Thursday, January 5, 2012

Promised Land

In Numbers chapters 13 & 14, Israel was standing on the border of the Promised Land.  God had delivered them from over 400 years of slavery and given them hope, purpose, direction, and freedom.  They were no longer a tortured and enslaved people, and they were ready to enter the land God had promised to them.

They sent in 12 men to check out what the land looked like.  When the men returned, they gave their report.  It started out good as they talked about what the land looked like (filled with fruit...a land flowing with milk and honey), but the report quickly turned bad when they focused on the negative things they saw there (fortified cities, armies, weapons, and mean giants).  Their conclusion, the land was pretty and nice, but impossible to take.  God must have wanted us to die out here in the desert, so let's ditch Moses and Aaron and go back to Egypt.  Let's forget about what God delivered us from, who He made us into, and revert back to what we are used to (slavery), no matter how bad it is.

Two men (Joshua and Caleb) disagreed with the other 10 who offered the bad report.  They both went and spied out the Promised Land.  They saw the fortified cities.  They saw the armies.  They saw the weapons.  They saw the giants.  However, they didn't forget God's promised.  Their faith is evident in their report and plea to the people of Israel:

Numbers 14:9 "Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!"
Two choices:

  1. Choose what makes sense according to the world around them.  Trust their eyes.  Trust their ears.  Trust what others around them claim to be true.
  2. Choose what makes sense according to God.  Trust Him and what He claims to be true!
Unfortunately, the nation of Israel chose number 1, and they never got to live up to their full potential.  They never got to enter the Promised Land because they rebelled against God.  Sure, the Promised Land was dangerous and filled with enemies, but they didn't trust that God would truly be with them and care for them, even though He had just delivered them from Egypt.  That choice cost them their potential and their lives.  Instead of being the generation that took the Promised Land, they spent the next 38 years slowly dying in the Wilderness.

Obviously choice number 2 is the right choice.  But choosing to trust God and enter the Promised Land isn't an easy choice.  It might be dangerous.  It will surely not keep you in your comfort zone.  You will have to depend on Him.

What's your Promised Land look like?  What has God got in store for you this year?  What could He accomplish through you if you are willing to trust that He has your best intentions in mind?  Will you fully trust Him and realize the full potential you have for Him this year?

You get a chance to be part of God's amazing story.  Don't revert to your past or settle for what this planet is offering you.  Trust God and live for Him.

Stay strong.

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