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Dear Partner,

After the forty-year sojourn in the wilderness, Joshua brought the people across Jordan to possess the Promised Land. God had promised this land to Abraham and his seed centuries before. Now the time had come for Abraham's seed to possess what had been promised to them. The land was occupied by evil people; the Canaanites, the Hittites, and many others. In order for Abraham's seed to possess the land, they were going to have to conquer all of these warlike people.

Why didn't God simply wipe out all of those evil people by Himself without Israel having to go to war? It would have been easy for Him to do. After all, had not God already demonstrated His power to do so by supernaturally causing the death of all the first born children in Egypt? Could He not just as easily have wiped those evil people in Canaan off the face of the earth? Of course He could. Why didn't He? If God wanted to demonstrate His power alone, He could have supernaturally emptied the land of every enemy without Israel having to go to war against them. Why did He want the people of Israel to be involved in the conquest of the land?

This question is very important for each of us. We all face many problems every day. Some of the problems are minor. Some of them are very severe, even life threatening. Way down deep, we sometimes wonder why God doesn't simply eliminate all of our problems for us without our active involvement to conquer them. No true believer doubts God's power to solve every problem. Without question, God could solve every problem "for" us, rather than exercising His power "through" us. Yet God desires that His life and His power be exercised through His children, not exercised independently of us. The question is why?

Because modern theology has little understood that Christianity is a "family," not a "religion," we have been told all sorts of lies regarding this question. Religion tells man that God receives some kind of twisted pleasure while watching His children suffer adversity. Religion tells us that God sends disasters and sickness to humble us and to teach us. Religion tells us that God "could" use His power on our behalf, but that He "won't." The religious mind will never understand God because it approaches Him independent of the concept of a family!

Being born again, God is our Father! Now, for a breath of fresh air, let's leave the confines of religion for a few moments and consider how every natural father feels about his children. Imagine a young man whose wife is pregnant with their first child. Knowing that the baby will arrive in a few months, this young father begins to plan and to dream about the child's future. Can you imagine any father dreaming things like, "What can I do to make sure that my child is a failure, a sniveling coward who runs away at the first sign of any adversity? How can I make sure that my child never grows up to emotional maturity, but is always fearful and timid? How can I raise my child to be utterly powerless, sickly and poor all the days of its life?"

Absurd, you would rightly say, but that is the picture religion often paints of our heavenly Father. Nothing could be further from the truth! When God first made man, He made him to have DOMINION over all the works of His hands. God intended for His "seed" to be mighty on the earth. The hallmarks of man's character were to be the same as man's Father, God. God's character is love, light, honesty, strength, and peace. When God breathed into Adam's nostrils the "breath of life," it was actually the impartation of God's own nature into His child man.

Psa 8:4-6  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

Notice what God did not say when He created man. He did not say, "Let us make man but he'll have no dominion. Man will simply stand on the sidelines all of his life and watch as I demonstrate the fact that I, and I alone, have dominion." Only religion could get a child of God to believe that He is so vain. The heavenly Father wants children made in HIS image! Our heavenly Father wants His children to have dominion by His life and power in us!

The only way to begin grasping the true relationship our Father desires with His children is by looking at the relationship between the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We are told to look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. Jesus proclaimed that it was the Father "in Him" that did the works. But did the Father do those works independently of Jesus? No, the Father did the works "through" the Son.

By the new birth, God has imparted into us His very life and nature. He desires that we have dominion over all the evil in this world by His life and power working "through" us, not independently from us. As we fellowship with our Father in the Word, in prayer, and in worship He is bringing us to maturity as children made in His image. We are not powerless. We are not cowards. We are children made in the image of our Father. He has given us dominion over every enemy. Let us remain no longer children, but let us grow up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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