““Hear, O Israel! You are crossing the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and more powerful than you, great cities fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, sons of Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ So know today [with confident assurance] that the LORD your God is crossing [the Jordan] before you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, and you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has promised you.”
DEUTERONOMY 9:1-3 AMP
As I read these verses and realize all the excitement that lies in what the Lord is speaking to Israel, it’s a bit overwhelming. These people had been walking in the unknown for 40 years. In a dry, desolate and lonely place for 40 years. Their journey that would last four decades all started with a promise. The Lord had promised that he would deliver his people from slavery under Pharaoh and give them a land of abundance. What a wonderful promise it was.
The Lord fulfilled the first part of this promise fairly quickly. It wasn’t long after Moses was first sent in to relay the message to the children of Israel, that they were free from Pharaoh. It wasn’t some simple task, but a glorious display of the power and might of the Lord. It was a spectacle like we’ve never seen before. It was truly an awe inspiring event. Plagues, clouds, fire, parting of the Red Sea, complete annihilation of enemies. The works. Man what a way to be reintroduced to the Lord. That wasn’t all of the promise though. He promised to take them from slavery to a land of abundance. He was going to give them houses they didn’t build, land they didn’t plow, harvests they didn’t plant, the best of the best. So why didn’t the Lord fulfill that part of the promise right away? Because their hearts weren’t ready to receive all of that properly.
I can’t help but think about some of the journeys I’ve been on with the Lord. I can’t help but look back and know now that some of my journeys could have been a lot shorter to God’s promises for my life had I simply been completely obedient, and found believing through it all. But just like the children of Israel, I would get right on the brink of my promises and then let doubt or fear or my emotions take over and completely lose my focus. You see, this wasn’t the first time they had been ready to enter in the land that was promised. But because like me, they bombed out right there at the end, the Lord took them back into the desert to get their hearts fully prepared.
Oh man at the times I’ve gone back in the desert. I got frustrated waiting on God to fulfill his promise and tried to do it my self. I thought his way was too hard, or too easy, or my own way was better and didn’t obey him. I just plain got mad and stopped believing because “it never was going to happen anyway”. Can you relate? Have you been there too? Has the Lord sent you back to the desert before? Perhaps you’re there now. I am.
I have been on a particular journey with the Lord for many years. It feels like an eternity. I feel like the children of Israel sometimes. Sometimes I think I would have been better of to have never pursued this promise. Sometimes I try to make it happen my self. Sometimes I lose my focus. Sometimes I think he never really promised it in the first place. Sometimes I feel sorry for my self. But the Devil is a liar. There is no truth in any of those things he speaks to me over and over again, day in and day out since I’ve been in this desert. And just like the children of Israel, God has sustained me. He has protected me, and provided for me. He’s been here with me all along. He’s been there with you too.
You see one of the reasons the children of Israel didn’t go into their promised land before is because it was sooo much bigger than they were. The people they would have to defeat to get the land were bigger and stronger, and greater in might and number. They were a people that no one would take on. They were giants. It terrified Israel. They knew for sure they wouldn’t be able to overtake them. They had been in the desert for so long. They didn’t have what it took to enter in the promised land. Or so they thought. But the truth was, they had everything they needed. The Lord would equip them, and make them victorious. And not all, but majority just didn’t believe it was possible. So back to the desert they went.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the desert. I am beside my self with desire to walk into my promised land. I want to be there! I want to walk in the fullness of God’s will for my life. I want to see His plans unfold. But it will cost me. It will cost me the same thing it cost the children of Israel. I will have to look ahead into that promised land that is soooo much bigger than me, and believe that I can conquer the giants keeping me from it becuase it’s not me that’s fighting the battle, but the Lord. I am not able, but He is. It’s bigger than me, but not bigger than Him.
I’ll be honest, some of the things the Lord has promised me terrify me. They’re so big, and so much more than I believe my self capable of. They call me waaaay out of my comfort zone, and make my stomach jittery just thinking about them. But I can’t turn back. There’s nothing left for me in this world. But I’ve walked in the desert for so long it’s become unbearable so I can’t stay here either! Like the children of Israel, I can only walk in circles for so long before it becomes maddening. I can only see the milk and honey flowing for so long across the way before I have to run after it. It’s time to run after it. Time for me, and time for you.
As I read these verses today I felt the Lord speak to me through them. He was speaking to me that it’s time to cross over the Jordan into the promises He has spoken. It’s time to make the move. It’s time to trust Him blindly and wholeheartedly. It’s time to really see who He is. It’s time to really see what He can do. It’s time to really see the manifestation of His promises in my life. It’s time for you too. So what are you waiting for? Things don’t look good? They didn’t look good for the Children of Israel either. You’re afraid? So we’re they. You’re not capable? Neither were they. Whatever your hold up is, know that God doesn’t want you to do it. He wants you to trust him to do it. Join me. Let’s take on these giants, and run full speed ahead into the promises of God for our lives.