God’s Boot Camp (Part Two)
After a year or more of boot camp; God brought the Israelite’s to the Jordan River that borders their promise land. Here they waited for the twelve Israelite spies to return from their journey into Canaan. Moses had instructed the spies to bring back some of the fruit the land bore and tell the people of its great wealth. He didn’t tell them to include in their report; the size of the people who lived there, and of their great walled cities. But to a weak minded person; bad news is more important than good news and the Israelite’s were still a pretty weak people. Upon hearing this bad news; a great fear came upon them and they refused to enter the land God had promised them. God showed his disappointment in them by instructing Moses to turn them around and march them right back into the desert where they would stay until they learned to trust Him more fully. The desert training grounds of the Israelite’s was anything but an inviting place for God’s people to live, but they chose to return to the desert and live among the snakes and scorpions rather than take their promise land and enjoy the blessings God had given them.
Forty years later God brought the Israelite’s to the border of their promised land for a second time and gave them specific instructions. Keep your mouth shut! Don’t say a word! March around the city of Jericho once a day for six days, and on the seventh day you will march around it six times; and when I tell you to shout, you shall shout, and the walls of Jericho will fall down and you will gain a great victory. Can you imagine two million people not saying one single word for a whole week, but that is exactly what this second generation of Israelite’s did. Just one word from any person in the Israelite’s camp would have negated God’s plan for them to take Jericho. God demands complete obedience. Partial obedience doesn’t cut it with God. God has no part time warriors. It is all or nothing with God. The first generation of Israelite’s complained about big people and high walled cities and were sent back into the desert as a result of their negative talking. But, God had gotten the attention of the children of that first generation. They were tired of boot camp where they were just barely getting by on manna (bread) and water. They wanted the land God had for them, and they were determined to do whatever God asked of them. But before they would receive what He had in store for them, they had to stop talking until God gave them the command to shout. How many victories would our modern day church have under our belt by now if we had learned this simple lesson of not complaining and keeping our mouth shut during our crisis times?
King Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat the fruit of it.” That first generation of Israelite’s ate the fruit of their words. Do you hear me? They complained about everything, and God couldn’t bless them. He couldn’t fulfill His promises to them because of their unbelief and negative talk, and they died in the wilderness because they never came to the point where they completely trusted God to be their God despite all the miracles He had done for them when He delivered them from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, fed them manna in the desert, and made water come out of a flinty rock to quench their thirst. They were not free men in their minds even though they were not subject to any man. The bible says the Israelite’s saw themselves as little grasshoppers in their own sight. Small men with small minds and full of fear. To them God could never be bigger than their fear of the big people living in their promise land. However the second generation of Israelite’s had learned to control their fear and their mouths, and they received the promises their fathers rejected. So if you want to get out of that desert place in life you are presently living in; shut up! Even if you are fearful; speak only when God tells you to speak, and only say what He tells you to say, and you will receive His blessings just like this second generation of Israelite’s received their promised land.
The modern day church needs to read these next few words very carefully because we are just like that first generation of Israelite’s. We aren’t where God wants us to be and we are living way below the standard He desires for us live at. We are in the desert of life barely getting by when God wants us in the Promise Land where we become the light of the world and the life we live points the way for the lost to find Christ. God tells us in His Word, “We are healed by the stripes that Jesus bore.” That means we are healed of every disease known to man and any other disease that might not be known at this time whether we accept our healing or not. Christ became poor that we might prosper in this life.” He did not bring His heavenly wealth to earth with Him so He could live like a King. No, He chose to be born to poor parents so we could partake of His heavenly wealth while we live here on earth. And those who have learned to keep their mouth shut and do things God’s way prosper in God’s Kingdom and are a blessing to others. Those who live as the world lives, still seek out men to heal them, and go to banks to solve their financial problems. Christian listen up! Man does not have the answer to our problems, but God does. He wants to show us how we can live healthy, wealthy and wise in this lifetime. That first generation of unbelieving Israelite’s didn’t have a clue how they got to where they were, why they were in the pickle they were in, where they were going, or what they were going to do when they got there; but God did. They thought God was mad at them and was withholding His Promised Land from them. God wasn’t mad at them. He wanted them living in the Promise Land more than they wanted to be there. He wanted them to be the Light of the World, but they chose to live in the desert wasteland of life. God just wanted the Israelite’s to shape up so He could do them good in the end. They chose the snake infested desert. Is this the life you want for yourself and your family? It’s in your power to change your life and become a Light in the World. God will help you become that Light, but you have to trust Him.
Everything I have written in this blog is right there in God’s Word. Read it for yourself. Ignore it if you want to; and watch the rest of your life fall apart right before your very eyes just like that first generation of Israelite’s did in that dry desert wasteland they called home. DThrash