Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Contended Ground

by Dean Gardner

I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14, ESV

When God gives us a vision and a promise of new ground to be taken in our walk with Him, that vision will usually be contended for. We only have to look at the history of Israel, past and present, to see that reality enacted. When they first entered the Promised Land, the Lord told Joshua that He would give him every place that he set his feet, but there were enemies to be conquered in realising that promise.

Today, in modern Israel, re-established in that Promised Land nearly seventy years ago, we still see them surrounded by nations contending for their very right to existence. In our own lives, as followers of Jesus, we too find contention from hostile spiritual enemies, as we move into our own ‘Promised Land’ – giants, fortified cities and strongholds, waiting to be overcome and taken. Many of those strongholds are within our own hearts and lives – places in our thinking and believing that are yet to come under the Lordship of Jesus.

Even when we’ve gained possession of new ground, we need to stand firm, and hold on to what we’ve gained. In 2 Samuel 23:11-12, we read of one of the exploits of Shammah, one of King David’s ‘mighty men’, as he took his stand in a lentil patch against a troop of Philistines. A lentil patch may not seem important to some, but, for that man, it may have been part of his inheritance.

For each of us, there’s an inheritance in Christ, as believers, which we need to possess and hold on to, when contended for. That inheritance includes our ministry or calling, but also the promises we have, as God’s children, of physical and spiritual rest and healing, and freedom - freedom from the enemies of sin, anxiety, fear and controlling habits. In the days in which we’re living, we’re also increasingly called to stand firm on biblical truth, as secular and humanistic philosophies infiltrate the Christian Church. Jude, writing his letter to believers in the New Testament wrote, ‘Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3).

The Lord encourages each of us to press on, step by step, towards ‘the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’, and, like Joshua, we too have His promise that He will be with us as we do.

‘Step by step, we’re moving forward,
Little by little we’re gaining ground.
Every prayer a powerful weapon.
Strongholds come tumbling down, and down, and down, and down’.

(Doug Horley)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your call on my life. Please help me to hold on to every place of victory and promise You’ve given me, and please help me to press on until I see You face to face. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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