DAY 202- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE WILDERNESS
One of the saddest things in the world is for someone to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, but then never grow past that point and learn how to receive all God’s promises.
How sad it is to consider the Israelites who died in the Wilderness – knowing God, seeing Him, receiving His faithful provision every day – but never actually experiencing the promised land.
It’s exciting and wonderful to begin a relationship with Jesus, and such a relief to be out of the kingdom of darkness – but..there’s more. There’s a whole new you to be made, there’s all the fruit of the Spirit to grow, there’s good work to do. How’s this all going to happen? The same way Moses told the Israelites it was going to happen for them – little by little.
Little by little, one by one, slow is the new fast – this is the great principle that we have learned to live by in JCC. We didn’t make it up, we got it from the Bible. Moses told the people that they would need to be patient, and take the promised land one step, one battle, one decision, at a time. Otherwise, it would all be just too much for them, it would overwhelm them.
But this didn’t mean that God hadn’t given them the whole land.
Notice in our reading for today that God said that they would be unable to destroy the enemies in the promised land at once. Why not? We’re talking about the God who parted an ocean and drowned the most powerful army in the world. Isn't God the same God who had delivered them miraculously from Egypt? Couldn't he simply cause them to take the promised land in a similar miraculous event?
Sometimes God's work in our lives is instantaneous, but more often, it follows a process - and that process is for our own good. The process can be best seen by looking back on progress over time. Today may not feel like a success, but plotting results over time would reveal a definite line or curve slanting upward, with ups and downs along the way.
Exodus records this same little-by-little principle in more detail.
Exodus 23:29-30 says, "I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land" (NKJV).
Here we see that God indicates the process will take some time because other problems could arise otherwise. We also see that increase - or their readiness - was a key element in the process.
The importance of readiness should not be under-estimated. Projects often fail due to lack of readiness within the organization. Without readiness, people are simply not prepared to "occupy" the future state. The foundation of the new way is not yet complete and it is all too easy to revert to business as usual because the foundation of the old way is still well established. Little by little is the approach for building that foundation - a foundation that helps sustain the needed changes over time.
Little by little, people need to change their thinking and thus, their actions. In fact, the Bible supports the notion of mindset shift when it comes to transformation. Anything that requires new mindsets, by its very nature, will naturally follow the little-by-little principle because a change in thinking is progressive. If we understand that, we will cooperate with the process. But if we do not understand it, we may be inappropriately impatient with ourselves and with the people who are going through it.
There’s no good in being idealistic – it is what it is – accept and make progress.
Little by little is how you will be transformed, from the inside out – and little by little is how you will be an agent of transformation – slowly building a good work on behalf of the Lord.
Help me to grasp the little-by-little concept Lord.
For the family
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