Tag Archives: promised land

Wanderings in the Wilderness

  • Deuteronomy 2:1-3:39
  • Luke 6:12-38
  • Psalm 67:1-7
  • Proverbs 11:27

I wrote this journal entry at the airport on the first day of my trip last week. Because I couldn’t get internet access while I was gone, I was not able to blog. This journal entry felt important, so I wanted to share it with you.

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.

Deuteronomy 2:7

In Chapter 2 God tells Moses, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. Give the people these orders:” (verse 3-4) Then God warns the people to avoid the descendants of Esau who lived in Sier because he promised that land to them. “They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war for I will not give you and of their land, net even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country…..You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.

Then God warns them to “do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land” (vs 9) because that land belonged to the descendants of Lot.

The Lord had given the descendants of Esau and the descendants of Lot their lands, just as he was giving the Israelites the territory of the Promised Land, the land East of the Jordan. They were to bypass Edom, Moab and Ammon because of their blood relationship to Israel. Don’t take something that is not yours to take. Trust that God will provide for you just like he did the Israelites, the Moabites and the Edomites. God is a God of His Word!

What are you being called to trust God for today?

This number Forty Years of provision, is absolutely true of my life. God brought it to my attention in the airport the other day that 40 years ago I was about 16 years old. I was attending church in Waller, Texas with a friend whose dad happened to be the preacher. I don’t know what my motivation was that day to go to the front and asked to be baptized. Maybe it was to fit in with someone. Maybe it was a powerful preaching. Maybe it was truly God preparing me for the wilderness I was about to walk through in life. Because after this baptism, my life took a turn for the not so good. My parents got divorced, my Grandma who was really an anchor in our family, died, and my Aunt Nora died. It was a year filled with tragedy.

My mom decided to move us back to the city so she could be close to her work, and for the sixth time in my nine years of education, I was the new girl in school. Only now I was an angry, frightened, emotionally abandoned teenager. While I didn’t know it at the time, God was with me and protected me starting at that baptism. Even while I was making poor choices in effort of fitting in, I never lacked what I needed.

The readings go on to tell us about how God guided them through the wilderness and was preparing them to “take possession of the land of the Amorites. Many of the nations and kings would be afraid of the Israelites and it would be easy to PASS THROUGH those lands. But the lands they were to TAKE POSSESSION of would be different.

But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.

The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.

Deuteronomy 2:30-31

So how do we know that a “land” is given to us? Because its hard. How do we know that a land is NOT ours to live in? Because the inhabitants are afraid of us….or its just easy to do. Its easy to be the smartest guy in the room, but being around successful people and those who are doing the right thing, that can be intimidating.

The first step in conquering something is to know that God will make its heart obstinate. That dream that goal that life plan that you have, that I have, that seems like its throwing us curveballs….perhaps that a difficulty that you have to overcome.

I read last years journal entry for 3/24/2020 in hopes of gaining some “wisdom” to share with my brother and his family on my trip. I read that I had asked God to keep me from bad habits, laziness, food addictions. And interestingly enough, I have been writing about the same thing this year. I am still asking God to give me a victory that He has already given me, but I must conquer it! Often times instead, I just insist on staying in the wilderness and whine about the effects of these habits that God has already delivered me from. Its my daily decision to step up and conquer them.

Having a healthy body is hard because it takes a daily decision to do the thing and eat the food required to have it. Sitting on the couch watching tv or playing candy crush feels more fun “right now”, but the hard thing is what God has in store for me to conquer. But what if its bigger than that…..

What if on the other side of this battle that I have with food and fitness are restored relationships? What if on the other side of this mountain is successful writing? A passionate marriage? What if these are the victories that God has in store for me if I will decide to get up out of the damn desert and conquer that which is hard!

Can I trust in God to deliver me from these sinful behaviors that separate me from a healthy Self that God designed me to be and have?

Didn’t God deliver me from cigarettes? Whew, that was hard, and yes, He did. But I had to choose NOT to smoke them.

Didn’t God make my Real Estate Career successful? Yep, more successful than I ever dreamed, but I had to make the choices for marketing my business and working it every single day.

Didn’t God save my marriage? Yes, thank God he did, but Jeff and I both had to make the decision to love each other through it.

Didn’t God save my Ashley from addiction and give me beautiful grandchildren? But she had to make the decision for sobriety and I had to make the choice to forgive and trust.

Didn’t God return my Dakota and I to a good relationship> Yes. yes. yes. But I had to choose to let her go….and trust that God would bring her back.

So why wouldn’t God deliver me from these new promises too?

How do we conquer the sinful behaviors? Well, it gets done each and every day we decide to make that happen. We have to decide that what we really want is more important than what we want right now. We get off work, and its time to go to the gym, do we go to the gym, or say….ohhh, it can wait till tomorrow (the tomorrow that never comes). Or its time to cook dinner, do we have pizza or gather the makings of a hearty salad?

Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.

Proverbs 11:27

God wants to bless you, friend. God wants to give you the Promised Land of freedom. What land is it that God has in store for you? Is it overcoming fear and going for the big career move or going back to school? Is it taking the next step in a relationship? Whatever land that God has in store for you…..I promise it won’t be an easy path or one that “most people” travel. It will be worth it though!

Lord, thank you for these years that you have provided for me. Thank you for the journey through the wilderness….even though it was hard. I pray for the person reading this right now, that you would guide them to their Promised Land, and give them the freedom that you had in store for them all along.

How can I be praying for you today?

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A Leap of Faith

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

Numbers 14:24

I love, love, love this story of Caleb and Joshua. I refer to it often when I’m feeling unconfident about a decision I need to make.

Moses had sent 10 of his strongest warriors, one from each of the tribes of Israel, over into the land that God instructed him to in order to explore it. He sent them with questions like: What is the land like? What are the people like, are they strong or weak, few or many? Is the land good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they walled or fortified? How is the soil, is it fertile or poor? Are there trees? Bring back some of the fruit of the land. (Numbers 13:17-20)

They returned at the end of forty days with a cluster of grapes so big they had to carry it on two poles, along with pomegranates and figs. JACKPOT! The scriptures indicate the land to produce beautifully and will provide for all their wants and needs, just like God had promised! Just like the Israelites had been yearning for!

Friends, you might think that the guys would be excited about reporting all they found, but you know what they did? All but two of them reported fear. Allllllll these eight “mighty warriors” could talk about was the bad guys and how big they were over in this land! They said,

We went into the land which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is the fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.”

Numbers 13:27-28

They’d never be able to conquer it, the forces against them were to strong. They were doomed before they even started. But get this….no where in chapter 13 was there written anything about any people that they met….only the provisions that were there for the taking. The only report we see of the giants there was when these eight unconfident men spread fear amongst the people.

Do you have any lands that you want to conquer? Is there a choice that you need to make that SEEMS too hard, to big to difficult? Are these giants for real or are they the enemy that someone has TOLD you about, that may or may not be real? Or, even worse, are they walled cities that you have created in your mind that may be holding you back from the JACKPOT that waits in your future?

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.”

Numbers 13:30

Caleb is my hero….and in Chapter 14 we find out that Joshua joined him in the power of positive thinking. See, these people had been living in the wilderness, and the only hope they had was going across that river and in to the promised land. The whole reason its called the Promised Land, is because God PROMISED to provide for them there. He had told them over and over and over and over and over again that he would protect them and provide for them.

God promises to fight our battles, and God will do it when we are in the will of God.

Have you asked God what is next for you? When we ask God, seek God’s will with our whole heart and ask God to put a “different spirit” in us we will know. Notice how out of 10 guys only 2 were willing to take the risk. Taking that next step might mean standing out from the crowd. It might mean getting weird looks and doubts from your friends. It might mean taking a giant leap of faith.

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly…..

Not Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Numbers 14: 24 & 30

At this point God is done. He told Moses to tell the people that because of their lack of courage and lack of faith, NOT EVEN ONE of them would enter in to the Promised Land because they didn’t trust God. The only ones going were Caleb and Joshua. Everyone was going to be walking around in this wilderness for 40 YEARS!! For forty years – one for each of the 40 days you explored the land, you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you. (Nm 14:34)

When we moved to our little farm here from Houston, I’m telling you something, people thought we’d lost our marbles. That friends was a GINORMOUS LEAP OF FAITH! It hasn’t been easy, but it is worth it.

So let me ask you this, and ME this….what are you afraid of? What lands have you explored but not had confidence to go conquer? Maybe it’s a relationship that you’re afraid to commit to. Maybe its a career change that you have thought about for a long time. Maybe it’s a marathon you’d like to run. Maybe its going back to school. Maybe your challenge is taking your blog to the next level. Should you go ahead and submit that article or just keep it in your computer? I don’t know what your “what’s next” looks like, but God does. Seek God’s face, friends, if God leads you to it, God will lead you through it. It may not be easy….but it’ll be worth it!

Dear Lord, thank you that you put a different spirit in me. I like it, but it does feel a bit scary at times. You have been faithful and I am grateful for that. I see the next Promised Land for me….and I’m going to just keep moving forward. I pray that if there are any giants ahead of me, that you meet them and conquer them before I even get there! Lord, I pray for the person reading this blog post right now. I pray that if there is a leap of faith in their future that this reading would encourage them and provide hope and faith in YOUR will for their life. Meet them where they are Lord, and guide them closer to you in to the Promised Land of their future.

  • Numbers 14:1-15:16
  • Mark 14:53-72
  • Psalm 53:1-6
  • Proverbs 11:4

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