There are so many times when I read about the Israelites’ journey out of slavery and into the promised land that I see myself in their wanderings. So often I stumble across a principle that I can apply to my life today. So often that I am reminded of who God is and that he is still the same today.
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain…” – Deuteronomy 1:6
The book of Deuteronomy opens with Moses giving the Israelites a history lesson. They had been in the desert for forty years now because of their disobedience, and there was a new generation of people that needed to be reminded of the mighty hand of God in their deliverance as well as of the consequences of not being obedient. They had first arrived at Mount Sinai on the heels of miraculous deliverance by their God. He had freed them from slavery in Egypt and had protected them from the encroaching soldiers. He had provided food and water for them in a barren desert. He had made it clear to them that he had a plan for them, and that if they would trust him they would experience his blessing.
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” – Exodus 23:20
But when God declared that it was time to move forward and take possession of the land that God had already promised them, the Israelites got in their own way. As I read Moses’ synopsis, I see some important lessons that those of us that love God and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28) need to keep in mind in our own journey with God.
1 – “You have stayed long enough at this mountain…” (v. 1:6) – There are seasons in life, and although God may leave is in one longer than another in order to strengthen our faith and make us more like Jesus, eventually it will be time to step out in faith towards a new season. At some point it is time to move!
2 – “Go up and take possession of it… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged!” (v. 1:21) – When you sense the Spirit nudging you to accomplish something for the Kingdom of God, you can’t let fear paralyze you. No matter how big the obstacle may be, God is much bigger! And as a child of God, you have not been given a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) It is the devil that wants you to be too afraid to move forward.
3 – “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” (v. 1:31) – God has taken you this far; he’s not going to leave you now!
4 – Eventually, an entire generation of Israelites had to miss out on reaching the promised land because of their lack of faith. Only Joshua and Caleb, the ones who believed that God would do what he said, were allowed to move forward because they “followed the Lord wholeheartedly”. (v. 1:36) – Don’t miss out on your opportunity to be blessed by God!