When some think of the Promised Land in the Bible, they analogize it to believers ascending into heaven. But I think that thought is too narrow.
There is a Promised Land that God desires us to live in here and now.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
God wants us to live an abundant life right now! He wants us to be able to breathe, walk, speak, think, work, serve, live to our highest potential as we walk in the Holy Spirit. He desires for us to be able to enter into a spiritual rest, not a do-nothing laziness, but resting in our new life the Lord, no longer wrestling with our old man.
He has given to each of us specific gifts that He expects us to use. Are you fully engaged in using your gift(s)? That is why we were given the Holy Spirit – so that we could have power to use those gifts for the uplifting of the body of Christ and so that we could live our Christian lives to the fullest.
But as God leads us to our own Promised Land, there is much that would steal our abundant, spiritual lives with Christ. God’s enemy is hard at work trying to do that very thing.
he whispers lies into our ears.
he discovers our weaknesses and then he waves temptations in our faces.
he causes dissention among believers.
he’ll stop at nothing to ruin marriages, families, friendships, congregations, hearts, our witness, and our very relationship with the Lord. (In case you’re wondering, I never, ever capitalize any name, pronoun or descriptive word used to refer to satan or demons. they don’t deserve it.)
Many of us know unsaved people who are walking around, they’re alive, but they don’t have life. They’re down and depressed and overtaken by the world and its temptations of the mortal flesh. There are even those who call themselves Christians who are still walking around defeated, as if they have never received the resurrection power of Christ. But Jesus said that He has come to give life, and not just physical life, but a spiritual life, the life that makes this life worth living.
And Jesus goes one giant leap further. He doesn’t want us to just have a milk-toast spiritual life; He wants to give us an abundant life! He wants us to have a superior life; a life that is exceedingly above or beyond all that we could ever think or imagine!
Do we dare to dream of a life in Christ like that?
God desired to give that abundant life to the Israelites soon after they left Egypt. They should have entered their Promised Land, Canaan, two weeks after they left behind their slavery.
But strangely enough, even after God rescued them in the miraculous way that He did, the Israelites’ mistrust in God kept them in bondage and they roamed the desert for 40 years.
Eventually, of course, the next generation of Israelites did enter into Canaan. But it is believed that the Israelites have never completely and solely possessed the Promised Land. There has always been an enemy coming against them.
So, fast forward thousands of years, and let me ask you this: are you in the Promised Land that God desires for you? Are you living the abundant life that the Lord wants to give you?
And no, I’m not at all talking about a lot of money, or a huge house, or a perfect career, or anything of this world. Remember, we’re talking about our spiritual lives – our lives in Christ, our relationship with Him and the blessings that flow out of that relationship.
So what would a Promised Land look like? What would a spiritually abundant life look like for you? It’s all about our relationship with Jesus Christ. Here are some things I thought of:
- a 24-hour conscious awareness of intimacy with the Lord;
- fully operating in the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit that He has specifically
given to you;
- walking and acting in the Spirit rather than reacting in the flesh;
- choosing to show love to others even at the sacrifice of ourselves.
None of us will live that out perfectly until the day we meet Jesus face-to-face, but I do believe that most Christians are living far below the joyful life that God would have us. And we may not be where we would like to be, but is there steady growth? Are you intentionally headed for the Promised Land or just kind of wandering around? What is keeping you from it? If you don't know, ask God to show you. What are some things that you can change today that would help you get back on the road to your spiritually abundant Promised Land?