Back on Track
Life has a way of becoming derailed from what God has planned for you. Sometimes this occurs due to innocent choices you make, thinking they are for good reasons but really are just a distraction. Other times you become derailed because of sin(s) in your life. In Deuteronomy 1:1-8, Moses gives a series of reminders to help the people of Israel know of God’s guidance on how to get back on track. Moses accomplishes this through three reminders: 1) the consequence of unbelief in God 2) that God is the God of progress 3) God’s mission for your life.
Unbelief has consequences, but faith has its rewards. Unbelief wastes times, energy, manpower. Worst of all, it robs God of the glory due His name. Unbelief in God does not limit God’s power, it limits your ability to do what it is that God has called you to do. Verse 2 tells us what should have taken the nation of Israel 11 days to accomplish, took the Israelites 40 years of wandering. They were on the doorstep of entering the promised land that God had foretold, yet they were riled with unbelief. That unbelief cost a full generation of people and some 24,000 people (see Numbers 25:1-13) their lives. Moses is telling the Israelites then and us today that we lower our standards and miss out on what God has in store for us when we live in unbelief and do not stand on the promises He gave us.
Too often, people think that God is restricting; a God of rules and regulations that are impossible to follow. His standards are too high and that He is holding us back. Notice though that verses 7 and 8 are verses of action. The people of Israel have been at Mt. Sinai long enough, they need to break camp and advance! Psalm 18:29, Philippians 2:12-13, 1 Timothy 4:11-15, all give other examples where God is calling his people to not be stagnant, but to move. God is most pleased with us when we are active in our desires to follow and obey his commands. God wants us to be a people of God who are moving toward/with Him. Whether it is growth through physically doing something or obtaining knowledge by reading and studying His word, God is pleased when we move towards him.
The last reminder that Moses gives us is that He has a mission for our life. For the Israelites, they were to take possession of the land that was promised generations before them. Moses was pointing out that the mission before them was not about them specifically, but about them fulfilling God’s mission. In many ways, men/fathers need this reminding all too often. Many men feel that their #1 mission for their lives is to either have a great career, or get married, or have children, or have success. However, this is not God’s mission for his people. His mission is for us to obey Him and to give Him the glory. We need to have a clear understanding (and sometimes a gentle reminder) of what our individual mission for our lives are.
The mission of God is not always easy. It usually requires work, effort, time and energy. It requires dependence upon God. In order to live out the mission that God has, you may have to fight giants or attack walled cities, but God will be with you every step of the way.