Look at the inheritance God has put in front of you. Go forward, take it. Live in the promises. Don’t let fear hold you back, because the bridges of hope to take you forward are strong and reliable. Haven’t they always held you? Don’t give in to discouragement…
That’s a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 1:21, as the children of Israel stood at the borders of the Promised Land, the place of great blessing God had promised. These were Moses’ words to them as they contemplated moving forward.
Yet the Israelites thought they should be smart and practical about it—check things out, assess the situation, conduct a survey, take a vote. Let’s see what’s ahead of us, they thought, figure out the best way to attack what lies ahead. Let’s plan ahead.
You know what happened. This only discouraged them. Twelve spies were sent ahead to check things out. Ten out of twelve—a clear majority—advised against moving. It’s foolishness. Can’t be done. Those ten seemed to be the ones with heads on their shoulders.
But in the end, the minority two were the only ones that God said, “obeyed me wholeheartedly.” And they were the only two who ever were given their own acreage in the land of promise.
All the others? They had a glimpse of the land. But they wandered in the desert for the remainder of their lives. Attacked, often hungry and thirsty, their relationship with God waxing and waning, disciplined by God with terrible things like plagues and fire, with only brief moments of worship and repentance … they never lived in the inheritance God had promised.
How different it might have been if they had only heeded Moses’ encouragement: Go, and live in your inheritance. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged.
Yup, there would be things to call forth fear and discouragement. But don’t give in to those things, says Moses. Because God has promised and He is there with you.
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” (Deuteronomy 2:7)
You know where I’m going with this. You know what I’m going to say next.
This is our story. And we have the choice to make.
We can go ahead and move toward the inheritance God has planned for us for a long time now. The bridge of hope is right there at our feet. Our faith only needs to take one step at a time to move across it.
Yes, there will be scary times. But our Father tells us not to be afraid. There will be hard times. But we know He is with us every step of the way, providing what we need.
I hope our story is more like Abraham’s, who was called to pull up his tents and move on because God had a better place for him. Like him, we’re called to pull up our tents and move on because God has an inheritance He wants to give us—even though, like Abraham, we don’t know where we’re going!
How scary is that? Well, I guess it all depends on who you can trust.
Even when Abraham reached the land God had for him, “he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner…confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.” (Hebrews 11:9)
May that be our story, children of God: Willing to pull up our tents and move because we have a promise. Living in our inheritance now as we move our tents about, yet still looking forward to even greater things prepared for us.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.