Do you want to possess everything the Lord has for you?
The other day, I was reading Deuteronomy 10:11-22 and saw how the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land compares to our daily journey as Christians.
Our health journey is worth it, but not likely for the reason you think it is!
The Lord spoke the following deliverance instruction to Moses:
Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, begin your journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.’– Deuteronomy 10:11
The following action words stood out to me in this instruction:
- Go in
We too have a Promised Land that we are destined to reach.
However we will encounter many obstacles along the way. Count on it.
So let’s learn 4 principles from the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Lord to apply so we can finish well in the Lord!
The first instruction the Lord gave to Moses for the Israelites was to “Arise.” Arise means to:
• Get up again
• Acknowledge your source
• Come to attention
Proverbs 24:16 says,
For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
When we fall down, we are never meant to stay down!
The Israelites made many mistakes on their journey. However, remaining stuck was not an option.
As God’s people, we may fall but with God’s help, we rise! We learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward, following God’s word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
The word “arise” also means to acknowledge God as our source. He is first in all things because He is the source of our lives and the length of our days.
Finally, “arise” means to come to attention. On our Christian journey, we are called to diligence, which means to pay consistent and careful attention each day.
Our goal is to see life the way God sees it, make His priorities our priorities, and act with Godly character through the Holy Spirit’s power.
In this way, we make our paths straight, do our part to impact the world for God’s kingdom, and finish our journey well.
In the Take Back Your Temple program, we call our process “A.R.I.S.E” because it signals our commitment to leave the place where we are and take the journey to obtain God’s best for us!
Ever heard the saying, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest; a body in motion tends to stay in motion”?
The hardest action we take each day is to move from rest to motion.
Why? Because action takes energy!
But guess what? It also takes energy to sit still when the Lord calls you to take action. Inaction in those cases arise from “mental resistance.”
Think of mental resistance as futile as sitting in a high performance race car with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake.
All you are doing is making a bunch of noise but not going anywhere!
In Deuteronomy 10:16-21 the Israelites are told:
Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.”
After Moses exhorts the Israelites to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts and soften their necks (as one who respects the Lord’s leadership and willing to go where He leads them), Moses then makes the case for the Lord’s character as worthy of their trust.
Moses declares the Lord is:
- God of gods
- Lord of lords
- Shows no partiality nor takes a bribe
- Administers justice for the fatherless and the widow
- Loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing
- One who has done great and awesome things before their eyes
Does God sound like One worthy of trust? Yes!
As He was to them, so He is to us. He is our Praise and our God.
So when we “begin” according to the Lord’s direction, we demonstrate confidence that our great and awesome God will bring us to the place He desires for us!
Ah, so now the Israelites are taking action! They have started the journey to the Promised Land.
However, not too long after they started the journey, the Egyptian army came after them.
It seemed an impossible situation; the Israelites had the Red Sea in front of them and could not move forward; they had the Egyptian army behind them so it would be unwise to go back.
The people complained to Moses that it would have been better for them to stay in slavery in Egypt. However, Moses quieted them:
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”– Exodus 14:12-14
Many times when we face obstacles, fear comes calling right behind it. However, Moses instructed the people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
The instruction exhorted them to direct their focus to the Lord and off of the thing of which they were afraid. He gave them confidence that the Lord would fight for them.
Their job was to hold their peace.
On our journey, peace is precious! Peace keeps us emotionally stable, which enables us to do what is best, not just what is easiest in the moment.
The Lord makes us a promise:
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”– Isaiah 26:3
As Moses faced the Red Sea ahead of Himself and the people, the Lord had a word for Moses:
And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”– Exodus 14:15-16
What if Moses had refused to do what the Lord told him to do?
The Egyptians likely would have caught up with the Israelites and hauled them all back to slavery. Their conditions would have been worse than they were before!
Instead, Moses took the wise action; he obeyed God and raised his standard against the obstacle. Because Moses raised his rod (standard), the Red Sea divided before them so they could all walk forward.
Which one will we take? Several times each day, we receive opportunities to make the choice.
After the Red Sea obstacle, you would think that the Israelites would be done facing enemies. But no – the Lord warned the Israelites that enemies occupied the land He was giving them.
Their job was to dispossess the enemies and take what belonged to them. Not an easy thing to do in the natural!
The rules of engagement in possessing the land were similar to the “go in” phase. However, the fighting would be up close, intense, and prolonged.
During those times, it was even more important that the Israelites believed that the land belonged to them. If they did not, they would decide the fight was not worth it, and run away! One author defined F.E.A.R. as Forget, Everything, and Run.
However, with conviction comes commitment. Commitment helps you stay in the battle, even during those moments when it is up close, intense, and prolonged!
Finishing Well in the Lord
On our Christian journey, Jesus said that we too would face difficulties:
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.– Matthew 7:14
We know that Jesus Himself is the way, the truth, and the life. The way is difficult because we must face principalities and powers from the enemy, plus subdue our own flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God gave us His Spirit to change our hearts (focus on His love, goodness, faithfulness, and justice daily to circumcise our hearts and soften our necks); He gave us His word to change our minds.
On the journey, we grow to see life and situations as the Lord sees them. In this way, we can handle life situations as He would. His perfect love casts out fear.
On the journey, the Lord walks with us so that we grow to know Him more. In this way, we have life in abundance!
The reason our health journey is worth it is not just for the physical results, although they are valuable and enjoyable.
The journey is worth it because of who we become along the way. Our character is transformed into the image of Jesus from glory to glory and faith to faith.
Overcoming obstacles and enemies makes our faith battle-tested!
We are headed toward the Heavenly country the Lord has prepared for us. We are in a long line of faithful people who journeyed through life with the Lord’s promise ahead of them:
And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”– Hebrews 11:15-16
Even as we face daily life struggles, never forget the big picture of life.
We have a blessed Heavenly country waiting on us. That prize makes facing the daily battles worth it!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with eating too much sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge (inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss success.