Here are a few words in the old book of Deuteronomy that we need to dust off and look at again.
See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deut. 1:21, NIV
Israel is at the threshold of entering the Promised Land. Moses is fearful—not of the struggles awaiting them on the other side of the Jordan. Moses is afraid of the spirit—the soul—of the people who are to “go up and take possession” of this gift of God. The words Moses uses in Deut. 1:21 are the words he spoke to the previous generation some 40 years before. The twelve spies went into the land and came back with this report: “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good… it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. BUT…” (Numbers 14:7; 13:27-28, NIV). So they didn’t go up and take the land. They cried instead, “Where can we go?” (Deut. 1:26-28, NIV). Would the kids and grandkids do the same? That’s what kept Moses awake at night.
Maybe you have a “promised land” out there in front of you; a vision of a place God wants you to be, a life He wants you to live. There are three things to remember if you want to possess that promised land.
1. Keep the vision in front of you. Write it out and post where you constantly see it. We are so prone to forget where we are going, so we lose our way. In the Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, an experienced tempter in the ranks of the devil says, “It is funny how mortals always picture us putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” Grab ahold of that vision and remember who is sending you.
2. Resist the attraction of the wilderness. Don’t go savage! The jungle waits like a beast to spring upon our careless moments. Fight everyday for that vision God has for you lest you become just another sad example of “it might have been.” The life God has given you is worthy of whatever sacrifice is needed. If you don’t fight, the end is in sight.
3. Embrace the promise of God’s help. The Lord does not ask you to fight alone. He has given you the vision, go up and take possession of it. “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you…” (Deut. 1:30, NIV). He is the Good Shepherd whose rod and staff scatters the evil before us, and who prepares a table for us even in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23:4-5).
Peter got it right this time. When Jesus was wondering if His closest friends would desert Him, Peter, in a great moment of insight, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68, NIV).
You have the vision; go get it.