Are you already in the promised land?

by Joel Ramshaw (2024)

In Genesis 6-9 we find the story of Noah and the ark. This is a story of the great reset of humanity. A wiping out of civilization in the great flood, and a restart with Noah’s descendants. One of the tragic themes in the Bible is a righteous leader will rise up, teach righteousness, and set things in order. His descendants unfortunately will not carry on any of this light, but return to the old ways almost immediately. From Noah, there is a gap of around 10 generations who go astray from God. Finally at the end of all of this we find Abraham. Abraham was the first person in history to abandon worship of idols. Every major religion before this required an idol of the god to be crafted and worshipped. Its easy to see why. Praying and speaking to something right in front of you is easier than praying to God who we cannot see. It required a lot of faith for Abraham to pray to a God that seemed invisible. This may have seemed foolish to those around him who would have said he is praying to “nothing” and could not envision that there was more than the material world.

Genesis 11:31, “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.”

Of note is that Abraham’s father Terah had already began the journey to the promised land Canaan. Why then does Abraham get all the credit for this journey of faith? This is the nature of partial obedience. Although Terah started the journey, he only moved partways and then gave up and settled down in the city Haran. Sometimes God has a generational call for a family. If one reject the call and ministry of God it may be passed on to another family member or descendant. We see God trying to move through Terah, but having to pass the mission onto his son Abraham due to Terah’s half-hearted obedience.

The Promised Land

Canaan, the promised land, features large across many books of the Bible. God describes this land as “flowing with milk and honey,” testifying to its abundance in resources.

Leviticus 20:24, “I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.”

Our human perspective can have a tendency to focus on the negative however. When Israel sent out spies to investigate Canaan, most of them gave a negative report that it was “a land that devours its inhabitants” (Numbers 13:32). They focused only on the hardship of the battle, ignoring all the blessing the land could give once conquered.

The land flowing with milk and honey only signified the opportunity. You still have to do the dirty work in taking care of cows to get their milk. To acquire the honey you are going to suffer a lot of bee stings.

Hebrews 11:9 “By faith [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.”

Even Abraham and his sons did not seem to accept Canaan as the promised land. They spent most of their lives wandering from city to city, never putting down roots. They always lived in tents, never building permanent houses. The only land Abraham purchased was for the purpose of burying his wife. Abraham kept journeying and moving and there is no indication that he ever accepted that he was already in the promised land. Perhaps it was due to having come from the great Babylon and being used to seeing its splendor and opulence Canaan may have looked miserable in comparison, but there was freedom in Canaan. He could make his own nation with his own laws, not suppressed by Babylonian religion, culture, and ways.

Comparison is the thief of joy. For example, although there is less prosperity now compared to the boomer generation, the current generation is still more prosperous than most others of the past. There is always someone doing better than you at your age. On youtube you could find a six year old preaching to thousands or ten year old making millions from his channel. Don’t compare to why you are not at that person’s level, measure yourself to Christ’s expectations for your life instead. According to scripture, luck is a bigger factor than merit in a person’s success:

Ecclesiastes 9:11 “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”

The Lazy Prayer of Greed

Let’s examine the prayer “God give me money.”

Because the prayer is built on a passive foundation, the results can never bring true prosperity, even in the chance that God answered the prayer.

Televangelists are notorious for exciting the crowd with testimonies of instant financial blessing. According to the Deut 8:18 though, God gives the “POWER TO GET wealth,” not the money itself. It’s dangerous to pray in greed rather than according to scripture. Its better to ask God to help empower and guide you in the process to get wealth, whether that is in business or career, rather than asking for the wealth itself.

Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

What if God answered every prayer of greed?

If God answered every prayer to win the lottery, there would be millions of “winners” all having to share the prize and thus each receiving only ten dollars or so.

If God answered every prayer to be a millionaire, the new money supply in circulation would just result it hyperinflation and actually make everyone more poor, coupled with the prices of everything being hundreds of times higher.

If God were to answer every prayer for houses, cars, and material abundance then instead of thanking him, we would just complain about all the waste and pollution it caused.

Give your head a shake, God does not take pleasure in fools and in foolish prayers of selfishness. This is why we have the principle of commerce and must create or offer something of value in order to receive something of value. Why would God override this beautiful principle without a compelling reason? Praying to God for help in creating wealth is so much more powerful than just asking for wealth.


Even living paycheque to paycheque with our modern amenities, only having enough to pay bills and not much left over would be greatly desirable to most people in previous ages who had to live in filth and eat the plainest of food. Many people around the world still have to suffer to hard ways of living and indebtedness.

It’s possible to be in the promised land but never experience any of its benefits due to a negative mindset.

Rather than complain, consider you may already be in the promised land and it is time to give God thanks.

Thankfulness activates the power of the spoken word as well as a positive mindset, and therefore is a critical gateway that must be open to have abundance manifest.

The penalty for not recognizing the promised land is being cursed to wander aimlessly in a dry place.

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