I have a friend who cannot wait. Literally, she cannot wait for the ending. She Googles movies before she watches them so she knows how it ends. She reads the end of the book first. She doesn’t like surprises. She wants to know when and where it will all happen. I was reminded of this while continuing my study in the Old Testament. I came to the part recently of the Israelites, ALMOST to the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 11 Moses is preparing them and reminding them of the laws and commands and words of the Lord. For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it, and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgements which I am setting before you today. Deuteronomy 11:31. I knew the outcome but still in reading those verses I was filled with the anticipation of it, and wondered if they felt that too. Was the air electric with praise and thanksgiving? Were they just beside themselves, so close they could taste it? Were they hasty and rushed and ready for it to hurry up and get here? Were they trying to look ahead and “google” the outcome? Twenty two chapters later, a new book began and finally in Joshua 3 they crossed the Jordan!! Even when I know the outcome, the promise, I can get impatient, instead of trusting what His perfect Word tells me. Not one of the good promises which the Lord has made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21:45.
God knows we will be tempted to turn away, to not trust whole heartedly 100% and that we can be tempted to worship other things in the waiting. Beware that your hearts are not deceived and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. Deuteronomy 11:16.. I can be tempted to worship the gods of “more”, “comfort”, and “now”. I want more spiritual growth quicker and faster. I want the comfort of knowing that family members will be saved. I want my circumstances to change now. There are things I am waiting on and in all of these areas of “the wait” I can see God using them to grow my trust, to prune and shape ugly things out of me, to reach and encourage others. He is delivering on His promises, in His perfect timing and His perfect way. Kingdom work is being done! Just as the Israelites were being taught to trust God all those years before the Promised Land, everything we are going through now is preparing us and others for our time with Him!!
One of the verses I love is short and simple and may just be a literal physical direction from God but to me it speaks of His perfect knowledge and sovereignty of when and where we need to do what and how. You have circled this mountain long enough, now turn north. Deuteronomy 2:3. Oh friends, I know some of you have been circling the same mountain, waiting. Fill your heart with all the many verses God speaks about the beauty of the wait. The trust He is growing, the longing for Him He is increasing, the humility that will be used to serve Him and His people, it is all good for us. For me, when I have a “NO LORD, NOT THIS, I DON’T WANT TO!!”moment, He leads me by His grace, to a place where I surrender and say “Yes Lord, I trust You.” That doesn’t always happen as immediately as I would like, but it is a promise He keeps. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:19. The covenant standard isn’t the law anymore but is faith and hope in Christ!!! When we have that we cannot fail, and God never leaves us! Serving the Lord with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things is the standard in Deuteronomy 28:47. The abundance of all things isn’t money or physical blessing it is an abundance of humility, abundance of peace, and abundance of righteousness. When we are waiting, when we are circling the mountain, and are serving with joy and gladness God is giving us those abundant riches spiritually on earth as we wait for the return of Christ and our complete sanctification. How GOOD of Him to grow us now, how LOVING of Him to give us circumstances to grow our trust and faith in Him so we can share it with others. Friends, I pray that you will be encouraged in the wait, and with great anticipation of what God has when He tells you it is time to turn north!