Leaving the Desert

I’ve read all of my life about the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years after they left Egypt. The group that lacked faith and trust in God to do what He promised never got to see the Promised Land. I think that’s indicative of many Christians today. We wander in the desert of life never receiving what God has promised us because we lack the faith to do what He called us to do so He can fulfill that promise. We get scared of the dream He placed in us and are paralyzed when we see the giants and obstacles in the way. In turn, we live our lives just outside of the full blessings God intended for us.

Just because you are wandering in the desert, it doesn’t mean God is not with you. God lead the Israelites every day while they were there. He even provided for them daily, but that was just a taste of what He wanted to do. You may see God’s hand in your life and know that He is leading you, but if you don’t trust Him to fulfill the vision He gave you, the desert is all you will know. The sad truth is that most if us are satisfied living in the desert.

In order to leave the desert, the Israelites had to leave Moses behind. They got a new God-appointed leader and followed him into the Promised Land. In order to move out of wandering and into conquering, you often have to remove the things in your life that have held you back. Some times that’s a person, sometimes that’s a habit and other times it’s a way of thinking. You cannot move forward until you remove what is holding you back. Figure out what it is and cut yourself loose. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to cast off every weight that besets us so we can run the race we were called to run.

The next thing you have to do is prepare for what God will do. In the book of Joshua 1:11, he told the Israelites to get their provisions ready for crossing the Jordan. Just as they had to pack their bags and sharpen their swords, We must prepare to take the promised land. Many times we think God is just going to do what He promised with no work on our part. That isn’t the case. We have to prepare and get ourselves in place for Him to do what He said. Preparing often means praying more than you have. It also means going to the border of your Egypt and the Promised Land. You can’t cross over unless you’re standing near the border.

The last thing they did was sent out the Ark of the Covenant ahead of them. The priests carried it to the river and as soon as their feet touched the water, the river stood up like a wall. We cannot get ahead of God in going where He called us and in doing what He said. We have to let Him go ahead of us to part the waters and to prepare the way. Our job is to follow Him where He leads, not to lead and hope He follows. To receive His full blessings and the fulfillment of His promise, you must be willing to change what’s holding you back, to prepare to move forward and to follow Him through the perilous rivers of life. Leave the desert of safety and enter into the Promised Land ready to conquer today.

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