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Giants In The Land

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10_Oct_giants in the land 1

I wonder how many dear folks out there are wandering around in a type of wilderness, and perhaps questioning what is life all about!  Surely there has to be more to life than just getting through each day! Do you feel like that you are going round and round in circles never actually getting anywhere?

Perhaps one day in the past you heard of your need as a sinner before a holy God and trusted Him with your soul. Perhaps you know you're going to heaven one day because you have fully trusted in what Jesus accomplished on the cross in dying for you personally, as He did for all of us poor lost sinners. And if you trusted Him with your soul, you're on a heaven bound journey. But could it be that even though you trusted Him for eternal matters you are finding it difficult to trust Him with your life?

This is more often than not the reason why we spend a while in a wilderness, because the 'there and then' matters are outside in the future and way beyond our control, but we like to feel that we can control matters that involve 'here and now'.

The reason for this dilemma we all have in varying degrees depends on our relationship with the One who has paid so dearly to give us the promise of a home in heaven. The love of God has gone far beyond promising a home in heaven for people like us; for what He accomplished at Calvary also broke down the barrier that separates us from Him.

When sin came into the world the sweet relationship that God had with Adam and Eve was severed, and down through the generations even to this day sin has separated us from Him and His companionship.

"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
Isaiah 59: 2

But here's an amazing thought ...
It is divinely possible to draw near to the living God in order to get to know Him ... personally!

Perhaps this sounds a little presumptuous, but this is something that God Himself primarily desires for His people, and understanding this helps us to understand why He went to such great lengths to mend the broken relationship between us and Him. You see, He greatly values our fellowship with Him.

In the Old Testament we read of the deliverance of God's people out of the hands and tyranny of the wicked king called Pharaoh. After a series of horrible plagues which troubled their captors to the point of driving them out of the land, they arrived at the edge of the wilderness through which they had been travelling. In front of them was the Red Sea, on either side of them were mountains and behind them was Egypt ... and Pharaoh's perusing army!

God then delivered His people from wicked Pharaoh once for all in the most miraculous way, by parting the Red Sea in front of them so that every one of God's people, (two million of them in all!) could escape on dry land that night and make it safe to the other side. When the very last one was safe and sound, God then brought the mighty waters back over the perusing enemy doing away with every one of them, once for all, and forever.

Now, there was about an eleven day journey to get to the land that God had promised to them. Unfortunately because of the complaining nature of the rescued company it took a whole lot longer! However, Canaan, the land God promised to them was a land overflowing with goodness at every turn, and it was a land of rest as opposed to the place from which they had been delivered. Now, all they had to do was focus on the promise of God and head in that direction.

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When they finally made it to the borders of the land they sent in twelve 'spies' to survey it and bring back a report. After forty days and nights they returned and verified that Canaan  was indeed just as they had been promised. However, there was in this land all kinds of enemies that caused most of the spies to fear, and they discourage the waiting people from desiring to enter into the land God had promised them.

Caleb and Joshua were the only two men among the twelve that were prepared to trust God and go in. "Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." Numbers 13: 30. Such was his bold faith and intimate knowledge of his God. But those that went with them saw the situation through human eyes instead of through the eyes of faith in the One who had earlier parted the Red Sea to allow them all to escape Egyptian captivity.

Their report caused the people to become discouraged especially when the spies exaggerated what they saw. This is when their report turned from discouragement into what the Bible tells us was an evil report: "The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (:30.)

O dear! Only two men who believed that God would give them victory in the land He promised, but an evil report caused the people to doubt and despair. God had so much for them all to enjoy but the Bible tells us that God said to them: "When your fathers tempted me ... I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest." Hebrews 3: 9-11.

And so whole generation missed out on the best God had to give them because of unbelief. Sure, they were saved from Egypt, but their lives were lost in the wilderness where they had to live out the rest of their lives. God would take into the land He promised them the next generation instead ... along with faithful Caleb and Joshua of course!

Did you know that God has a type of Canaan rest for you and me also? Do you have a saved soul but a lost and wondering life? God has the most precious of things in store for you rather than living off of temporary sustenance until you reach heaven, He has the best for you to enjoy now!

As it was in those days, so it is today, there are very few who are willing to trust God and go in to possess the land He has promised. Why is this? Because there are 'giants' in the land!  Well, actually, yes there is! No one ever promised that we would be able to avail ourselves of heaven's best while here on earth without having to overcome some obstacles.

The things that God values and wants you to appreciate come with a cost.

Perhaps the most challenging giant to overcome is the one called 'time'. The only way we can truly appreciate the Christian life is to get to know the One who has made this all available to us, and it takes time to get to know someone intimately. But who would have begrudged the time it took getting to know someone you fell in love with?

But how much time does it take? How much are you prepared to give? Why not try with five or ten minutes each day to be alone with God? Soon, before you know it, you'll be adding on an extra five or ten minutes more! Then perhaps you'll be setting your alarm clock a little earlier each day to get half an hour or more time alone with the One who loves your soul. Before you know it your heart will be longing for Him, and you'll look at the clock and wonder where an hour just went ... and so on. Do you see what I mean?

But this is what God desires for His people. An intimate knowledge of Him, simply because this is a thing most precious not only to the child of God but to God Himself! And an intimate knowledge of Him gives to us an insight into life others cannot see. When all that others can see is giants in the land you will know the Lord enough to understand that giants can be overcome, whatever those giants may be. For some, those giants may be the craving for more money, or recognition. To others doubts and fears may be the giants they need to overcome. You can fill in the blank with whatever you know is stopping you from enjoying the best Christian life God intended you to have, and you will find that knowing Him intimately will overcome every giant.

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Don't let anyone cause you to feel that this is beyond reach or better left until another time. None of that 'easy does it now', or 'let's not rush but take things slowly' mentality is a valid reason for delay. Please allow me to quote from the Bible as I did earlier but this time I have gone back a verse or two so you can see that God does not agree with 'taking it easy' but desires your interest and attention ... today!

"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said,
They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)"
Hebrews 3: 7-11.

~~~~~

>> Do you have any questions or comments about these thoughts or about the obstacle that might be hindering your walk with God?  I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!

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