I Want My Promised Land.
Since I was young, I’ve known the account of the Israelites. My mighty Savior delivered their entire people group from captivity in Egypt. He promised He would give them a new land to make their home. It wouldn’t be any ordinary land. It would be a land flowing with milk and honey; a land more wonderful than anything they had experienced. When they arrived at their promised land, they got scared. They listened to reports of giants that occupied the land. Instead of trusting that the Lord would fulfill His promise to care for them and establish their incredible new home, they let fear control them refusing to enter the land. Because of their lack of faith, the Lord made them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. No one from that generation ever entered the promise land.
I’ve always passed judgement on the Israelites. How could they be so faithless? They just witnessed miracle after miracle on their behalf. God parted the Red Sea to rescue them from slavery, yet they couldn’t trust Him to give them a home. Psalm 106:24-25 says of the Israelites, “The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord.”
Oh how I wish I could say I’m nothing like the Israelites. I’m realizing I’ve been just like them since July of last year (2017) when we began this process of moving to Malawi. Yes, in action I have been obedient. I have done everything I should to make this move possible. I’ve even sold our furniture and moved into a furnished apartment. However, my heart has been far from obedient. My heart has not been surrendered. Like Psalm 106 says, I have been refusing to enter the pleasant land, for the exact same reason it says the Israelites refused. I won’t believe His promise to care for me. I won’t believe that Malawi is going to be a pleasant land for us.
I’m tired of unbelief. I’m tired of running. I’m tired of refusing to obey. The Israelites were sentenced to wandering the desert for forty years, because of their unbelief and disobedience. I deserve a fate just as severe. Thankfully, that same God who gave the promised land to the Israelites is merciful to me as well. He wants me to experience the joy of trusting Him to provide a home for our family. More than that, He wants me to know that even if He doesn’t establish a “pleasant land” for us, He is enough. Psalm 16:5-6,11 says, “Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Christ alone is my inheritance and blessing. Not the family we are leaving behind, the friends we’re leaving, the church we’re leaving or the home we have already left. Christ is my inheritance. Anything else He chooses to give me is just extra.
So I’m asking the Holy Spirit to change my perspective. I want my Promised Land. I don’t want to miss it because I don’t believe it will actually be “pleasant”. I do not want to be so busy internally running the opposite direction that I don’t even know the joy I’m missing. I wish I could say this would be an easy and immediate switch for me. I know it will take work. It will take a “renewal of my mind” as Romans 12:2 says. It’s going to take earnestly seeking God through prayer and scripture, committing the truth of His promises to memory and choosing to focus on His promise rather than my giants of unbelief. So I’m asking you to join me (Merribrooke) in prayer. Pray that I will see Malawi as a pleasant land flowing with milk and honey, not a land filled with giants. Our God is faithful and I want to choose to trust Him everyday, big and small. He alone is my inheritance.