Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Enter the Promise Land--Or not? Excerpt from my book

A chapter from my book: Fear--The Weapon Against the Mind

I have found through my study of scripture and through my own personal experiences that our enemy—Satan—usually attacks us the beginning of a project and at the end. If he can’t keep you from starting the journey, he tries to keep you from completing it. If we begin walking the path that God has prepared for us, and do not complete the journey, we have not fulfilled our purpose. Partial obedience, is really disobedience. We do not receive the promised blessings until we’ve fully obeyed.
Most of the examples I’ve given you so far shows how our enemy tries to keep us from starting the journey. Numbers 13-14:39 is a great example of how fear can keep us from completing the journey. Here’s a summary of what happened, but I want to encourage you to read the scriptures for yourself.
After Moses brought the people out of the land of Egypt and God had done miraculous things in order to deliver them, they came to the promised land—Canaan. This was the land flowing with milk and honey that God had promised to give to them. In fact, he had promised Abraham this land hundreds of years earlier.
Moses sent 12 men to explore the land for 40 days. They were to see what kind of people lived there, see what kind of cities they had, what kind of protection they had, check out the soil, the plants, the fruit, and if possible bring back some fruit to sample(yum!). These men, representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel completed their mission. Ten of these men came back with a bad report. They did confirm that the land was very fertile and good—flowing with milk and honey. They even brought back a large cluster of grapes. However, when reporting about the people, they said the people were powerful and had large well fortified cities. These ten felt that Israel could not attack these people and win. In fact, they felt they were grasshoppers compared to these great men.
Now the other 2 spies, Caleb and Joshua, who saw the exact same thing, had a different report.
NU 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."
The people began to panic, because ,of course, they believed the ten spies instead of the 2 spies with the good report. They wanted to go back to Egypt—to slavery. They even wanted to choose a new leader to take them back. Again Caleb and Joshua spoke,
“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. [8] If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. [9] Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
The Lord spoke with Moses about the rebellion and lack of trust that the people displayed. Because the people didn’t trust the Lord who had done great and marvelous things for them, he said that no one over the age of 20, except Caleb and Joshua, would enter the land of Canaan. Instead they would wander in the desert for 40 years, one year for each of the days they explored the land. They would suffer for their sins, instead of being victorious in battle and the recipients of abundant blessings. Not only that, but their children would suffer needlessly in the desert, instead of enjoying the bounty of the land that was already theirs.
The ten spies with the bad report died in a plague. After recognizing their great sin, the Israelites repented. Now they wanted to obey the original command of the Lord to take the land, but now the Lord had delayed the promise because they had been too afraid to obey at first. As a result, the Amalekites and Cannanites defeated them.
Can you see how the Evil One prevented the Israelites from receiving the blessings that God had for them because of fear? They were right at the end of their journey, and were about to see the promise fulfilled. If only, they had believed what God told them originally, they would have entered the land and defeated everyone who came against them. Not because they were so powerful, but because their God was (and still is) with them. Not only did the people not want to receive the blessing that God had promised, but they wanted to go back to the oppression they had been rescued from. Slavery sounded good to them now.
God has a destiny, a “promised land” for you. You can look at things very practically, realistically and logically and see all the reasons why you cannot fulfill this destiny. You can allow fear to overtake you so much that small obstacles begin to grow into large mountains that can never be climbed. Or you can look fear in the face, remember that the Lord is with you, and move forward in courage. He will make your paths straight,fill in every valley and level every mountain in your path.

PR 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; PR 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

ISA 40:4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

The alternative is to shrink back in fear and miss out on everything that God has for you. You can spend the rest of your life roaming aimlessly in the desert , never fulfilling your life’s purpose. How many people are walking around in that state? Just keep in mind that while you’re roaming around aimlessly, your children are missing out on the blessings of seeing your destiny fulfilled. They aren’t doomed to your same fate. They will have their own opportunities to walk in their own destinies, but in the meantime they will have to suffer for your decisions.
Not only will you miss out on God’s blessings, but if you allow fear to take hold of you, you will be tempted to run back to the oppression that the Lord delivered you from. Satan will make it look appealing compared to walking in your destiny. For some that looks like, going back into a destructive relationship, going back to addictive, depressive or destructive behaviors, or an empty self-centered life. Don’t believe his lies. Freedom is always better than slavery and oppression, no matter how hard it may be to live free.

1. What is the oppression in your life that you’ve gone back to or that you’re considering going back to? Remember,its never too late to walk back to the “Promise land”.
2. Is there a dream that God has given you that just won’t seem to go away? Obey the voice of God, and begin walking toward the “promise land”.
3. Paraphrase Proverbs 3:5-6 and Isaiah 40:4-5 into a prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Alecia. An online friend and I have been having an ongoing discussion on living in fear versus living by faith. It is a daily decision to walk by faith and not allow fear to be the voice that you harken to. I can't wait to read the whole book!