We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:39)
The land is inhospitable. There is no food and very little water. The days are searing hot and the nights are cold. The wind is unrelenting. It kicks up the dust and makes it hard to breathe. Vegetation is sparse. This is a wasteland. And yet, a sea of tents dots the terrain—thousands of little shelters stretching as far as the eye can see.
Why are these people—hundreds of thousands of them—here, in a land unfit for human life? Why would they choose to wander in this wilderness, day in and day out, walking in circles, around and around and around?
The journey should have taken eleven days. Less than two weeks. Instead, they have been here 14,600 days. Forty years. Far too long.
The land behind them is inhabited by slave-drivers, ruthless men with whips and loud voices. The land ahead of them is inhabited by savages, people with a reputation for fierceness. So these people cower in the wilderness, waiting for God to make a way out.
As they wait, they become more and more restless. They are angry. This isn’t at all how they imagined their lives would unfold. God has failed us, they think. It’s unfair. But what they don’t recognize is that God made a way out of the wilderness years ago. It was up to them to make the next move. Blessing, prosperity, and abundance was just a step of faith away. The promise is theirs and always has been. All they needed to do was reach out and lay hold of it.
These aren’t my original thoughts. I heard this in a sermon (http://www.elevationchurch.org/sermons/codeorangerevival/part2). But you see, as I listened to the message, something occurred to me. What if, all along, my promised land has been just a step of faith away?
Ten years ago, I had dreams. They were big dreams because I rarely dream small. If you could see the dreams that I had, you would have thought that I was crazy. But I believe that God whispered those dreams into my heart. I wrote them down in what I call my “Dream Book”.
When I open that book today, ten years later, I get restless. This isn’t at all how I imagined my life would unfold. Could it be that I’ve spent ten years waiting for God’s promises to come to me when, the entire time, it was up to me to reach out and lay hold of them?
I’ve allowed fear to keep me in the wilderness, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve never felt worthy of any sort of calling. So, like the Israelites, I cower in a wasteland, afraid of what lies behind and afraid of what lies ahead. Even as I write this, I can taste that fear. It’s a clear sign that I need to take my eyes off myself and my circumstances and instead fix them on my Saviour. Jesus is bigger than my past mistakes; He’s bigger than my current insecurities; and He’s bigger than any mountains I may face in the future. There is a world out there desperate to know Him. So it’s time to start doing the things that I know I need to do. I refuse to waste another ten years of my life. It’s up to me to make the next move.
What about you? Has God whispered dreams into your heart? What is keeping you in the wilderness? Could it be that the promised land, your destiny, is just a step of faith away?
The Bible says that God takes us “from glory to glory”. There will always be another land to conquer, another issue to overcome, more victories to win, a deeper level of freedom to be gained, more promises to be fulfilled. No matter where you are in your relationship with God, a greater destiny lies ahead. God will always whisper another, bigger dream into your heart.
So imagine what could happen if we dared to take a step! And then another. And then another. The world would never be the same again.