At the Edge of the Promised Land
This post is about fear, obedience to God and crossing over into the promised land. Recently, I was reading up on Joshua. Joshua was the man that God chose to bring Israel into the promised land after they had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. 40 years prior, the Israelites had an opportunity to cross into the promised land, but they refused to because of fear. Out of the 12 spies sent to go and check out the land, only Joshua and Caleb returned with a faith-filled report. The other 10 lacked trust and confidence in God. Because of the disobedience of the Israelites, the nation was sent to wander around the wilderness for 40 years. But at the opening of the book of Joshua, we find the Israelites right back at the edge of their promised land.
I find this concept so interesting because I feel like so many of us are right at the edge of our promised land. I feel like God has territory for us to take and things for us to accomplish by His strength, and we have to decide whether we are going to take the steps required to cross over into all that God has for us. You may have made decisions in the past that caused you to succumb to fear rather than to move forward in the plan of God for your life. The decision is yours as to whether you'll let fear get the best of you again or if you'll grasp tightly to the Lord in bold faith and confidence.
We can learn alot from Joshua. God hands Joshua the keys to success when He tells Him: "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful" (Josh. 1:7). God makes it clear that the key to success is faith-filled obedience to Him. God breaks it down even further than that. If our desire is to obey Him, than we must know His Word. His Word is our manual and our life support; if we live a lifestyle of trusting in God and walking in obedience to His Word, we can't go wrong. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be challenging? Absolutely. Will there be times you want to give up? You betcha. But will you make it the other side? Yes, you most certainly will.
There is one more thing I want to say to those who are at the edge of their promised land. Don't be afraid! That's one of those things that's easy to say, but not necessarily easy to do. I recognize that. But the reality is that no fear you face, no obstacle standing in your way, no trouble you encounter is bigger than Jesus and He promises to be with you every step of the way. He promises to never leave your side. He won't leave you alone at the edge of your promised land. As He says to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9).