As Israel’s leader, there where many times Moses spoke to God’s people. This is one of them. Deu 6:3 “Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.”
God was preparing to move them from a “temporary place” into a “better place.” He had led them out of a bad place. Isn’t that just like a loving God and Heavenly Father? He always wants to bring us into a better place.
You know what’s really sad? They didn’t make it to their better place. You know why? Because they were afraid. They were afraid that God might not do what He promised them. They focused on the fear of not knowing where they were going while constantly remembering the awful place they had been. These fears stole their trust and love of God and eroded their faith in what He promised them. Faith in what God says and promises is necessary and critical to protect in our life. We learn that from Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Even though they had seen God work in the most miraculous of ways, they allowed fear to dominate their thinking and cloud God’s promises right out of their life.
You might think, “I would never be like that.” The truth is, unless you understand and firmly believe that God wants to bring YOU into a better place, you are like them. If you are trusting in YOUR ability to get you to a better place, then you’re like them. As soon as your ability can’t get you further, you’ll panic in fear. Unless you know your covenant with God and have absolute faith that God wants to bring you into a better place – unless you are believing for God to bring you into that better place, then you are like them.
Joshua and Caleb had every expectation that God would keep His promises to them about a better life. Not so for their peer leaders. They were not rooted in that kind of faith at all. When they went ahead to check out the land they would bring the rest of the people into, they saw all the enemies and obstacles present before them. They slipped into fear and unbelief and let fear paint could their mind and their words. Their words matched their fear and they began to speak “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Num 14:2-3 NIV)
Joshua and Caleb tried to silence the spoken fears of their contemporaries. They told them to be quiet and then told them God wanted them to go forward into His promise. So who eventually ended up with their promises from God fulfilled? Joshua and Caleb – the ones who believed. Who didn’t? The ones who feared and did not trust God.
God wants to bring you into a better place. What is a better place? You tell me. If you were once spiritually bankrupt and now you know that Jesus loves you, is that a better place? It is to me! If you were going to Hell but now you are going to Heaven is that a better place? It is to me! If you use to live like the devil and now you live for God, is that a better place? It is to me!
He has brought me into the life I feel passionate about – a life living in His ways! That’s better! I use to influence people toward all the wrong things but now influence a great many for God. That’s better! He has delivered me from myself and taught me how to love the most wonderful wife in the world. That’s better! He has given me four beautiful children and five grandchildren that all love God. That’s better! He has given me increased resources to manage my life and influence others for God. That’s better! He’s given me the best church and people to serve of any congregation anywhere! That’s better! He has blessed me to be a blessing! Everything in my life is better than what it was and it just keeps on getting better. It’s supposed to.
God is a God of Covenant. As good as this covenant was with them back then, Jesus is the author of even a better covenant with us.
Hebrews 7:22 & 8:6 “…Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant… superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.”
I praise God for “the better place” He wants for you. Even if you are in a great place, He has a better place. The better place is not so you can just consume His goodness upon your own lust. To the contrary, it’s so you are equipped for every good work to touch those around you with His love! It’s so you can be a blessing.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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