Most of us are familiar with the story in the bible when God used Moses to lead the Israelite’s out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. It wasn’t an easy journey. In fact, it was difficult in many ways. It required much faith and many trials along their way before they ever got to their destination. It was a forty year journey, when it should have taken eleven days! Now, you think things are moving slow for you!! It could always be worse!
What do you think it was that prolonged their journey so long? The bible said it was because of their grumbling, murmuring and complaining. They fought with their relatives. They weren’t thankful no matter what God did to please them. They turned away from him and worshiped idols. Many of them died along the way. This was never God’s plan from the very beginning, but because of their rebellion and their poor choices, they couldn’t move forward.
In the fortieth year, (can you imagine that?!), Moses proclaimed to the Israelite’s all that the Lord had commanded him, concerning them. (Deuteronomy 1: 6-8) He told them, The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers- to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to their descendants after them.
As I think over this, it seems to be a recurring problem for many of us, still, even to this day. So many of us aren’t moving forward at all. We have been going around the same mountain year after year; sometimes, more than forty years! Some of the things we face today are fear, negativity, anger, stubbornness, pride, past mistakes, bad attitudes, and the list could go on and on………
The wilderness is not a fun place to be. It’s lonely and dry there. It’s a barren place. There is a weariness there. It’s a place of unrest and a thirst that cannot be quenched. It’s a place of feeling hopeless and bone weary tired.
Does this describe the place you are in today? Well, if it does, I want to urge you to exchange your wilderness journey for the mountaintop experience. Are you afraid to try again? Have you become comfortable in this stagnant place, or are you ready to soar high above all of the madness and take possession of your Promised Land? Are you tired of that pit of despair? Have you made some past mistakes? Learn from them, but now is not the time to remember them. Instead, wrap them all up and lay them down. You’ve stayed too long here. Let go of the ashes. Yes, it’s a long and arduous journey. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but, oh so worth it! I will warn you; You have to go through the wilderness and the valley before you will reach the top of the mountain. It’s steep and definitely an uphill climb. You will get tired. It’s okay to stop and rest awhile. Rest is necessary, but only to renew your strength to start again. Once you gain your footing, and you get your second wind, take a deep breath and start again. Climb a little higher one step at a time. It’s hard to believe when your feet get tired and you feel like you are losing your footing, but you are making progress!
Keep pressing on. Today, I just want to tell some of you that you have stayed too long at this mountain. It’s time to move on. Never be content with the crumbs again. You are moving into a new fullness of life; a new passion! A new joy! From now on, you will be always growing, and changing for the better. This is your destiny that God has prepared for you since the day you were born. You are going to shine forth as gold and your days will grow brighter and brighter. Learn to hope again, and to love again. You are blessed. Enter into the rest that God has prepared for you from the beginning of time. You have a new exciting future full of new possibilities that are larger than life. Let your faith rise up from deep down inside. God will be brave for you until bravery become a part of who you are. You will find a new hope. Turn your face towards the sunrise and to a God who is all you need for everything that concerns you. No matter what the problem, He, alone, is the answer. Never lose sight of Him. Let Him hold your hand and lead you higher and higher. If you are afraid of falling, He will catch you and you will learn to fly.
One last word; Don’t look back. The view is beautiful from the top!