As we close out series on “Mountain Awareness” and “Turning North“, there will be that moment when we do “Inherit the Land“, it will vital to for our growth that we become a people who doesn’t just inherit the land. No, friends, we need to root ourselves and build our temples (which is our bodies, the dwelling place of the holy spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:19) upon the rock of our foundation. When we take possession of the land that God has laid out before us, it isn’t just about stepping onto the property and settling; it is about growth and having life and life more abundantly.
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10
What a key verse to memorize and store in our hearts. Just as we take possession and start to build our homes, it would be just like Satan, the roaring lion that roams to and fro searching to devour someone (1 Peter 5:8) to pounce in your territory and rattle us to the core. Then emotions, fears, and even doubts can rise up again – it will seem as though storm clouds are covering the blue skies and shadowing the green grass that we just inherited. Remember, what things seem doesn’t mean it is! For we are standing on the grounds that the Lord gave us and if he is for us, who can be against us?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ” Romans 8:28-30
It will be our natural human nature to look at the awful tornado brewing gray shadowed storm clouds rolling in and think this will wipe me out. I just reached my destination and its already over, I am like Moses. I will see it, but not be able to live within it. Oh, what a pause in my lifesong that I was singing. It would be human for natural thoughts of “bad” to enter our mind. Those thoughts will even cause us to want to look back and remember the path around the mountain and think, “It wasn’t so bad. Yes, I was hurt or yes, I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t have this current circumstance to deal with and the other path seems easier. I would rather be back there.”
In that moment, we must remember two things. First, the Israelites looked back and thought I wish I was back in Egypt. Matter of fact, they did it often and it angered the Lord. The Israelites would say aloud at least we had vegetables, food and meat when we were in Egypt, not just manna. They quickly forgot the loss of freedom they experienced in Egypt as well as the hardships and beatings that were imposed upon them. It was such a distant memory of the pain, sweat and agony that some would have chosen to return to Egypt because it satisfied some of the grumbles that they had. In the moment of a tough spot, it was easier to go back and retreat then to push through and persevere. I mean, what if we exerted the energy of our grumbles to bust through some territories so that we could FULLY possess the land and not just live in it? I imagine our thinking momentum would swing from wanting to retreat to an explosion of joy and victory!
There was also another figure in the Bible we can look upon who looked backed. As a matter of fact, she is remembered in the Gospel of Luke chapter seventeen verse twenty six,” Remember Lot’s wife! Anyone who tries to keep their life will lose it and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” Lot was ordered to take his wife and children and leave the land which they resided, because God was going to destroy it. It is interesting that they are told, ” Flee for your lives! Don’t look back…” Genesis 19:17 Yet, as we know, Lot’s wife turned back and she became a pillar of salt. What is the significance of this in our “Mountain Awareness” journey? Why turn Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt? Salt is a preservative. We use salt when processing foods to keep them from spoiling. When Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt – it reminded me that when I look back and I am always thinking of what was, I will never experience what is, because I am always preserving the past! Lot’s wife as the pillar of salt should have a sign next to it that reads, ” PRESERVATION OF PAST.” When we keep looking back we can become STUCK in our past, and we won’t move forward because we are STUCK in what was left behind.
The second thing we need to remember and keep at the forefront of our minds is that we are not alone! God is with us. He is leading us. As we draw near to him, he will draw near to us. When we seek him, we will find him. He is not a hide and go seek God, he is an “I AM” God. If you are moving from the mountain, turning north, following the path to the land he laid out for you to possess, he will be walking with you the entire time. He will be the provider of your needs. He will be to your right and left. He desires for you to live life to the fullest!
In closing this series, it is my heart’s desire that not one of my friends reading this series would leave their computer today not having chosen to turn NORTH. That not one lady or man who has been circling a mountain would circle it one day more. Rather that he or she would take the step forward and commit to God that they would step off the beaten path – that they would turn their back to the mountain and would start high tailing it north! May they realize that they are going to cross territories, but they are not looking to knock out anyone in the way or provoke them. No, his or her job is to get to that land with the boundary lines drawn and possess their beautiful inheritance. As he or she goes on this journey from the mountain to the land – as they slay those giants that pop up with friends like worry, doubt, envy, fear – May he or she carry off the plunder taking peace, joy, kindness, love, goodness, compassion, mercy, understanding, forgiveness and so forth. The mountain DOES NOT define who he or she is because they are more than the choices that they make – they are more than the words that people say – they are EXACTLY who the Lord God Almighty created them to be!
REALIZE YOUR POTENTIAL – choose to stop circling the mountain and turn north. Then when you get there – take a look around and inherit that land friend. Get rooted down and built up, and may the joy of the Lord be with in your heart and praises upon your lips.