Deuteronomy is a great book in the bible. In the first few chapters, we find Moses leading and instructing the Israelite’s on their next mission as they finally begin the process of exiting the wilderness and entering their promised land. This is a crossing point many of us have experienced in our lives.
Here are a couple points Holy Spirit revealed to me on the topic of transitioning from the wait to your promise:
Know when to move
The wilderness and the promise are two different places, each with their own expectations of you. Before moving to your promised land, you must get out of the wilderness. The Israelite’s spent 40 years in the wilderness. I’m not implying that your wait will be 40 years, but I am suggesting that you can’t know when to move unless you’ve heard God’s direction on where to go and you can’t hear His direction unless you’ve waited long enough to know His voice. If you don’t wait on God’s direction in your life, you may very well spend 40 or more years in the wilderness seeking your own promised lands, and missing what God has for you.
In chapter 2, the Lord told Moses, “Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward” (Deuteronomy 2:2-3).
There are times we wait on God’s release and other times God is waiting for us to release our lives to Him. How many times have you found yourself in the same wilderness, the same situation, the same relationship, the same hurt, the same problems, etc.? God is telling you to MOVE! He has something greater for you but if we are too caught in our circumstances, and the voices inside our heads, we won’t hear His encouragement and direction, which is why we must turn northward, like the scripture says. We must keep our minds focused on things above, filled with thoughts of Christ. Then, if the Lord wills, we can move toward possessing our promised land with confidence. You’ll need confidence and the fear of the Lord where you’re going because the enemy wants to scare you out of pursuing and attaining what’s yours.
Prepare for Battle
An easy yet old technique the enemy uses to try to steer us away from receiving God’s promise over our lives is fear. If we believe every promise of God comes easy (because God is good), then we will equate adversity to something we should avoid at all costs. This is where discernment is extremely important. I pray for this gift everyday because although there’s opposition we are called to avoid (“resist the devil” James 4:7), not all opposition is evil.
Before the Israelites could possess their promised land, the Lord told them to, “Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle” (Deuteronomy 2:24).
Sometimes the beginning of adversity is the beginning of your promise. The journey to our promise isn’t always a journey of ease. People will speak against you. Friends will betray you. You may lose a lot and gain more struggles. Is that not what the Israelites experienced in the wilderness? How many times did they complain almost wanting to go back to bondage in Egypt because the waiting period was hard? Just look to Jesus, who experienced so much and saw the faithfulness of the Father. Battles build our character, preparing us for what’s ahead because when the Lord makes a promise, He fulfills it.
The land God calls you to possess… He possessed it first.
There will be times you must fight, but fighting doesn’t mean losing is an option. Why? The Lord has already paved your way.
“for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land” (Deuteronomy 2:30-31).
We can place our trust in the One who says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). The Lord knows your life because He created you. He wants you to have all He desires for you to have. He isn’t going to lead His sheep astray but only on the pathways He knows are safe. We have to have the kind of faith that doesn’t seek to define and filter the Lord’s word through our own comfort, but instead seeks to understand His goodness and obey His will. Sometimes safe may seem dangerous to us, but we must remember that our safety is defined by our presence in the hands of God. Trust in the Lord! When we do this, we’ll be blessed and our hearts will shape to desire His and His alone.
All is yours, except what isn’t.
We can’t have it all. In fact, I don’t want to have it all. I only want to have all of what God wants me to have. The Lord specifically laid boundaries for the Israelites regarding what belonged to them and what didn’t.
“From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us: Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad” (Deuteronomy 2:36-37).
The Lord forbids us to possess certain lands and if we are sensitive (and obedient) enough to His Holy Spirit, we will hear His command. This sounds very familiar. Adam and Eve were given specific commands regarding lands God wanted them to avoid and lands God wanted them to possess. However, by listening to the enemy, whose temptation made the forbidden lands seem…right, Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and suddenly their eyes opened and they became sinners, which leads me to the last point of revelation…
Don’t possess what’s not yours, or what’s not yours may possess you.
Too often our lives are changed because we are mislead. The enemy plans to tempt you out of your promise, always providing a counterfeit, always trying to offer you exactly what you want right at your feet, and always will be against the Word of God.
Don’t allow impatience, sinful curiosity, and selfishness to lead you to possess what isn’t yours. You could end up creating your own wilderness season, making decisions you shouldn’t make, developing relationships with people you shouldn’t be intimate with, going places you shouldn’t be, and doing things you shouldn’t do.
Sin was not supposed to be Adam and Eve’s story. The knowledge of good and evil were not supposed to be Adam and Eve’s burden and I don’t believe God intended man to be possessed with sin. But because of His goodness, and just like He possessed the land before the Israelites, God possessed our land before us, saving us from our sins and the sins of our fathers and our father’s fathers.
God has a land for you and it’s waiting for you as much as you’re waiting for it. He’s merciful and will always help you get there. Be wise in your journey. Listen to God and His promises will be fulfilled in your life.
So Basically, when pursuing the promises of God in your life,
• Know when to move
(You’ll know when He tells you)
• Prepare for battle
(Sometimes the first sight of adversity is the first sight of your promise!)
• The land God calls you to possess… He possessed it first.
(He knows the plans He has for you)
• All is yours, except what isn’t.
• Don’t possess what’s not yours, or what’s not yours may possess you.