Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Promised Land

Based on Entering the Promised Land by Charles Stanley (Deuteronomy 1:21 - 46), which was published in In Touch Magazine April edition.

So I am reading about the Promised Land, our responsibilities in receiving it and God’s Commitment to us. You see we may be familiar with the literal Promised Land - the land of abundance promised to the Israelites after they fled from Egypt under Moses' leading.  But there is a Promised Land that the Lord has for us right now as well. He wants us to dwell in the land of abundance; abundant joy, peace, and love.  A land where our will matches His, a land where we are walking in step with the Holy Spirit. But, I digress, Charles Stanley breaks down five ways this passage from Deuteronomy shows we need to be responsible in reaching OUR promised land:
1)      Go and take it (v.21)
2)      Don’t focus on the obstacles or let them stop you (v.28)
3)      Be courageous and do not fear (v.29)
4)      Remember the Lord’s past faithfulness to you and trust Him now (vv. 30-32)
5)      Follow Him fully (v.36)
They all sound good.  But it amazes me when I break them down how hard they are. 

1)       Go and take it –I struggle with this.  You see on some level, no matter how much I know better, some hidden part of me stills feel like to be a “good” Christian I should be unhappy, deprived, and striving. So to go and take my promised land feels like cheating.  Shouldn’t I have to wait?  If I am happy aren’t I doing something wrong? But, within this same passage of Deuteronomy God promises the land he gives us is good and fuitful (Deut. 1:25). I recognize that God promises joy as a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:16) and that he wants us to have it always (Philippians 4:4-9). I also know that God wants to bless us abundantly (2 Corinthians 9::8); in fact, in John 10:10 Jesus himself says that he has come that we may have life and have it abundantly.
       But I also want to be clear, living in our Promised Land does not mean life is a cake walk. In fact, it is the opposite there will be battles to fight! BUT the amazing thing is that God promises to fight on our behalf, and show us the way we should go (Deut. 1:30 -33).  As opposed to stumbling around in our own will finally hitting that brick wall, and then asking God to show us the way out! Oh, I have wasted so much time and energy this way!  So, I would rather get over myself and "go take it" .   I want to walk where the Creator of the Universe is going to fight on my behalf! Yes, no matter how hard it may be, this is where I want to be.

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