Paul said in Philippians 3: 12:
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
In other words, God saved you for a reason. It was more than just forgiving your sins so you could go to heaven when you die. He has a purpose for you here on earth, He’s got work that He wants you to do while you’re here.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God’s greatest goal was not just to set them free from slavery -it was to bring them into the Promised Land, into the fullness of their inheritance. But instead of entering into all that God had for them, they constantly sinned, grumbled, sought after false idols and never grew up – therefore they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The journey from Egypt to the Promised Land should have taken a few weeks, but it took them 40 years.
Some of us are afraid to change or give up things because we think we’ll be missing out on something. Let me ask you – what are you missing out on by not changing? What are you missing out on by staying the way you are?
- We want our lives to change
- We want our relationships to change
- We want our bank balance to change
- We want our mood to change
- We want our health to change
- We want our spouse to change
- We want our weight to change
- We want our job to change
- We want our relationship with God to change
The only thing in life we don’t want to change is ourselves. But the reality is that if we don’t change – none of the rest of these things will change.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.
Change isn’t easy, it takes strength, it takes courage. That’s why 3 times God says: "Be strong and courageous." It’s going to be hard. If it was easy you’d have done it already. God wants some of us to trade in our wish bone for some back bone.
Change is possible. It can happen. Not just through your strength or your courage, but also with God’s presence and power.
Verse 5: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Verse 9: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This isn’t just a pep talk about gritting your teeth and trying harder. That doesn’t work. Ultimately, it’s about pressing into God. It’s about saying: "God, I’m not going to settle, I want all that you have for me. But I need You to help me. I need you to fill me, equip me, empower me, enable me, strengthen me. I’m going for it."
God loves those prayers. He loves to answer those prayers.
It’s not all Him, and it’s not all us. As Eph 3:20 says, it’s His power at work in us that is able to so immeasurably more than we could ask or think. We both play our part.
GOD HAS MORE FOR YOU IN 2017
After 40 years in the wilderness, you’d probably have gotten pretty used to it. You started out thinking about the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, but after a few years you started to settle for the desert. This was as good as it was going to get, you thought. Then after some time, you probably forgot there even was a Promised Land. Now and again someone would mention it, but you’d tell them to be more realistic. To stop getting people’s hopes up. Just be thankful that you’re not a slave in Egypt any more.
And yet God’s intention for His people was never just to lead them out of slavery. God’s intention wasn’t for them to stay in the desert.
"…you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them…I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” (vv 2-3)
God’s intention was that His people would enter into the fullness of His blessing and their inheritance. Nothing less than that. As far as God was concerned, it was theirs to possess.
Too some of us today, I believe God would say: "I have more for you. You have been in the desert so long that you’ve started to think that this is all there is, that the wilderness is just how life is going to be. So you’ve stopped even seeking after the fullness of My Promises and Blessing. But I have more."
- For some of you it is about seeking a husband or wife. After countless dating disasters, or no dates in months, you’ve given up.
- For some of you it’s about having a child.
- For some it’s about a job or position.
- For some of you it’s a relationship restored.
- For some it’s a ministry God is calling you to.
- For some it’s about you feeling different or looking different.
God would say: 'It’s time to get out of the desert. You were meant to go through it, but you aren’t meant to live there. Get out of the in-between." The in-between of not being in slavery in Egypt, but not possessing all God has for you.
Pursue God. Don’t settle. Ask Him to revive the dreams in your heart again. Ask Him to stir up passion and fire in your heart again. Ask Him to strength and courage to move forward. Ask Him to give you faith and expectation for His best in your life in 2017.
Moses is dead, and that’s good! Because God wants to birth something new in you. It starts today.