Whatcha Lookin’ At?
Numbers 11:4b-5 …so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Numbers 13:27-29 Then [the spies] told [Moses], and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.
God has given us promises–some corporate, and some personal. Every day, week, month and year, He is calling us forward. He is extending His kingdom through us and transforming us into the image of His Son—or at least that is His will.
The “experts” tell us that we often experience change as loss. They’re right. When the Lord is moving us forward, we are often stymied by the same things the ancient Israelites were. We can become fixated on the things we rosily remember about our past, when things were “easier” or “simpler,” or at least we remember things as being clearer. Pressing into God can mean pressing into mental confusion and emotional disturbance at times, and as we grow, we can want to avoid such discomforts. That results in a revisionist view of the past that is only partly accurate, and usually leaves out the details that made it something we wanted to move on from.
The Israelites saw giants in the land on their spy mission, calling them “strong” and “very large,” and therefore fell into the enemy’s trap of believing that the Promised Land was one “that devours its inhabitants.” Caleb simply said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” He wasn’t looking at yesterday’s provisions (in Egypt), which were from God but only for that time. He wasn’t just looking at the challenges ahead. He was also considering something bigger than the giants: God’s promise to give them the land. Yes, they were going to have to fight. But if God promised them the land, then He had the plan, the grace, and the power to make it all happen.
So whatcha lookin’ at right now? Are your eyes on yesterday? That was then; this is now. And God is over all of it. What about the challenges ahead? They may be quite real, and some may be sizeable. But if God is leading, then He knows the challenges and how to move around them or through them. After all, the Israelites weren’t just entering into their inheritance; God was also using them to bring judgment to ungodly peoples. He had more than one reason for leading them as He did. And He has many for leading us as He does. So let’s take our eyes off the past and off the obstacles before us, and let’s put our eyes on Him. He’s well aware of the obstacles, and He is the only One with wisdom for how to best move ahead.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for when I get lost in lamenting “the good ol’ days.” Help me to live in the present, allowing You to guide me by Your wisdom into my future. Thank You that You have the plan, and that I can do all things You lead me to do through Christ who strengthens me.