Have you ever noticed that between every promise and fulfillment of that promise, there’s a period of trouble—of attack from the enemy?
Look at what happened to Moses when God instructed him to go to Pharaoh and tell him to set the Israelites free. God spoke to Moses and said directly…
“But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.” (Exodus 7:4)
God told Moses what to do and say before Pharaoh, but several times He also specifically told Moses that Pharaoh would not listen.
In other words, “I’m going to set the Israelites free, but there’s going to be a time of trouble between the promise and its fulfillment.”
I remember back when we put the deal together for our current church property. The land was six separate parcels owned by different people who lived in different places in the country.
By God’s grace, we got all of the owners to sell and then consolidated the land. Then we worked on plans for a year for a church building. Three days after we turned the plans into the city, I received a letter from the city’s redevelopment agency essentially saying they were going to seize our land.
I went to meet with them. Then right after, I got a phone call from one of the wealthiest families in America. I had no idea they knew who I was, but they wanted one of their representatives to take me to lunch.
So we met for lunch, and he said, “We heard about the city’s redevelopment agency enacting eminent domain. I’m just here to warn you.” And he went on to share some of the tactics that were going to be used against the church to take our property from us.
“They wouldn’t do that,” I said.
“Well,” he said, “I’m just here to tell you that’s how it’s going to go. Then the next thing they will do is hire a PR firm to make the church look bad.”
I went my way that day thinking, That guy is crazy.
Two weeks later, I got a call from the man who owned one of the most prestigious PR firms in California. He was calling to tell me that basically the city’s redevelopment agency wanted to hire him to slander the church.
He said, “Now, I am not a Christian. But I told them that they’re on the wrong side of this issue, and I just want you to know that if you need me to, I will work for you for free.”
I did not take him up on his offer to help, but I thanked him. And then I watched as every other thing that guy in the restaurant told me would happen… happened. It was a rough season.
That experience underscored for me the important truth that between every promise and the fulfillment of that promise, there will be some rugged terrain that you have to navigate. And that is the time when the devil will do all he can to get you to quit, to let go of God’s Word.
It certainly happened to Moses. After Pharaoh had refused to yield, and instead made the lives of the Israelites even more bitter, Moses came to God saying, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all” (Exodus 5:22–23).
I can see God saying to Himself, Moses, I told you this was going to happen! I told you there would be trouble between the promise and its fulfillment.
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said that those who bear fruit (the ones that see a harvest and the promise fulfilled) are those who accept the Word (Mark 4:20).
In Luke’s account, he tells us that these people, “Hear God’s word [and] cling to it” (Luke 8:15 NLT). That literally means they refuse to let go of it.
Here is my encouragement to you today…
No matter what you are facing, hang onto God’s Word. It will push aside fear, depression, weakness, disease, lack, bondage, and all of the devil’s lies. And when you do, that seed of God’s Word will grow up and produce results regardless of the difficulties in the way.
To help you hold tight to God’s Word when the enemy attacks, we want to put a powerful message into your hands today. This message called “Winning Against the Devil’s Strategies” is our way to thank you for your gift to help reach more people with the good news of our living Jesus on TV and online in 120 countries.
Do you find yourself lost, without direction or purpose?
Or maybe you just need a little dose of inspiration every day… Sign up to receive the FREE daily devotional from Pastor Bayless.