If you want to give your people a taste for the new wine, a taste for living in their promises, a taste for victory. If you want to pastor people like Joshua and Caleb and less like the ten spies, you have to point out the benefits that they have in Christ and teach them to expect those benefits.
Ephesians 1 gives us ten remarkable benefits that you need to teach your people to expect, dream, imagine and then go and possess!
- The Blessing. Ephesians 1.3 says we are blessed with all the blessings. You need to teach your people they are blessed not cursed until they develop a taste for being blessed. They have a taste for walking in health and wealth, a taste for enjoying the benefits of walking with God, a taste for God’s goodness and grace!
- The Choice. We are chosen by God (Ephesians 1.4). Tell your people when they are walking into their destiny to expect the one who chose them for the task, God Himself, to open the doors, split the sea and knock the walls down. Teach them to expect and develop a taste for the favour of God.
- The Family. We are adopted as God’s children (Ephesians 1.5). Teach your people to expect that when they cannot make it another day, the Father, or one of their many brothers and sisters, will have a word or an assignment from God to make their life easier and better. It’s awesome being part of the family of God, and there is nothing like it. Teach your people to expect all the benefits of being in such a great family.
- The Redemption. We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Himself (Ephesians 1.7). That means we belong to Jesus not satan. Teach your people to expect the benefits of being part of the kingdom of God, and not being part of the kingdom of satan.
- The Forgiveness. Ephesians 1.7 says we have the forgiveness of sins. Teach your people to expect never to be judged for their sins and to be treated by God as someone who never has sinned. This develops a taste for praise and worship like you would never be able to do any other way!
- The Wisdom. Ephesians 1.8 says that God has abounded to us all wisdom. Teach your people to expect God to give them novel solutions, witty ideas, remarkable inventions, ways to approach unapproachable people, ways to solve unsolvable problems. Teach them to expect the benefit of God’s wisdom.
- The Will of God. Ephesians 1.9 says He has made known to us the mystery of His will. You have to teach your people to expect that they will know God’s will, know God’s plan for their life, know their destiny and God’s good plan for their life.
- The Sealing. Ephesians 1.13 says we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. The “ye” in this verse is our born-again spirit. Your spirit is sealed, a demon can’t get in, sin cannot get in, darkness cannot get in. You are sealed. Teach your people to expect to be living in a bubble of grace and goodness every day of their life!
- The Throne. Ephesians 2.6 (ok, I jumped a chapter, but this one is important). tells us that we are seated with Him in heaven. Your people are sitting with Jesus, tell them to expect the authority and life that goes with a throne, the kingly lifestyle.
If you teach your people about the benefits, over and over, they will develop a supernatural hunger and thirst for them. When they hunger for them, they will be filled. It is that simple. And people hungry for the kingdom of God are easy to lead. Moses told us something very special about how God leads His people:
He set him atop the heights of the land,
and fed him with produce of the field;
he nursed him with honey from the crags,
with oil from flinty rock;
14 curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs and rams;
Bashan bulls and goats,
together with the choicest wheat—
you drank fine wine from the blood of grapes. (Deut. 32.13-14, NRSV)
God sets His people on high, and feeds them well. I love the end of this passage – fine wine from the blood of grapes. Blood of grapes is a Hebrew phrase meaning the best grapes, the Message Bible calls it good wine, Young’s calls it the purest wine, the Good News calls it the finest of wines. God gives us the best wine from the best grapes! That’s the best of the best. God wants to give you and the people you pastor the best of the best. Start telling them now. Start getting their hopes up, start training them to be expectant.