I love reading the Old Testament. Reading about the Israelites and their not so easy journey to the Promised Land gives me hope as I look forward to my Promised Land, heaven. Much like their journey through the wilderness was part of God’s plan – so is our journey through this life. It isn’t always easy, but things go a lot smoother when we remember to remain focused on Jesus.
As I thought about their journey, I thought about a few lessons I can apply to my own journey.
Once God establishes a covenant with you – it is forever!
“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:7 NLT)
…for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. (Matthew 26:28 NLT)
Your faith may be tested – but don’t let go of it. God sees your faith as righteousness.
Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. (Genesis 22:7, 8 NLT)
It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. (Hebrews 11:17-19 NLT)
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. (Romans 4:20-22 NLT)
Know that God works all things for the good for those of us that have put our faith in Jesus Christ.
One example…Joseph was sold into slavery only to end up being the leader of Egypt with the resources to feed his people during a famine.
But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:5-8 NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
We will find ourselves in periods of slavery – to sin, to our old habits, to people that want to bring us down — but Jesus Christ died and guaranteed our freedom and victory.
Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey… (Exodus 3:7, 8 NLT)
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)
There will be many battles. Some we will win, some we will lose – but God will be with us through them all.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4, 5 NLT)
Ultimately, we will reach the Promised Land.
So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the Lord had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war. (Joshua 11:23 NLT)
Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18 NLT)
And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world —from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. (Matthew 24:31 NLT)
…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13, 14 NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. (1 Peter 1:3-5 NLT)