I've been searching for a long time. Feeling as if I've been wandering in the wilderness (thankfully not 40 years). And yet, recently, I've hit upon an important decision about my life and everything has clicked into place. What was now restlessness is replaced with hopeful anticipation. You can say this is part two of my Promised Land post.
Is that what if felt like for the Israelites standing on the precipice of immense change. It is for this reason I decided to read Deuteronomy. It's a snapshot of my life right now.
Now let's hit pause:
Moses is not my favorite of the men in the bible. He comes off very blame-shifty. "But God it isn't my fault." Thankfully, there isn't a ton of that in Deuteronomy. While we're at it, the patriarchy and genocide is rampant. There were times I stopped reading to say WTF, God? That's a separate post for another time.
Deuteronomy hits on a central theme of stepping into your promise as God has declared it over your life. Some of us are still seeking it. Others know what it is but, like me, find yourself running from it. But in both instances, you're left feeling restless. It's the undercurrent in your life. Sure, things, people, and circumstances will distract you for a time - days, weeks, even years - but it's like a mosquito buzzing in your ear.
This book of the bible is all about preparing you for stepping into that promised land. It's a reflection of where you are and where you've been. It's a corrective calling your attention to where you've messed up and it reflects promise. It pivots around a basic and yet profound statement:
Trust and obey God
Trust that he's got you like he has before.
Obey what he tells you to do and when to do it.
Trust when it doesn't make sense.
Obey when you don't want to.
Trust when you're scared.
Obey even when it's hard.
And friends, it is hard. It's hard to recognize when there are limits to your power. That ultimately, it's in God's hands. It is hard when you want to do and God clearly says "no" or "wait."
But he doesn't leave you twisting in the wind. He validates his promise. It can come from any direction, any person, or circumstance. A reminder that he is here. My validations have come from people I know and strangers. To have a stranger speak to you exactly what God spoke to you and then that person float out of your life leaves you SHOOK.
To be clear, the promised land does not mean you won't have to do the work. God, through Moses, told them what lay ahead of them. The people they would encounter and overcome in order to gain what God promised.
My journey into the promised land, the fullness of God's promise, won't be easy but neither will yours. He makes no such promise. He does let you know that if you trust and obey him, he'll prepare your way. That nothing and no one will stand long against you.
But you've got to show up and do the work.