September is here! It’s the 9th month of the year…and since we just celebrated Labor Day, I declare that God is birthing something BIG in your life! Although the journey at times is tough, the blessing is worth the birthing pain and process.
Jeremiah 29:11 says…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We all have great plans for our life, according to God’s promise to us…
So why do some people fall short? Why do some people never enter into their promised land and live a life less than what God intended for them?
I believe the story of Moses & the Israelites is a great illustration for us, of people who were promised great blessing from God—yet they fell short because of their lack of faith and trust in God—and their continuous murmuring and complaining.
A seven-year famine was responsible for God’s chosen people ending up in Egypt. At the time Joseph was in charge, second in command under Pharaoh, and initially the people flourished under his leadership. But eventually a new king came into power and was threatened that the Israelite population began to grow and prosper. So they ordered them slaves to the Egyptians. (The enemy is always after the anointing of God on your life, and will always oppose the blessing before it comes…so don’t be surprised when it does!) But God hears their cries and sends Moses and Aron to rescue them. He sends plagues (he permits problems to drive them out of Egypt and into their promised land! You see pressure pushes you—it promotes you!) After the last of the ten plagues (the death of the firstborn sons), Pharaoh finally agrees to release the Israelites.
Moses was called to lead the Israelite people out of Egypt and out of slavery, into their promised land—a land flowing with milk and honey.
In Exodus 3:8 (Moses’ burning bush experience) the Lord promises Moses:
“and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” That’s the promise.
At times, that journey didn’t look PROMISING. They faced so many pressures along the way, but you’ll see all the way from Exodus to Numbers that even in the midst of pressure that the Israelite people were always protected, and God always provided for them. Let’s recall a few examples:
- God’s protection of the Israelites in the midst of the plagues of Egypt
- The miracle of the pillar of cloud and fire.
- The parting of the red sea and God’s victory over the Egyptian army.
- The sweetening of the bitter water at Marah.
- The miracle of the manna, bread from heaven.
Yet despite the constant demonstration of the goodness of God—every time there was pressure or perceived problems, the Israelites found themselves blaming man (blaming Moses) instead of trusting in God and forgetting about all of the miracles performed by God—his constant goodness and faithfulness. Their lack of faith was a direct reflection on their lack of trust to the Lord.
Sometimes God isn’t so concerned about our situation as He is in how we respond to it. He wants us to trust him, as he already has a solution in mind, so long as we come to him and have faith in him to work all things out for our good. Romans: 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It amazes me how close they get their promised land, yet most of them never made it. When they arrived at Kadesh Barnea, which bordered the Promised land of Canaan, they sent twelve spies to survey the land. Ten of them had a negative report: “there are giants in the land. We seemed like grasshoppers compared to them!” Except for Joshua and Caleb who had a good report. But what did the Israelites do? They believed the negative report of the ten despite the blessing they had seen from the Lord time and time again to provide and protect.
You see, the enemy will always send a bad report to get you to turn around…back to what was…to turn away…to turn away from God’s promises and from trusting him. Whose report do you believe today? Are you believing the report of the Dr? What the media says? What your friends say? OR are you drawing upon the promises and provision of God that you’ve seen in your life, and that is also found in God’s word.
The Israelites believed the negative report. And immediately they began grumbling, and wishing they could go back to Egypt AGAIN and again. They wanted to give up too easily, camp in the places of complacency instead of facing their giants with faith and pressing in to their promised land. They wanted to go back to bondage rather than press through the wilderness and into the promised land They didn’t have a problem—they WERE the problem! Camping in the places of complacency…going back to the place of comfort (being a slave) because the journey is “too hard”.
How many of us keep wanting to go back to “What was”? We want to camp in the place of complacency or comfort. We continue to wander in the wilderness. We wallow in our sorrow and in the pain of the past. We complain how hard things are as we press on to our journey to greatness. We want to go back to what was—yet was it necessarily easier where we started?
I remember being a teacher, and facing the loss of my job. When the economy took a turn for the worst, we were paying bills out of a quarter jar. During that time, I started my business and every time things got tough (when I faced rejection, when I felt unsure) I would threaten to quit. I wanted to turn around and go back to “What was” (even though the future wasn’t promising). I learned a lot about the power of my words, and God’s word in my life. I prayed. I pressed on. Today we’ve built an international business that is more than a blessing to our family—through the time and resources its provided we are able to bless many families and build orphanages for children in need all around the word.
We have to continue to trust God to protect us in the pressure seasons—to provide for us in the deserts of our life. We have to draw upon his promises found in his word, and recall his provision throughout our life. We have to press on in the midst of pressure, trusting that it is being used to groom us and grow us–challenge us and change us–that we will make it to our promised land if we just keep an attitude of faith and keep pressing on during the journey.
Unfortunately the Israelites didn’t learn the lesson so we can learn a lesson from them—when being given the opportunity time and time again to trust God, instead they continued to disobey God with their lack of faith.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them” (Numbers 14:11). However, Moses once again interceded for his people and turned away the wrath of God (Numbers 14:13-20). In VS 20 the Lord says “They have seen all my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I have performed both in Egypt and the wilderness but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice.” Although God did forgive them, He decided that “not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it” (Numbers 14:23). Rather, they would suffer by wandering in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each of the forty days they explored the land (Numbers 14:34). Additionally, the ten men who had given the bad report were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord (Numbers 14:37). Only Joshua and Caleb survived, the two faithful spies who believed God’s promise to give the land over to them.
God had made the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief. The very people who had been delivered out of Egypt mumbled and grumbled about God and His provision for them. God said none of those Israelites would enter the Promised Land, except Joshua and his good friend Caleb (Numbers 14:21-24, 30). For Joshua and Caleb followed God whole-heartedly (Numbers 32:12). The entire generation of Israelites who were delivered from slavery had died, except Joshua and Caleb
God had promised them victory. The land he promised them was already theirs—they simply had to trust and obey. God already promised you victory! Do you trust him today? Will you obey God? Will you listen to his voice above all others? God will never lead us to a place where his grace cannot provide for us, and his power cannot protect us.
Walk by faith and not by sight!
Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible (AMP) says
6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Remember, their failure to believe in God kept them from their promised land.
Are any of you camping in the place of complacency? Are you wandering in the wilderness, wanting to go back to “What was?” God doesn’t live in the past—he is a God of great destiny—and you have to continue to press on even in the pressure on your journey—speaking God’s word, and trusting him by FAITH (not sight) that he is faithful to watch over his word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12) Like the Israelites the blessing and breakthrough is right around the corner. Blessing and breakthrough often come after we triumph over our biggest battles. Don’t turn back…
God has a promised land that waits you. You have a promise on your life that is too good to be true…but it’s true. Do not abort the promises. You can camp in the place of complacency or face the frustrations of the journey with FAITH.
Our pastor Dominic Russo said “every battle you face have been permitted by God to prepare you for a future that’s too good to be true!”
When we go through trouble, too often we blame people or the devil, when sometimes it’s God who permits pressure in order to groom us & grow our faith so we can be the faith-filled leaders we are destined to be–leaders in the marketplace or in ministry, and ministers in or our home. KEEP PRESSING ON–It’s your choice to allow the struggle to strengthen you, and to allow your tough times to become a testimony of how things “turned around”! Your misery will become your ministry! Don’t abort your dream because it’s “too hard!” Blessing & breakthrough await you!
The path of least resistance never gets us where we want to go.
Do not give up on your dreams. Keep pressing forward. Have faith and trust God. There’s an army full of people waiting for you to inspire their future! Others blessings, and your blessings are tied to your obedience!
Now STOP going back to the past!!!!!!!!! Remember the story of Moses and the Israelites when you’re tempted to quit or complain. They kept wanting to go back to Egypt (what “was”)…at the expense of sacrificing the promised land (which God promised to them)…because of fear of the unknown…the journey getting tough…opposition and resistance…sound familiar?????
Egypt wasn’t promising (in fact they were slaves in Egypt)…but they were willing to sacrifice God’s best, because the journey was too tough at times. Many missed out…but not you.
FORGE AHEAD….face your fears…persevere!
Your promised land awaits you…your BEST LIFE is ahead! God is birthing something big in your life! Make the final PUSH!
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SHOUT OUT your prayer requests below! What is one thing you are believing God for this season? We will pray with you, and believe BIG with you too!