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Competition in the Body By Dr. Larry Ollison

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DEVOTIONAL

Today's featured devotional...
As you make your way through the book of Deuteronomy, you can stop here and there to see the many ways God tells Israel to hearken to His Word. God is trying His best to get something over to His people. He knows that their lives depend on it. So over and over, He keeps saying the same thing in different ways.

What Does God Require of Us?
In Deuteronomy 10, Moses tells the Israelites what God requires of them. Nothing has changed since the day Moses first spoke these words. God requires the same thing of us today.
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
(Deut. 10:12-13)
What does the Lord require of us? To fear Him. To honor Him. To reverence Him. To let Him be God. To walk in His ways. To love and to serve Him. To keep His Word. To always be available to serve Him with all our hearts and souls.

That's what God asked His people to do. That's the foundation of Bible prosperity. In return, He would do them good. They would experience blessing and continual increase in every area.

Deuteronomy 11 tells us why all these blessings result from our obedience to God:
Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it.
(Deut. 11:8)
Keeping God's commandments makes us strong, because our obedience enables God to move into our lives with His power. Obedience also keeps prosperity from hurting us. You see, prosperity only ruins fools, and when we listen to God, we are not fools.

Verse 18 goes on to say, "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes."

God's Word was the key to Israel's existence. It was the key to their success in life. They had to lay up His words in their hearts so they wouldn't forget them.

Only God's Word could help them walk the straight path of obedience without turning to the right or to the left. Only the Word could make them strong so that they could do what God required of them.

Days of Heaven on Earth
Deuteronomy 11 gives us another glimpse into what God planned for His people in the good land He had prepared:
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

Then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours.
(Deut. 11:21-24)
What did God want for His people? Lack, turmoil, defeat? No! He wanted them to have the best of everything. He wanted their crops to be abundant and their homes to be fine. He wanted them to enjoy days of heaven on earth.

What does that mean? Well, during days of heaven on earth, everything is done just as it is in heaven. It's done correctly in heaven. It's done big in heaven. Everything is perfect in heaven. There is no lack. Heaven's citizens don't even know what lack is!

Days of heaven on earth include the ability to drive out enemies that are "mightier than ourselves." You see, that's why we can't look at natural circumstances to see what God can do in our lives. We're not dealing with the natural realm; therefore, we have to look past those circumstances and into the Word to see what God says.

Days of heaven on the earth! Days of supernatural provision on the earth! Days of increase on the earth! All this awaits us when we honor God and keep His ways. God has always wanted a people who would hear and do what He says, so He could manifest Himself and give us days of heaven on earth.

That was the essence of Jesus' message when He went around preaching and teaching the kingdom of God. Jesus would say, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you" (Luke 10:9). In other words, He was saying, "It's here right now. You can be healed and delivered right now because the kingdom, or the dominion, of God is here."

"All These Blessings Shall Come on Thee"
Let's skip ahead to Deuteronomy 28, the chapter that lists both the blessings and the curses of the Law. I want to show you that God has always given His people the choice of whether or not to hearken to His Word.
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
(Deut. 28:1-2)
Notice how this chapter starts out: When the Bible uses the word "shall," it should be interpreted as "inevitable, unavoidable or predetermined." In other words, "It is inevitable—all My blessings shall come on you if you will hearken to My Word." This will come to pass.

All of God's blessings! The children of Israel could expect some heavy-duty blessings to come their way if they walked in obedience! Just take the time to read verses 3-14, and you will see what I mean.

Everything you can think of is included in those blessings. When you hearken unto God, you will be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed coming in and blessed going out. You will have a surplus of prosperity. You will be blessed in the fruit of your body and the fruit of your cattle. Your storage places (plural!) will be filled with plenty. Everything you put your hand to will prosper. You will enjoy blessing, increase and abundance in every area of your life—days of heaven on earth!

Jesus said something very similar in Matthew 6:33. Basically, He said, "Seek God first and His way of doing and being right. And as you put God first, all of His blessings will be added unto you."

One of the end results God sought to accomplish in blessing His people with days of heaven on earth is found in Deuteronomy 28:10: "All people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee."

Let your prosperity come naturally. Remember, God wants to bless you above all people. He wants you to enjoy days of heaven on this earth. You don't have to run after blessings. Just get in line with God's Word, and His blessings will run after you!

Blessings or Curses?
Later in Deuteronomy 28, God gives "the other side of the coin"—the consequences of choosing not to hearken. Verse 15 says: "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee."

If Israel hearkened unto God, all of His blessings would come upon them. If they chose not to hearken, they would suffer the consequences.

You see, you have to read the "ifs" in the Bible. You receive the blessings only after you fulfill the ifs.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, Moses set forth the choice Israel had to make: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."

It was up to the children of Israel. They had to choose. They could either be blessed, or they could be cursed. But if they wanted life and blessing, instead of death and cursing, they had to choose God and His ways.

You just can't choose God without choosing His ways. It is the choosing of His ways that makes life a blessing on this earth. When you don't choose God's ways, you are actually choosing darkness, defeat, lack, sickness—the entire curse of the Law.

Deuteronomy 28:15-68 defines all the curses the children of Israel subjected themselves to through disobedience—and believe me, there are plenty of curses out there in the world to choose from! Every sickness and disease is under that curse. Losing one's children is under that curse. Fear, doubt, anguish and oppression are all under that curse.

If God has called you into the ministry, you may be saying, "But I don't want to preach." Well, you're doing the same thing Israel did—rebelling against the call of God. What will happen as long as you do that? Very little good in your life. You are blessed only when you are in the will of God, hearing and obeying Him. That's always the bottom line.

Choose Life!
Israel had a decision to make: life or death, blessing or cursing. Cursing was automatic for them if they didn't hearken to God; blessings were inevitable if they did hear and obey.

The same is true for us today. We must choose whether or not we will hearken to God's Word. If we hearken to God regarding the new birth, then we are born again. If we hearken to God and do what He says about healing, then healing takes place in our lives.

If we hearken to His Word regarding prosperity, then we begin to prosper. In every area, if we will just obey God and walk in His light, we will automatically increase in His life and blessings.

I don't know about you, but I choose life! Every time I choose to obey the written Word of God, I choose life. Every time I choose to obey God in my spirit when He tells me to do something, I choose life.

How do you choose life? You just have to decide, "I'm staying with the Word of God. As I hear and obey what God says, I believe it is unavoidable and predetermined that God's blessings will overtake me. I will have the things I need. In fact, I'll even have a surplus of prosperity! It is inevitable. It shall come to pass!"

Then determine never to quit. Don't let yourself think, Well, that will never work for me, or They prayed for me, but I didn't get healed.

As faith men and women, we can never quit. We must not reach this great moment in the history of the Church, only to draw back in fear! No, this is the time to double up, not give up!

So prove yourself faithful in the hard places. Keep honoring God with your mouth. Keep putting the Word into your heart so you will be able to accomplish all that God has placed in your heart to do.

The key to Israel's deliverance was to hearken unto God. We hold that same key. As we hear and do the Word of God, certain victory and days of heaven on earth will be ours!

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

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