There are a lot of Christians who feel unfulfilled in their lives. Some have received words of prophecy from God’s Word or from his (wo)men concerning a promise or something God wants to accomplish in their lives. Truly, they can see their promised land from far away and they know they are destined to enter and conquer it. Yet, somehow they find themselves wandering in the wilderness, never reaching where they ought to.
That is how the Israelites must have felt after they left Egypt and made their journey towards the promised land. The mission was quite simple and all they had to do was to follow God’s will, His way and His voice through Moses to the promised land. However, when a few challenges came their way on their journey, they started to doubt God and in His ability to take them to where he had promised to take them to. With time they started to murmur and complain causing their 40 day journey to become a 40 year journey. Moses who led them through this phase solemnly reminded them after 40 years that, “Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.” [Deuteronomy 8:2-5, The MSG].
You may wonder if it was necessary for God to do what he did. As Christians, often what we don’t realize is that God’s promises for us are so big; far beyond our imagination. His promises for our lives are not just about us but about the generations to come. He seeks to take us to a place where men may see His glory in us and so that through us men may be saved for his Kingdom. We have all been witnesses to those who reached their “promised land” of their lives and quickly forgot about God and who got them there. Thus Moses reminded the Israelites that “..That is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. [Deuteronomy 8:11-18, NLT].
God’s plans for us are yea and amen. He has promised that his plans for us are of good and not of evil, but above all God wants a relationship with his children. He doesn’t want us to seek promises above a relationship with Him. Truthfully, even we as humans like to know for sure whether people befriend us for what we can give them, or for who we really are. Far above following God because of what we can get from Him, we must love him truthfully. It is not enough for us to to just profess our love for Christ without following what his Word says. Jesus says “If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him” [John 14:23, AMP].
Interestingly enough, obeying God’s commandments and walking according to will has an added benefit, you end up entering the promised land in 40 days instead of 40 years. That is why after the Israelites had learned their lesson, Moses told the Israelites “Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors” [Deuteronomy 8:1, NLT]. God re-iterated these same words to Joshua prior to the Israelites entering the promised land that “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” [Joshua 1:8, NASB]. Through Joshua and by obeying all the commandments God gave them, the Israelites finally entered the promised land and conquered it.
I don’t know about you, but today I choose to obey God’s command and enter my promised land. Enough of the wandering around in the wilderness. There are souls to be won and generations to be saved for God by entering in my promised land. Join me today let’s not make a 40 day journey, a 40 year wandering wonder!