As of today (Saturday, November 21), there are only 40 days left until January 1, 2016. Chances are, if you are like me, you have some goals you set way back in January of this year (2015) that you haven't achieved yet. Most people would just give up at this point and say something like, “Well, next year will be different.” Bull! When has next year ever been different for you?
How To Avoid 40 Years In The Desert
The key to changing your outcome for the year is hidden within a story from the Bible
You don't need to be a religious person for this story to help you – you may think of it as an illustration of the power of our thoughts to infuence the course of our lives. Here's the story…
In the Book of Exodus, God miraculously freed the nation of Israel from slavery to the Egyptians. He then promised them a land “flowing with milk and honey”. But Israel had developed a poverty mindset from all those years of slavery. The didn't have enough faith to take the promised land from the people already living there … even though God himself promised He would subdue those people.
So when Moses sent spies into the land to scout it out, it should've been no surpise. Most of the spies said the land was full of mighty, fearsome warriors. “These are giants,” they said. “We are like grasshoppers compared to these beasts.”
Only two men (Joshua and Caleb) in all Israel had the faith to believe God would do what He said he would … but that wasn't enough to provide Israel with the faith needed to receive the promise. Thus…
Days Turned Into Decades
The Hebrews spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they finally did take the Promised Land. While they were in the desert, God gave them miraculuous provision: manna from heaven for food, and water from a rock. We often talk of these miracles as modern believers, and give credit to God for miraculous, “last minute” provision. That is as it should be, But I don't think that is the main lesson of this story. So what is the main lesson?
God hasn't promised us the “just enough”. His present-day will for us is not last-minute, enough-for-the-day, wilderness rations … he wants us to receive abunant gift of the “land flowing with milk and honey.”
That's what He wanted for Israel then. It's what He wants for us today (see John [10:10]).
Remember, God's original plan for Israel was to take their Promised Land in days, not decades.
It took Israel 40 years to be ready. If you have faith, I believe you can move mountains (even those achieving this year's goals) in just 40 days.
Think of the next 40 days as your wilderness. The wilderness is not bad, but neither is it your final destination.
Don't be anxious or worried about how you'll make it in the meantime. God provided astonishing resources to meet Israel's needs in the desert. Rest assured your needs are not a worry.
Now imagine that with faith, and perserverence, you can “take the land” that God has promised you. Your wilderness experinece does not have to last 40 years. Or 40 weeks. Or even 40 days.
Here's the bridge…
The 3 Be-Attitudes That Stoke The Fires of Faith
- You must be-lieve. Jesus said, “All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark [9:23])
- You must be-come the kind of person who has the thing you want. You must become the kind of person who can withstand the answer to your prayers. is what causes lottery winners to inevitably lose all their newfound wealth within a year or two of hitting the jackpot.
- You must be-have like that person, especially when it counts the most. That means: when it's hard. Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants in the land as the other spies. I think they were both afraid. But how they behaved was demonstrated in their report. As the crowd murmured about their fears, Caleb silenced the voices of fear by saying: “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
You can march directly up to the border of the Promised Land, cross over, and recieve the blessings of your dreams fufilled. You can still meet your goals. Just don't give up.
And like Caleb and Joshua, while everyone else is saying “Not now, we're not ready, we're afraid”, you say instead, “I am well able, because God is with me.”
What sort of miracle must happen for you to complete the goals you set for 2015? What must you believe, become, and how must you behave in order to receive your “Promised Land?”