Raising my sights
"If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.” -Numbers 32:5 (NIV)
Why am I willing to settle for less than what God is offering me? Less than what He has prepared for me? Less than what He has prepared me for? Unfortunately, the story in Numbers 32 reminds me of me.
As the nation of Israel was literally standing on the banks of the Jordan River, making final preparation to enter the land of Canaan after 40 years of traipsing through the desert, two and a half of the tribes decided they had gone far enough. They were comfortable where they were. The people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh found the land east of the river "suitable" (Num. 32:1,4).
"We got this livestock, see, and this place has grass. So if it's all the same to you, Mo, I guess we'll just stay here. Y'all go ahead and enjoy the land God promised, the land dripping milk and honey, the land where God said He would drive out our enemies. Don't worry about us - we'll be OK."
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As we read this example of a "one in the hand versus two in the bush" mentality, it's easy to shake our heads and criticize these people. Moses certainly did (Num. 32:6-14). As a concession, the men of these tribes went across to help their brethren secure the land God had promised, but they didn't stay. We exhibit a similar thought process when we settle for less than God's best for us. "It's hard." "It's messy." "It takes too long." "It's going to cost me a bundle." "I can't see how this is going to work." In an attempt to play it safe, we forfeit the blessing.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -John 10:10 (NIV)
Just OK is just okay. God has so much more in mind. Maybe it's time I raised my sights.
LORD, keep prodding me. I confess I have a tendency toward laziness, cynicism, stubbornness, and complacency. Keep reminding me I was made for more. More of You. More of Your blessing. More of Your purpose. It isn't always easy. It often requires getting my feet wet and going into battle. But I am not alone. You have already gone where You are asking me to follow. My victory is assured. I want to abide in You.
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. -Hebrews 10:39 (NIV)