May 2024 The Promised Land

May 2024


Dear Friend in Christ:

On behalf of our Simpson family and the Charles Simpson Ministries CSM Publishing family, I want to thank you for your continued prayers and financial support for us as we move through this season of grief and transition following the death of my father, Charles Simpson. We are deeply grateful, and we are encouraged in the Lord.

We recently held a Celebration of Life service for him at Covenant Church of Mobile. Many of you were here or saw the livestream, which is now available in both edited and unedited versions on our CSMPublishing YouTube Channel. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so rich during our times of worship, testimony, and prayer.

We have entered a new season as a ministry, and we want to hear what God is saying. Perhaps you are facing transition in your life as well. When seasons change, you cannot simply continue as you were before. When you are going into territory that is unknown to you, it’s good to seek wisdom from the One Who knows and Who leads.

I want us to be reminded that God has a land of promise that is yet ahead of us. For some people this morning, the “Promised Land” may be …

A new job or a new venture
A new city or relationships
New educational opportunities
Seeing salvation come to your children and grandchildren
It may be healing or deliverance from oppression

As we take new steps of faith, it is important to ask some questions of God, trusted spiritual leadership, our friends and family, and ourselves. For instance …

Do you know the promises of God in Scripture to His people?
Do you know what God’s promises are to you specifically and personally?
What has God promised to the community of faith to which you belong?

One of the great-great-great grandsons of Shem, the son of Noah, was named Terah. He lived in Ur, which was a Chaldean town located near the Euphrates River in what is now southern Iraq. Terah was a “spiritual seeker” – likely polytheistic – who decided to take his family to the land of Canaan, which was far away, in present day Israel.

“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. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran. Now the LORD had said to Abram:

‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him” (Genesis 11:31-12:7).

Terah had the idea to go to Canaan; instead of traveling straight west across the desert, he went north, up the routes along the Euphrates River. They came to a place called Haran, which is in modern day Turkey, just across the current border with Syria. They didn’t just visit … they dwelt there. Instead of fulfilling his vision to go to Canaan, Terah died in Haran. Too many journeys get stopped or diverted by the pursuit of pleasure and comfort. We settle instead of pressing onward and upward.

But God spoke to Abram, who was a God-seeker. Abram listened when the Lord spoke. Genesis 18 says God was pleased to choose Abram, in part because God knew Abram would lead his own household well and teach them the ways of the Lord. At this time, Abram and his wife, Sarai, had no children, even though the name “Abram” means “exalted father.”

Later, the very breath of God would breathe upon this couple and Abram was called “Abraham;” Sarai became “Sarah.” They conceived the child that God had promised to them in their old age. But all of that happened later … at this point in our story, Abram is 75, childless, and living in a land of unfulfilled vision.

God said, “Get up and go.” He didn’t say “Go to Canaan;” He said, “Go to a land that I will show you.” Geographically, that turned out to be Canaan, but Abram was not called to go in someone else’s vision or to a place that was familiar to him. God had a new way and a new plan for Abram that Abram could not see on his own—he had to trust the Lord’s leading.

The reason Abraham is mentioned so prominently in Hebrews 11 is that everything about his life and his journey was by faith and not by his own natural sight.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he 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; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Hebrews 11:8-12).

I believe this: Faith is the evidence of hope, and obedience is the evidence of faith. Knowing that Abram had an obedient heart, God promised to bless Abram and to make Abram a blessing to all of the peoples of the world.

Shechem was located approximately 30 miles north of present-day Jerusalem, 15 miles north of Bethel, and 6500 miles east of Mobile (in case you were curious). The Canaanites were living in the land. They were in it, but it wasn’t their land (see Psalm 50:12). It was, and is, God’s land. The people who had been living there were nomadic. They worshipped false gods and offered their children as sacrifices in an attempt to appease these idols. Life was often brutal for the Canaanites.

God may promise to give a land or a sphere of life to you, but that doesn’t mean the sphere is unoccupied or that the occupants are going to be glad to see you! There are forces, both spiritual and natural, that will oppose you coming into your inheritance. They may even oppose the blessing God has for them. The issue is not who is opposing you, but to Whom does the earth belong? Do you believe there is an Owner? And to Whom is He giving His land for the purposes of stewardship and fruitfulness?

When Abram heard the promise, he responded with worship. He had yet to see with his natural eyes the fulfillment of the promise, but he believed God—not just believing in God but believing God enough to act. Abram built an altar as an act of worship and as a landmark … a signpost. When God reveals His Word to us, it is a more powerful reality for us than the things that we can see with our natural eyes or hear with our natural ears. The response of faith is to worship Him in gratitude and to live in obedience with His direction and call.

Once God leads us to the place He has called us to go, what’s next? How is it possible to occupy the land that God has promised to us? How can we do it when there are enemies set against us, especially spiritual forces of wickedness? First of all, we need to have confidence in God’s Sovereign plan and His ability to bring it to pass (see Hebrews 10:35-36; Zecheriah 4:6). It is in and by His Holy Spirit, not our carnal strength. Philippians 1:6 says: “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). If it’s going to happen for us in His strength, then it has to happen His way.

In the Book of Deuteronomy, God reaffirms His Covenantal purpose for His people Israel. Chapter 11 deals with His promises and the accountability that His people bear for hearing and receiving His promises and passing them along to their children. It’s worth reading the entire chapter.

It matters to God what we do with the gifts He gives to us. He understands best how those gifts can be a blessing and not a curse. And it is His profound desire that His blessings to us also flow through us to touch the next generation and the nations. When we obey Him and follow His way, He will show us things we do not know and take us places we could not go. And wherever we go under His leading will see a manifestation of His glory, victory, light, deliverance, blessing, and refreshing … His Kingdom!

As a ministry, we are seeking the Lord and His leading. Would you share your prayer requests with us so we can stand with you? Click here for prayer. If the Lord leads you to support CSM in your prayers and giving, we would deeply appreciate that also. We face needs, even as we see new ministry opportunities.

For more ministry resources, news, photos, and information, please visit our website or check out our official Charles Simpson Ministries Facebook Page. You can also follow us on X (Twitter) @CSMinPublishing  On our YouTube Channel We love to hear from you, and I would love to see you face-to-face! If your church or ministry would like a personal visit for ministry, please contact our office. I am traveling more this year. God bless and keep you and yours.

In Jesus,
Pastor Stephen Simpson

About the Author:

Stephen Simpson

STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.