I want to go back to the story in Numbers 13 of exploring Canaan, which I already mentioned in Chapter 6: Vision. This story is so important in our walk of faith. When Moses sent the twelve out to spy out the land, only two came back with a good report and ten came back with a bad report. So many times when we’re trying to do something new and pioneer something, whether it is a new product, a new company, a church plant or a ministry where you are breaking new ground, you will always have people who will say that you cannot do it. That’s what happened here in Numbers 13. When God said that he wanted to give Israel the Promised Land and Moses sent the twelve spies, only Joshua and Caleb came back with a good report. The other ten came back and said, ‘Yes, the land is good, but there are also giants and dangerous people there.’ Whenever we want to do something that is innovative and pioneering, something that is out of the box, you will always have a set of people come and tell you that you can’t do it; that’s what I have seen in life.
When we went to Hong Kong to start a new company, it was one of the craziest things we could have done at that time. We didn’t have visas, we didn’t have enough capital, we didn’t have contacts; but we had a crazy idea of going there to start a company, and God came through. When you do something crazy for God, you take a risk. That’s what faith is. You will have people against you saying that you won’t make it; but you will also have the two people, metaphorically speaking, who will tell you that you can do it. That’s like Joshua and Caleb.
We need to be sure deep in our spirit of Whom we belong to and who we are, and that when we have Jesus, He is going to come through. The reason that the ten spies really failed is because they had a complaining heart. They knew that God was big, but they thought that the giants in the land were much bigger, and they said that they felt like grasshoppers in front of them. When you are facing a battle and you think you are small, you are never going to win the battle.
If you want to fight a battle and God is giving you a vision and you want to carry it out, but you think that you’re too small and the giants are too big, you’re never going to succeed. Whenever we try to pioneer something the battle is tough. That’s where you push through in faith, and that’s why you seek God and you stay full of the Spirit. You need to have a repentant heart and make sure your heart is soft, but you also need to come to a place where you are living by faith. You’re not always going to feel good. You are going to have people who will be against you. You may not even have resources. Just as Joshua and Caleb knew that they had God on their side, so do we. They had a different spirit to the other spies.
When you want to pioneer something you need to have a different spirit. You can’t go by what ninety or even ninety-nine per cent of the people think; that may not be the way. This is not just for business, it is even for ministry. When we started the church here, ninety-nine per cent of the people said that we wouldn’t succeed, and we had to push through. It was tough. When you have a different spirit it doesn’t matter what your circumstances are: start pushing forward, because God has given you a vision and God is going to break through in that place. It’s the same thing whether you are in business, in employment, in whatever you are doing. When your vision is from God and is for God, you are going to push through.
Nehemiah wanted to build the wall around Jerusalem, and the two things that helped him succeed were:
1. He had a vision. 2. The vision was from God and it was for God.
When he sought God in prayer and fasting, that’s when God gave him a strategy to implement the vision. If your dream is not so big, and you think that you can achieve it by your own ability, then it is not from God. This is something that Pat Robertson first said. Dream so big that, if you need to accomplish it, it has to be God working. As children of God, we want to dream big things for God.
When moving to Bahrain to start a product, I didn’t think I could do it because I was facing such a high level of opposition. But God brought in the right people and I found favour. We started with just two employees. In two years we went into twenty-eight countries and started making over two million dollars in those two years. When you have a pioneering spirit, you will start taking risks because you know that God is going to come through for you. Each person is different; I can’t just do the same thing every week, I get bored. I need to see expansion and growth and I need to be pioneering things. That’s who I am.
A great man of God once told me that in the kingdom there will always be expansion and growth. If the kingdom of God is in you, you will always grow on all sides. Going back to the story in Numbers, the ten spies who came back with a bad report were all destroyed because they didn’t have the faith to see it through. The Bible says that only Joshua and Caleb crossed over to Jordan and went into the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb saw the Jericho walls coming down. It’s not just about ensuring that you are going to heaven, but in this world too God has a purpose for you. He wants us to win victories. What the Word says about you is so important to know who you are. You are not a sinner.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14
We need to know the promises we have in the Bible because, through Jesus Christ, we have an inheritance of those promises. I want to share about some of those blessings that we have through Abraham, because those Abrahamic blessings are available for us.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… Hosea 4:6
This is one of the problems that the church faces. If we don’t have knowledge we can get destroyed, because we don’t know what we have and we don’t know the promises that we have. It’s important to know what we have so that we can walk in understanding. I’m sharing the scriptures because it is the Word that builds up faith. Testimonies are good because you can take someone’s testimony and it can become your victory, but Romans 10:17 says, ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’
When the living Word comes into you it builds up faith, and faith releases breakthroughs. If you want to dream, today is the day to dream. If you want to pioneer something, today is the day to pioneer. Remember you are a child of God and breakthroughs are on their way.
Take some time to read Deuteronomy 28. The blessings mentioned in it are also for us through Christ.
‘Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
‘Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
‘Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
‘The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
‘The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
‘The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.’ Deuteronomy 28:14
All of this is our choice: if we hear the Word of God and obey it we will be blessed, but if we choose not to, we will be cursed; that’s what the Bible says. When we are in Christ Jesus we are blessed. We can take hold of the promises. In my life, God got us out of debt when we started believing that these promises are for us. I believe that God is raising up a generation that is breaking through into a new realm. It doesn’t matter where you have started, because we are all on a journey; all that matters is that when you start, and all through your progress, God is with you. I believe that God is releasing His promises and His blessings according to the Word, to a generation that believes in Jesus Christ.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
God was telling Joshua that he needed to meditate on the Word day and night. When we know the promises and speak the promises, we will have success. This is for everyone who wants to walk by the Word. Even in challenging times we can believe what the Word says about us.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us… Ephesians 3:20
Whatever it is that you are imagining today, God is going to do much more than that. I believe that there are dreams being birthed right now. If there is something you want to do that is beyond your ability, then you are in the right place. If there is a God-given vision and a God-given purpose, then God is going to come through for you. That’s what happened for Nehemiah: God gave the strategy to build the wall, but first he had a vision, and it was a God-given vision. He also had opposition, but the walls were rebuilt because it was a God-given vision and a God-given strategy and God broke through. In the same way, when God has given you a vision and strategy, God is going to come through for you.
We came to the UK in 2005 to start a company, and it was a real struggle. In the Middle East, we had a good lifestyle with a big bungalow, two cars and maids; in these four to five years God had really given us some amazing breakthroughs from where we started. But when we came to the UK, we found that the taxes and the mortgage payments were much higher, and I was earning the same salary I was earning in the Middle East. So it was really tough when we came here. But God started speaking to us about building His house and His Kingdom. We knew that this was the real purpose of us coming to this country; it was much more than building a company. Whilst I started building the company, we also started building the church by having meetings. We didn’t really see much fruit, but we did it faithfully. Every Friday and Sunday we would set up all the sound equipment and lay out two hundred chairs, and we did this for almost two years, but we hardly saw anybody come. It was tough financially also, and we were personally sowing whatever we had.
In 2008 God gave me a dream, and He told me that a lot of companies were going to go into administration. At that time, I didn’t even know what that meant. But by the end of 2008 the recession had hit, and it was one of the biggest financial crises of all time. I remember strongly hearing from the Lord that God was going to prosper us during this time of recession. God said that because we had been faithfully sowing for these three years, He was going to prosper us. The Lord gave me the scripture from Genesis 26 that said that in the time of famine Isaac prospered.
During that time, in early 2009, a major investment bank bought our company, and we were blessed from the return. I couldn’t believe it, especially in a recession. For those first three years we had been literally living month to month; we didn’t have any excess. But because we were still faithful in our giving, God completely turned things around. When we started the church God had given me a word that he was going to raise up millionaires in this place, and the first breakthrough of this was for us. I’m sharing all this to tell you that what God taught me in the first stages was so important to getting to this next level of breakthrough. I believe that we are in a season where God wants to release people into a new level of breakthrough. We are in a place today where we need a bigger breakthrough personally, but if God has done it before He can surely do it again. The principles are the same, God is the same.
It is important to understand that God has no favourite people; if you are in Jesus Christ, and His words are in you, whatever you ask will be