We often take for granted that God will always give us the opportunity to take the land for him in our lifetime. Ironically this concept falls short of what is often reflected in the stories of God’s people of old found in the bible. Man’s concept of time is often overruled by God’s concept.
I am increasingly aware of this as a leader of a small congregation of God’s people here in the bustling town of Rugby. The business of life often means that we can put on hold the things of God because of other priorities that demand our attention. This is often reflected in times of prayer and other opportunities we have to meet with God’s people for the furthering of his Kingdom.
I have to confess that managing disappointment becomes a daily task and the voices of encouragement can at times seem muted. The process of treading water can appear tedious till an opening can suddenly appear on the horizon a chance to make it count. An opportunity to take the Land the Lord has promised.
Only to find that not everybody’s head is in the game, or motives are questioned, or people don’t simply get what all the fuss is about. Leaders can sometimes even be the cork that prevents the process. If you ever feel in this position don’t worry you are in good company, Moses, Joshua and Caleb to name a few felt the same pressure.
In Numbers, we read that God had instructed his people to go and take the Land that he had promised. Moses told 12 spies’ leaders of the tribes to go and spy out the Land and bring a report to the people. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who believed that the Land could be taken. The other ten spread rumours or the truth about the impossibility of the task and turned the people against Joshua, Caleb.
The people seek to stone Joshua and Caleb for defending God’s plan. At that moment the Glory of the Lord appears at the camp. Moses asks the Lord and encounters his frustration with the people’s disobedience. Moses has the anger of the people to bear and the anger of the Lord. He becomes the peacemaker between the two and without his intervention, the people of Israel would have been wiped out. Yet God still disciplines them for not taking the advantage to take the land. He closes the window of opportunity to them.
How do they respond do they repent and ask for forgiveness? No the very thing they said was impossible they try to claim the inheritance for themselves in their own strength. The result was their own death and destruction. They were right it was impossible for them to take the Land, they needed God on their side. They needed to listen to the prophetic voice and respond when God called them to. Their inability to hear to the voice of God meant that only those who advocated for the God’s voice were able to take the Land.
When God gives you a window of opportunity, do not fail to respond to his promptings. If you miss the opportunity, do not try to recreate that opportunity in your own strength. Learn to be satisfied with God’s decisions for your life and don’t let your own plans get in the way of his.