“But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the LORD your God cares for. The eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” Deuteronomy 11:11-12
Reading this description of the land God had promised to the Israelites, I began reflecting on why they were in the wilderness for so long. The only reason these people wandered for 40 years is that they were stubborn, disobedient, and didn’t have faith that their God could (or would) successfully bring them into the Promised Land. With everything they had seen, all the wondrous things He had done to free them from slavery under a powerful Pharaoh and overcome every obstacle, their immediate response was doubt and fear. Refusal to believe.
I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want to be characterized by a life that so entirely doubts the God of Heaven and refuses to believe what He says. I don’t want to be someone roaming the desert simply because I’m too afraid and my faith too weak to trust God with seemingly impossible odds, and because I refuse to let go of my expectations and pride. I want to trust Him. I want to release everything, clinging only to my hope in Christ, and follow Him into the Promised Land. If He goes before me, what have I to fear? I walk in the victory of Christ, not in the defeat of my own weakness.
This is true both in the wilderness and in a land of abundance. God walks before us at all times. He hems us in, behind and before. It’s amazing to me the grace we see within the Israelites’ wilderness. God is still with them. He doesn’t leave. He still provides for and sustains them, each day, every step of their way. And He does get them to the Promised Land. It isn’t taken off the table. It’s just much later. I don’t want to delay and miss out on the beauty of the good land God has for me. He may still get me there, but my stubbornness and doubt will keep me in the desert longer. Or I may delay so long and doubt so thoroughly that I miss it entirely. Still blessed by the faithfulness and provision of my God but without the blessings I would have known if I had just trusted Him and taken Him at His Word.
So…let us choose to believe. Let us trust Him. Entirely. With our whole heart. Even in the face of impossibility and unfamiliar territory. It isn’t impossible or unfamiliar to Him. Even darkness is as light to our Lord, and He will lead the blind in the way that they do not know (Psalm 139:12, Isaiah 42:16). He will not fail us. When we follow, He will be faithful, His Word will prove true, we will find His ways perfect, and we will experience the abundance that He has prepared for us.