Unfamiliar Land

Why is Israel’s history important to us today? Its because the Israelites in the wilderness are our example! The Congregation in the wilderness is prophetic of the Congregation of Believers, and they serve as examples to us as we process the ways of God among His People (1 Cor 10:11).

The Holy Spirit wants to prepare us and make us ready to enter into our spiritual inheritance… Our Promised Land!

We learn from the Israelites that when the Glory begins to move in a new direction, we too must be prepared to move or we will face being left behind. As we continue the uncharted journey toward the Promised Land, we are learning to listen and watch the Holy Spirit. In responding to the leadership of the Holy Spirit; we see as the Israelites, that to move into unfamiliar land requires attentive hearts. This is partly what Jesus referred to when He said, “My sheep know My voice… and they follow Me” (Jn 10:27)(Lk 4:1)(Rom 8:14).

We have not been there before!

It is interesting to me to make note of how Joshua spoke to the journeying congregation in the wilderness. He tells them to keep some space between themselves and the Ark of the Covenant, “that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before” (Josh 3:4).

It would seem to me that the closer you followed, the better; but Joshua emphasizes the distance as a valuable cushion for observing more clearly the way into Promised Land. No question, things can be seen more clearly at times from a little distance, but in this case you would wonder, why? what was Joshua’s reasoning?

New things require new approaches!

Joshua wanted the people to realize that perhaps their experience up to this point was too limited to understand how the pace would change or the environment would surprise them. Remember they needed to cross the Jordan River at flood stage and the previous experience at the Red Sea was a difficult challenge to their faith. It turned out pretty well, but could have started with a lot less conflict if they had honored the leading of God.

I’ve seen it time and time again that the “New” direction of the Glory of God gets cast aside, because the people couldn’t see clearly and move in faith. They felt the need to wrap their mind around all that was going on, so by reasoning things out, they stepped into a position that was too close for perspective. New things often require new perspective… some distance. Sometimes things do not fit with what many had been taught and if we disagree with what we see, our conclusions can lead us into error.

Heaven is by invitation, not negotiation!

 We later see in the Book of Revelation that those who overcome all things are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were undefiled by poor choices and they were redeemed as first fruits to God. In their mouth was found no guile, for they were without fault before the Throne of God (Rev 14:4-5). They sang the New Song in the Glory of Heaven, because they had learned how to follow at a proper distance on Earth. I want to find myself singing along; as a follower of the Glory into unfamiliar lands. I have aimed to walk in honor and hear His still small voice. You see, my hope is not to just make Heaven, but to find God’s heartbeat along the way.

Leave a Reply