So I read Deuteronomy chapter 1 and had to pause halfway through. It was words I had meditated upon many times before--places I had underlined and phrases I had circled. But today...
In this chapter Moses addressed the Israelites, reminding them of their rebellion. You see, the Israelites had been miraculously freed by God from slavery in Egypt. He led them out into the wilderness and gave them promise of the new land they would possess. When they reached the edge of the land they sent in spies to go "check things out." The spies returned and brought beautiful fruit from the land saying, "It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us."
But the people were terrified to go in because the spies had also reported that the inhabitants were "greater and taller" and that the cities were "fortified up to heaven." So the people "rebelled against the command of the Lord (their) God, and complained." At that point Moses tried to point them back to God's promises and ways, "Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you." Yet, they "did not believe;" and God's judgment fell.
God declared that none of that "evil generation" would enter His promised land--except for 2 who had faithfully trusted. So for 40 years the people were left in the wilderness until the elders died off. The scary thing was that the people, after hearing God's judgment, repented and got ready for war. But God said "No." He would not be with them. The consequences of their unbelief were to be carried through. Ouch.
So why did this stir in my spirit so strongly this Tuesday morning? Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Without faith it is impossible to please our Lord.
Our good God has given us many promises. He has given us as believers promises of the life to come. He has given us promises of abundant life today. He has given us promises that we are overcomers and conquerers in Christ. He has given us promises of His indwelling presence. He even gives more personal words of promise as you grow closer to Him and learn to hear His voice. Do you believe?
When faced with the circumstances of life where your enemy looks "greater and taller" than you, do you believe His promises? When standing next to the city you are to overtake, seemingly "fortified up to the heavens," do you believe His Word? Friend, if He has led you to a promised land, then He will fight for you. To live in a place of victory we must stand on His truth rather than the sinking sand of circumstance.
The sobering truth remains. If we do not believe, then He very well may discipline and take away His blessing. Wow. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Get to know Him intimately. Meditate on His Word and trust Him. When His directives seem impossible then ask Him to live it through you. We serve a gracious, good, loving God.