Chapter 6 :: Recap/Review

So, the Israelites are ready to go into the Promised Land.  Moses sends 12 spies into the land and when they return, only two of the ten trust that God will give them the land.  The other ten rule, because that’s what happens, and they decide not to enter the land.  This lack of trust causes them to take a major detour…of 40 years.  This lack of trust was a picture of their bigger lack of trust.  God was not going to let this continue, so they wander until the unbelieving generation has died.  For 40 years, God protects them and readies them for the eventual entry into the Promised Land.  At the end of 40 years, Moses appoints Joshua (one of the two who believed) to lead the people.  Moses’ own disbelief keeps him from entering the land.  Now the people are ready to move forward.

Listening and trusting God when He prompts us to do something is more important than where we go.  God takes seriously the trust of his children.  When we find ourselves on a detour because of decisions we have made, we need to allow God to recalculate our course, set our sight on him.  It’s important to surround ourselves with people who are on the same coordinates as we are.  It’s important that our commitment to them, and their commitment to us, remains strong and focused.  God has a place he wants to take you.  Do you hear his voice?  Do you trust him when it doesn’t look like you should?

 

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One thought on “Chapter 6 :: Recap/Review

  1. I had one comment to make about the “It’s important to surround ourselves with people who are on the same coordinates as we are. It’s important that our commitment to them, and their commitment to us, remains strong and focused,” statement. It’s really not a comment but an excerpt from a book I read called “Waking the Dead” (smile Brad, you knew it was coming). Just some additional thoughts to ponder along this same vein of thinking, on how important our relationships are to our success in following Christ. Those we ally with will either help move us toward our goal of a shared life in Christ, or they will hinder us, just like the 10 kept the Israelites from entering the promised land.

    It Must Be Intimate
    Of course, small groups have become a part of the programming most churches offer their people. For the most part, they are disappointing and short-lived – by the very admission of those who try them. There are two reasons. One, you can’t just throw a random group of people together for a twelve week study of some kind, and expect them to become intimate allies. The sort of devotion we want and need takes place within a shared life. Over the years our fellowship goes camping together. We play together; help one another move; paint a room; find work. We throw great parties. We fight for each other, live in the Four Streams. This is how it was meant to be.

    I love this description of the early church: “All the believers were one in heart” (Acts 4:32 ). There is a camaraderie being expressed there, a bond, an esprit de corps. It means they all love the same thing, they all want the same thing, and they are bonded together to find it come hell or high water. And hell or high water will come, friends, and this will be the test of whether or not your band will make it: If you are one in heart. Judas betrayed the brothers because his heart was never really with them, just as Cipher betrays the company on the Nebuchadnezzar and as Boromir betrays the fellowship of the Ring. Good Lord – churches split over the size of the parking lot or the color of the carpet. Most churches are not “one in heart.”

    God is calling together little communities of the heart, to fight for one another and for the hearts of those who have not yet been set free. That camaraderie, that intimacy, that incredible impact by a few stouthearted souls – that is available. It is the Christian life as Jesus gave it to us. It is completely normal. (Waking The Dead ,193, 203 )

    Normal; what Christ intended, but maybe not so common. If you want this you will need to be prepared to fight for it and for each other, because the Evil One, as Peter says in 1 Peter, is like a roaring lion, seeking those he can devour. One in heart (set your mind on things above…)

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