Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why hard times come before the blessing of His promises - Day 22: Thirty Day Meditations to Abundant Life!

Imagine living a life where you didn't have to work or lift a finger to do anything. Your food, clothing, shelter, health... all was laid at your feet. Many people die for this... and many actually have died for this! But this was the life of the ancient Israelites before they entered the land of God's promise to them. They had manna for food everyday and never needed to plant a single crop or till the earth; they had water in the desert and had no need to dig wells or build dams; even the sandals on their feet were miraculously held together. It literally was a life of ease and, by an objective comparison, a much needed rest from their almost cauterized existence of a life in Egypt were they slaved as forced laborers for generations. But their desert days weren't meant to last for forty years. They were meant to rebuild their trust and confidence in God for only a brief, transitory time.

Courtesy of Flickr-Stefan Soderstrom (modified by DR)
I was a welfare Christian once. I felt like those ancient Israelites in the desert - only this welfare state didn't last 40 years for me and as it should , it did not last long. Everything in my life was easy and effortless. Now was this Grace? Sure it was. But God had something deeper for me. Just as He has for you too.

The moment the Israelites crossed the Jordan into their promised land that state of ease ceased... they entered the land of milk and honey, flowing rivers, little hills, green pastures and all the good of the earth and sky. This was no barren desert... it was Eden! But they had to till the earth and sow their seed and harvest their crops, they had to dig wells and irrigate their lands and burn the thorns, they had to make their homes with hard stone and iron and plant orchards and water gardens and conquer wicked nations who stood in their way. It wasn't easy, it wasn't effortless and it certainly wasn't without sweat, blood or tears. But it was the promised land.

When you find yourself stepping out of your welfare Christian state of being - it is a good time! God sees that you are ready for the real life that will bless many. A life of promise and blessing. But it is not a life of ease and welfare, and the comforts of the world. Now don't fret and don't think that God has abandoned you. I was expecting to be blessed right away after crossing my Jordan into my Promised Land. Instead, obstacles, mountains, walls and thorns, briers and fire met me in my way. Needless to say, it bought confusion, despair and hopelessness to my heart many, many times. I also began to experience an anger at God that I never did before. I also became real and emerged far stronger than I ever was.

Maybe you're still in the deserts of ease and mediocrity on the other side of the Jordan and perhaps your time to cross into the land is coming. Or you're already there and you're baffled by the fiery trials to beset you. Even if you give up, I've got something to tell you... He'll never give up on you. You being where you are, is one of God's greatest affirmations to you. You are His chosen vessel for His chosen work. And all this you are facing... that is Him saying, "My Son, in whom I am well pleased. Be strong and courageous! I am with you and will always be. But as for you... you can do it. I know you can."

You might want to say this outloud...

I still press on. I still fight. I still race. God has told me this is my land and I will have it no other way. God has told me to be strong and courageous and none shall be able to stand against me. I may falter and fail and fall along the way, but I rise and will rise again and again. This is my inheritance, His will and there is nothing here or anywhere and nothing that can ever happen that will ever, ever separate me one inch from the love of God. I am made in His image, holy, righteous and am above and not below. I am who I am by His grace and He loves me and gave Himself for me. So I will go on and I shall overcome in the Name above every Name - Jesus. So be it!

Check out Day 21 here - Rise Again!

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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