Friday, October 30, 2015

i am my own worst enemy

If there's one thing I remember from my class on Old Testament history, it's that the Israelites were stuck in the wilderness for ages. Generations, actually (and literally).

They kept doing things that God told them not to do: worshiping false gods, marrying pagan wives, and giving up on the Lord. (They also did a good deal of doubting and complaining, which didn't help get them into the promised land any sooner, either.)

So for forty years, they wandered about the wilderness, around and outside of the good land God had promised them.

When I read about these rebels freshman year, I shook my head. All they had to do was obey God and the promised land was theirs. It was that simple, hello.

Oh, my naive freshman mind. It's never that simple, is it?

Two kids in, re-reading Deuteronomy, I got caught up in this story because
   God only lets the obedient enter the promised land;
   the disobedient wander around in the wilderness; and
   God demands all of us, not just most of, some of, or a little bit, of us.

All of us. Nothing else makes the cut.

I've been dreaming of the promised land (who doesn't?!) but am currently stuck kicking at rocks in the wilderness--because I'm struggling to love God more than I love my family.

"The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the and that the Lord swore to give to your fathers" (Deut. 8:1; emphasis mine).

God's calling us to dream big. Don't just live, multiply. Don't just enter this land, possess it.

But read the fine print, friends: It's all or nothing. It's putting God first or settling for less than the promised land.

I love sight-seeing as much as the next nature fanatic, but there's something inside each of us that needs a place to call home. That little void inside of us also knows when it's truly home, not in some makeshift tent on the ride of the road.
Put God first or settle for less. [tweet]

Reach with me, friends. Reach for the promised land. Reach for a life overflowing with milk and honey. We don't have to reach perfectly. We just have to reach.

"Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways" (Ps. 119:37 ESV).