You may be scratching your head wondering what in the world I am talking about. Historically, the Promised Land is found in the Middle East. No, I'm not off to Israel but I am looking to discover that place flowing with 'milk and honey' in my own life. The truth is, I've been working on this for some time. A few years back, I started to pray to have a desire for the things of God. I wanted to have a better understanding of what the Bible had to say about how to live. I wanted to know the God I had learned about in Sunday school in a way that was real. And God in His faithful way started to lead me on a journey that would leave me wanting more each step of the way.
Recently, I heard a quote by CS Lewis that said this:
"The more we let God take over, the more truly ourselves we become--because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself to his personality that I begin to have a real personality of my own."
I believe this quote speaks of the 'Hebrews 12:1' lesson of "...Throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us” in order to become the people that God intended. "Everything that hinders" is anything that keeps from focusing on God and his ways. Each of us has our own list of things, some very good, that we carry. They demand our attention preventing us from fully centering our hearts on God and his plan for us.
This whole idea of 'throwing off everything that hinders' reminds me of our own American pioneers who set our to the "promised land" of the West. Their desire for a more abundant life called them to the Frontier so they packed their wagons full of their belongings hauling them along to their new lives. The problem was they soon found that the weigh of their possessions would become a hindrance to the success of their journey and the trail would become littered with castoffs once thought of as necessities.
In order for us to travel into our own Promised Land it may require us to do some offloading of things that belong to us as well. In Priscilla Shirer’s book One in a Million, she gives a list of things that will be evident in our lives if we are living abundantly. Things like sensing and acknowledging God’s continual presence (Psalms 139:7-10); being led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14) and showing evidence of conformity to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29). Anything that is keeping us from experiencing these attributes in our lives must be thrown off so that we can be the people God designed us to be.
Our journey will evidentually lead us to the ultimate 'Promised Land' - Heaven. But in the meantime, God is transforming us into the likeness of his son, Jesus. (Philippians 3:20-21) He wants us to share in all the goodness He has to offer right now. If you want to move forward in your journey to the 'Promised Land' here are some things you might consider doing:
- Pray having faith God has the very best in mind for you-
- Act knowing God has made a plan that will bring about the best possible life-
- Follow God to the way everlasting, to the abundant life – to the Promised Land. That’s where I’m headed. Hope you’ll join me.
"They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten."