Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the LORD had commanded him to say…“When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions…Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’” Deut 1:2-3, 6-8
"You have stayed at this mountain long enough." There are times that God calls us to wait—to remain still and let Him work, to trust His timing and not forge forward on our own. But then there are other times when He says, “You’ve waited long enough. Stop sitting still. Get up and move forward into the land I have given to you.” It is essential for us, as His people, to cultivate a close relationship with Him so that we know when we are to wait and when we are to move ahead. We need to live in close communion with God so that we know His will for our lives. He tells us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you” (Ps. 32:8-9). Our God wants to guide us, but we have to stay close to Him and keep our eyes on Him so that we can do His will in our lives. Only by seeking Him first, by spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word, can we know His heart. We can trust Him to lead us, but we have to be willing to be led. That’s submission. It calls for courage. Sometimes what God calls us to do is not popular, but it’s always right. The question is, “Will we obey?”
God commanded His people to stop camping at the mountain and start moving into their promised land. He had provided a land for His people, but they had to move ahead, to fight the enemy, and occupy the land. It could only be accomplished by God’s strength and by faith in Him. I pray that God will enable us to be people of courage who are led by God and who move forward in God’s strength to live in the land of our inheritance.
Photo Credit: Alannah Berry