Just because William had received a promise did not mean that it just happened.

edward-the-confessorIn 1051 Edward the Confessor, King of England, promised his first cousin once removed – William, Duke of Normandy – that he would be king after him (Edward had no children and hence no direct heirs). William accepted this and believed that it was the will of God for him to be the King of England. However, just because William had received a promise, and just because it was God’s will for him to be king, did not mean that it just happened. Sometimes things do just fall into place, but more often than not, you need to take them by force. When King Edward died in January 1066, his brother-in-law Harold claimed the English throne and was hastily crowned on 6th January 1066. When news of what had happened reached Duke William, he was not too pleased and felt that he had been betrayed by Harold, who had previously promised on oath to support him. This is English Heritage’s Twitter version of Duke William’s reaction:

I guess it’s just not God’s will for me to be king after all.

King Harold surveys his army, prior to the Battle of Hastings

Just as Harold stole what should have been William’s, we too face someone who seeks to steal what should be ours. John 10:10 in the English Standard Version says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy“. When William heard that the English throne had been stolen from him he didn’t say, “Well, I guess it’s just not God’s will for me to be king after all“. William did not doubt God’s will, he knew that he was the rightful King of England; the only difference now, was that he would have to take what was his by force. And so it was that, during the summer of 1066, William gathered his forces and prepared to invade England. Having prepared an army, William landed at Pevensey Bay on 28th September 1066 and it was at about 9am on 14th October 1066, that the most important battle in English history took place – The Battle Of Hastings. King Harold and his Anglo Saxon army assembled at the top of Senlac Hill in what is now called Battle, in East Sussex. Whilst the Normans assembled at the bottom of the hill. The Normans brought someone with them, almost the 11th Century version of a journalist, to record what happened:

The death of King Harold signalled the defeat of the Anglo-Saxon army.

Norman Archers.JPG
The Norman archers

Before engaging in hand to hand combat, William sent his archers forward to soften up the Anglo-Saxon defences. This was followed by attacks on horseback by Norman knights. This type of tactic of using horses in battle was new to the Anglo-Saxons, having not been seen in England since Roman times. Without going into details, the Battle of Hastings lasted throughout the day; until the death of King Harold signalled the defeat of the Anglo-Saxon army and victory for Duke William and his Norman army:

Duke William remembered to give God thanks after the battle.

Normans giving thanks for victory.JPG

William’s half brother, Odo Bishop of Bayeaux, was with William and when victory had been secured, he encouraged the Norman army to bow their knees and give God thanks for their victory in battle. As I wrote about in my previous post which looked at the huge significance of the Battle of Hastings, ‘It’s Time For Your Defining Moment‘, the Normans and Duke William had involved God before the battle, spending the night in prayer, and they remembered to give God thanks after the battle. The end result was that on Christmas Day 1066, Duke William of Normandy was crowned King William I of England having taken by force what had been promised to him. 

They were going to have take what they had been promised by force.

The Israelites faced a similar situation as they prepared to enter the land of Canaan, the land that God has promised to give them. Although the land had been promised to them, they couldn’t just wander in and set up home. Like Duke William, they were going to have take what they had been promised by force – which indeed they did, with God’s help securing victory after victory. Some of the Israelites did need some encouragement though, because in Joshua 18:3 God chastened them, “How much more time do you intend to waste before going to claim the land the Eternal God of your ancestors is giving to you?” Today we do not usually face physical battles, but nevertheless we too have to take what is rightfully ours by force. Matthew 11:12 in the Amplified Bible says, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]“.

Time has passed and nothing seems to have changed.

Maybe God has given you a specific promise; or maybe you have seen what God has promised you in the Bible and have claimed it for yourself, but time has passed and nothing seems to have changed. You have been exercising the force of patience, but have yet to see any results. This was the situation that my wife and I found ourselves in. God had given us a promise and we fully expected it to come to pass, but nothing had happened. Now don’t misunderstand, God’s promises very often take time to be fulfilled and patience is an important part of the process. However we could sense that we were missing something. It was during a conference at our church in September 2016 that God revealed to us what needed to do – we needed to take what had been promised to us by force, not with the sword, but by prayer. Through the conference speaker, God showed us that prayer is a vital part of seeing the fulfillment of God’s promises. The scriptural example of this was from Daniel chapter 9, where Daniel recorded how he had been studying the prophecies of Jeremiah and realised that it was time for the Jews to return to their land. However these prophecies did not just happen, their fulfillment required prayer on the part of Daniel.

It is time the demons were the ones lying in defeat on the spiritual battlefield.

battle-deadSince that time we have been praying in both English and tongues over what God has promised to us and we will take it by force and stand victorious over the devil and his cronies. For too long the devil has held back from the church what is rightfully ours and the only reason that he has been able to do it, is because we have allowed him to. Romans 8:37 in the Amplified Bible says, “We are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us“. It is time that we enforced the victory that Jesus has already won for us. It is time that we were the ones still standing, having done all and the demons were the ones lying in defeat on the spiritual battlefield. My family will take possession of what God has promised us – make that your determination too, that you will not be denied what you have been promised. You will not be stolen from!

If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.

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