by Pastor Tim Burt
As Israel’s leader, there were many times Moses spoke to God’s people. This is one of them. Deuteronomy 6:3 NIV “Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.”
God was preparing to move them from a temporary place into a better place. A temporary place is a place you don’t want to stay in. He was leading them out of a temporary place. Isn’t that just like our loving God and Heavenly Father? He always wants to bring us into a better place.
You know what’s really sad? They didn’t make it to their better place. Do you know why? Because they were afraid. They were afraid that God might not do what He promised them. Their lack of intimacy (not knowing God, His love, and His ways well enough) and not trusting Him, resulted in them focusing on their fears instead of standing in faith. Their past painful experiences caused them to distrust what God was promising them. These fears stole their trust and love of God and eroded their faith in what He promised them. Faith and trust in what God says and promises is necessary and critical to receiving God’s protection and the fulfillment of His promises in our life. We learn that from Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) which says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Even though they had seen God work in the most miraculous of ways, they allowed fear to dominate their thinking and cloud God’s promises from their life.
You might think, I would never be like that. The truth is, unless you understand and firmly believe that God wants to bring YOU into a better place in YOUR life, then you’re just like them. If you are trusting in YOUR ability to get you to a better place, then you’re like them. As soon as your ability can’t get you further, you’ll panic in fear. Unless you know your covenant with God and have absolute faith that God wants to bring you into a better place, and unless you are believing for God to bring you into that better place, then you are like them.
Joshua and Caleb had every expectation that God would keep His promises to them about a better land and better life. Sadly, their peers did not. They were not rooted in that kind of faith at all. When, by Moses’ command, these leaders went ahead to check out the land that God would bring His people into, they saw all the enemies and obstacles present before them. They slipped into fear and unbelief and upon return, spoke out those fears to the people. Their fears turned into a spirit of fear that swept over all the people. “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2-3 NIV)
Joshua and Caleb tried to silence the fears of the people. They told them to be quiet, and assured them that God wanted them to go forward into the land of promise. They assured them of God’s help and protection. But, the people did not listen and their unbelief so grieved God, He allowed none of them to enter—that is with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the ones who believed and trusted Him.
God wants to bring you into a better place. What is a better place? You tell me. If you were once spiritually bankrupt and now you know that Jesus loves you, isn’t that a better place? It is to me! If you were going to Hell but now you are going to Heaven, isn’t that a better place? It is to me! If you used to live like the devil and now you live for God, isn’t that a better place? It is to me!
Jesus has brought me into the life I feel passionate about—a life living in His ways! That’s a better place! I used to influence people toward many sinful things. Now I influence a great many for God. That’s a better place! He has delivered me from myself and taught me how to love the most wonderful wife in the world. That’s a better place! He has given me four beautiful children and seven grandchildren. That’s a better place! He has greatly increased my resources to manage my life, influence others for God, and have excess to bless the church, missions, and people I know who need help. That’s a better place! He has filled my life with amazing people and amazing relationships that help strengthen me and bring joy to my life. That’s a better place! He has helped me be a light of Jesus to the world around me. That’s a better place!
God is a God of Covenant. As good as this covenant was with them back then, Jesus is the author of an even better covenant with us. Hebrews 7:22 & 8:6 “…Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant… superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.”
I praise God for His land of promise and declare to every Christian, He wants this for you! Even if you are in a great place, He has a better place. He has blessed me to be a blessing! Everything in my life is better than what it was, and it just keeps on getting better. It’s supposed to. That’s what a land of promise looks like. That is what He wants for you—to be blessed so you can be a blessing! Have faith and trust this truth in your life today and every day!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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