I’ve lived in a few “lands” in my life–the Dominican Republic, Arizona, California, Illinois, and now Kentucky. I’ve heard Spanish . . . and Southern drawl. I’ve lived in lush tropics . . . and in the desert. I’ve enjoyed beaches . . . and snow. No two of these places are alike.
Just like the two places I am thinking of today: the land of Barely Enough and the Land of More Than Enough.
You can see a really good example of these opposite “countries” in the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to what became The Holy Land. The Lord delivered them miraculously from slavery in Egypt. He led them through a wilderness area to Mt. Sinai, where they stopped and built the Tabernacle of worship. Within months (a year or two) they could have entered the Promised Land, but they were not ready. So they wandered in the wilderness for forty more years, until all the older generation had died.
Why were they not ready to take possession of the Promised Land? They didn’t trust God when he said he would go before them to give them the victory over their enemies.*
Now, God cared for his people–even when they did not trust him. During the years of wandering in the wilderness, he miraculously provided manna for those millions of people to eat. He also (according to Moses) kept their garments from wearing out and their feel from swelling (Deuteronomy 8:4). Daily miracles of provision for forty years! But the desert was the Land of Barely Enough.
They could have been in the Land of More Than Enough “a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper” (Deuteronomy 8:7-9).
Two of the original adult generation–Caleb and Joshua–made it to the Promised Land. They knew God would do what he said. They believed. And it happened for them–in spite of the doubters around them.
Do Christians around you say things like:
“Ask God for what you need but don’t expect him to give you what you want.”
“I’m only human. I can’t live the way the Bible says.”
“I’m just not very spiritual. I don’t know what God wants, so I’ll have to decide by myself.”
“God only heals once in a while.”
“It is not spiritual to want to be comfortably well off and have plenty to share with those in need.”
“God only calls a few, extraordinary people to do great things.”
“Until they get to heaven, Christians have to put up with everything the world dishes out. Strong Christians don’t expect God to protect them. He wouldn’t anyway. He just gives you grace to endure.” *
Maybe “the masses” of well-meaning Christians are saying these things, but what what does God say? (Did you click on the link in each statement to see?)
Are you content to live in the Land of Barely Enough–barely enough grace, barely enough well-being, barely enough protection, barely enough provision, and barely enough fruitfulness? You don’t have to! Study the Bible, take God at his word, and step into the Promised Land. Be like Joshua and Caleb–hold out for God’s full purpose and destiny for your life. And–like Joshua and Caleb–as you step into it, take all your family and friends with you.
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9 MSG).
*Christians do suffer persecution and challenges for the sake of the gospel. And God gives great, supernatural grace for that. But, otherwise, God blesses and protects them.