfillment of His promise in the future, we have closed the door to it; we have rejected it as a present reality. Faith receives the promise as a present reality. Unbelief puts it in the future and pretends to be a believer, saying, “It’s true! One day we will have it.”

Romans 4:20-22 He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Abraham was strong in faith. He understood the principle Peter referred to, that he was given exceeding great and precious promises that he might partake of the righteousness of God. He believed what God had promised and it was imputed to him for righteousness. His faith was reckoned as righteousness. Verse 17 says that God calls those things which are not as though they were. God speaks of things that have no existence in the natural realm of man as though they already are, and Abraham learned to do the same thing. He learned that as long as he thought about a promise as futuristic it would have no existence in the present. His acceptance of God’s promise as a present reality gave it existence in his life, which is exactly what Hebrews chapter eleven is speaking about.

Hebrews 11:1, 6 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Faith is the substance. Faith that it will be in the future has no substance. Faith that has substance is faith that accepts the promise as a present reality. It is the evidence of things not seen. It calls things that are not as though they are, and that takes them out of the future and brings them into the present.

The key word is “is.” “Is” is always present tense. It is never futuristic. The faith that we are to have is a faith that works in the “is-realm.” Verse 6 says that without this kind of faith it is impossible to please God. Those who “come to God” – that is, learn to think as He does – must believe that He is. God tells us that He calls things that are not as though they are because He wants us to do the same thing. That kind of faith pleases Him.

We have exceeding great and precious promises whereby we may partake of their provisions. Now it stands to reason that if we are going to partake of the provisions, we need to know the promises that contain them. Hence, the necessity to know the Scriptures. We can’t partake of something of which we know nothing. Many Christians are spiritual paupers because they don’t know the Word of God. They are not aware of the treasures that God has stored up in His Word for them.

A story was once told of a very poor couple in Europe that saved their money for years to have enough to buy passage to America. Finally, they had enough money to buy their tickets. They boarded the liner and remained in their cabin, eating only the cheese and crackers they brought with them. They had very little money left, but after many days they decided to ask the steward of the ship how much it would cost for a meal in the ship’s dining room. The steward said, “Let me see your tickets.” They showed him their tickets and the steward said, “Your meals are free. They are provided in what you paid for your tickets.”

Many Christians have purchased Bibles that contain promises of great wealth, but they are paupers because they are not aware of the heavenly treasures provided in them. For this reason we are exhorted to meditate in the Scriptures day and night. Blessed is the man whose delight is in the Word of the Lord (Psalm 1:1, 2). God gave Joshua such a command. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8.

It is not just a matter of having read the Scriptures and knowing the information in them. Take those Scriptures out of the past and out of the future and experience them. Meditate on them day and night; absorb them in your spirit until they become a part of your life. Thrust yourself into the fulfillment of them.

It was important for Joshua to meditate on the Word. It was his responsibility to lead the children of Israel into the land promised them. One victory after another would be required to claim their inheritance. Joshua’s success would be determined by his relationship with the Word. As a man of God he would need to experience the victory before the actual battle took place. His meditation upon the Word is how that would take place. As people of God we must do the same thing. Those Scriptures concerning meditating on the Word aren’t in the Bible merely to take up space. The meditation on the Word is the means by which we must partake of the provision God has provided for us.

Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

Joshua and the children of Israel were camped at Gilgal near Jericho. One evening Joshua came apart to meditate on the Word. He was projecting his spirit into the victory before the battle began. Verse 13 says, It came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho…. His natural position as he meditated on the Lord and the Word was somewhere near Jericho. However, the literal translation of the Hebrew says, “Joshua was in Jericho.” In the natural he was by Jericho. In his spirit he was in Jericho. As Joshua meditated upon the Lord and the Word, he was projecting his spirit in the victory; he was, in a sense, experiencing the battle and victory before it began. It was then that the Captain with the drawn sword appeared. When the Lord appears on the scene, victory is assured. The future victory became a present victory through the meditation of the Word of God. The meditation produced the faith that was the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

Copyright © 2002 by Henry DuBose