Saturday, February 08, 2014

Long Enough

“And the LORD spake unto me saying, Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.”Deuteronomy 2:2-3

Reading the Old Testament can be such a faith boost. The story of Israel's wandering in the wilderness for 40 years captures that spirit for me—how that God was with them and guiding them each day through the pillar of fire by night or of cloud by day.

“He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar”(99:7a).

“And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:36-38—Emphasis mine)

The story of Moses receiving God's Ten Commandments is another great example of God's divine direction—how God gave us His Law so that we may obey it and live the consequences of our obedience or disobedience to it. (Not for justification before God but for an unburdened conscience before Him along with a freedom to be in fellowship with Him.)

God also spoke through Moses, as was the case in the featured passage above. I love the clarity of direction in this passage. I love the phrase “long enough.” It's as if God is saying, My child, your trials, your journeys, are finished. You are now going to the next phase of your walk with Me. Oh, this phase, too, comes with its trials and battles, but this is the phase I have had for you all along. See, you are now going into the promised land. Despite your little faith, doubting the plan I had for you all along, I was always guiding you to this place in subtle and non-so-subtle ways. You may not have always had the sight to see it afar off, but nevertheless, your promised land was always there for you.

So it is when God speaks to me through my devotional Bible reading from His word with the teaching of His Holy Spirit, guiding me into all truth. It is as if I'm Israel with my own personal pillar of fire by night and of cloud by day, where He is guiding me to the right or left, but always into the direction I should go. When a verse strikes me in its clarity, I trust God is using that verse to guide and comfort me.

There were many years I had pined for a husband and of a family of my own. Upon giving my life to the Lord in my early twenties, God had planted that desire in me. Before then, I had it in my mind that I was going to be a career woman. I told myself I was allergic to men.

I believe getting married and having a family was God's promised land for me, but I had to wander in the wilderness for 14 years while I waited. During that time, God slowly changed my heart and made me ready to receive the man He had for me. God, in effect, at the end of my journey, had said I had been in my wilderness long enough!

So, dear reader, whatever your trial, whatever your waiting, whatever your journey, take comfort in the fact we have a God Who guides our steps along the way, many times despite our lack of faith in Him or despite our grumbling along the journey. He has a promised land He's leading you to. It may not be the promised land you were hoping for or expecting, but He wants you to trust Him that it is the promised land He has for you.

Someday, the promised land He has for all of us who call upon Him for salvation, will be Heaven, itself, where we will forever be in His presence. He will in effect say to all of His children, You have wandered long enough. It's time to come home.

View on Drive Home to Spokane from Seattle
(September 2007)

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