Monday, February 26, 2018

Change of Address

When the Israelites were leaving Egypt they had a destination in mind: The Promised Land. Their was purpose to their exit and they wanted to go where things would be better than what they were experiencing. Unfortunately they never got there. Not because God isn't good, not because God changed His mind, and certainly not because God wasn't able, but because they were stubborn.

When the scouts were sent out, they were asked to report on a few factors: land, the encampments or fortifications, fertility, trees, strong/weak people, population. They were asked only to give a report. Sadly they also delivered a commentary. And the narrative of the story drastically changes because some influenced many.

And God lamented. The LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people despise Me? How long will they not trust in Me despite all the signs I have performed among them?" (Numbers 14:11 CSB) I don't know about you, but I find it rather comforting that God Himself asks how long.

Because of their refusal to take the land promised land, God had to redirect them. Chapter 15 is about the way offerings are supposed to be made When you enter the land I am giving you to settle in. (Numbers 15:2 CSB ~ emphasis mine)

There was something about that thought that bothered me and so I looked up the Hebrew word for settle. The word is moshab which means dwelling place. But what's interesting is the root word and the first place it is used. The root word is yashab and its first mention is in Genesis 4:16 in relation to the place Cain went after he went out from the LORD's presence.

When I wrote my blog post on Friday about the wind and waves still obeying the voice of Jesus I left out an obvious truth. The wind and waves do not have free will, we do. But then the question that begs to be asked is why don't we obey as much as they do? Ouch, I know.

The last thing I want is for God to look at me and ask Himself How long will she not trust Me despite all the signs I have performed? And I certainly don't want to end up in a place where I have to settle instead of my promised land.

The truth is God promises each of us the land of our inheritance. And if His word, the books we read, the sermons we hear, and the songs we sing are the field guides and maps to take it, why are we still wandering in the wilderness? We've scouted the land, we know it's good, we know people living in it that have told us how to get there. Call me crazy, but I think it's time to change our address.

My husband and I have been married for just over seventeen years now. And in the first six years of our marriage we moved from Erie to Boardman, Ohio, from Boardman to Columbus, once within Columbus, from Columbus to Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and from Coatesville to Pittsburgh. If I have learned anything it's that moving requires a lot of work, planning, and purging. And getting into our promised lands will be no different.

When we think about all the people that had to die in the wilderness because they refused to trust God, we certainly don't want to be counted among them. We have a good land that God wants to give each of us, a sweet spot we are meant to live out the full life Jesus died to give. I'm tired of being dizzy circling the hill country. Let's stop wandering and turn north and take up residence where God has been intending us to dwell, not settle.

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