“WHEN we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on… I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants” (Deuteronomy 1:6-8).
“Then at last the LORD said to me, ‘You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn northward” (Deuteronomy 2:2-3).
One of the greatest gifts the LORD gives to us is the ability to recognize when to wait at a particular position or in a circumstance, and when to advance into the next phase of our destinies. Like the scriptures will always make us to know that there is time for everything. There is time to stay and also time to move. The time to stay is when God specifically tells you to do so, or when you are not very sure of what He wants you to do in a given situation. But when you have heard from Him or you are fully aware of His will in a particular situation, then that is just the best time to move in and possess whatever He has promised you. Our success in life (especially, as Christians) largely depends on this divine principle.
To move forward means to make a change of place or position with the intention of advancing towards the front – to move on towards your ultimate goal. Why is this message coming at this time? It is because there are so many of us who have come to a point where we think that no form of advancement will be possible again. Others are totally frustrated and have as a result, have given up. They are simply waiting for nothing, or for the worst to happen. They know quite well that they have not obtained what God promised them, but their courage has been weakened by adverse circumstances, unseen and seen oppositions, persistent failures, etc. And there are others who though they have not come to their Eldorado, have settled for less than what God has in stock for them; preferring their present temporary comfortable place to the higher position that is before them. They have simply refused to advance to the next level of glory.
Now, some of the worst cases of the former category of the frustrated lot I have encountered actually said that they have variously thought (or attempted) suicide. Do I hear you ask suicide? Yes, suicide! They came to a point where they thought they had nothing to live for again. That everything was working against them. Others have been perpetually thrown into cynicism. They don’t believe that anything positive can ever happen to them again. It’s like they are stuck. Yet others are full of motions without advancement. You see their lives full of activities yet no visible progress to show for all the restlessness.
My message for you today is that God has not finished with you. There is still a land flowing with milk and honey ahead of you. There is a land of plenty, a land of healing, of restoration; a place where all His promises concerning your life will perfectly be fulfilled. According to the bible record, the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan was a very tortuous one. They had mixed moments of victories, breakthroughs, thirst, hunger, trials, despair, battles and dangers. They also had moments of weeping, rebellion and lamentation. But in all these, they are to be blamed for their long stay on the road to the Promised Land. It was as a result of their unbelief and rebellion. In fact, a major factor that delayed them was that God wanted (as He promised them) all the generation that rebelled against Him to die in the wilderness. Remember how they refused to believe the report of Caleb and Joshua, instead they chose to believe the ‘Negative Ten” against the word and promises of God. This made God to send them back into the wilderness. In fact, Israel stayed about 40 years in the wilderness. A whole generation!
But our interest here is that God would always come back to move them forward. Whether they got stock by their own deeds, pleasure, enemy attacks or whatever, God’s ultimate interest was to take them to the Promised Land. From our main texts, God acknowledged that the Israelites had stayed longer than necessary at those various points, and that it was time to depart, break camp and move to the next level. They had wandered around these mountains and wildernesses enough; they must arise and move into the land He had promised them by oaths and covenants. I like the ‘God said’ dimension that Moses brought into these declarations. To move out from where you are to where you are supposed to be, you must of necessity know what God is saying to you. You must know the promises of God concerning your situation. You must fully appreciate and appropriate the word of God concerning you life.
What has God said about your life or your present situation? You can hold Him today to say something if He hasn’t. It is not just enough to move, you must also move according to His directions, if you must get to your destination. You must also know where you are going to. God gave the Israelites the definite map of the land they were going to possess. From the hill country of the Amorites – the Jordan Valley – Negev – Lebanon – Euphrates. God was specific. You must have a target or goal before you make any move at any point in life. This is my greatest asset as a Christian and a minister. When things get so rough and confusing, I always fall back to what He told me about my life and ministry. Then, I would immediately see His powerful hand coming to strengthen me. This is my secret!
He also told them to break camp. That is to depart from where they were. Get up and take the journey. They must immediately depart. After knowing the will and timing of God in your situation, there won’t be any more need to procrastinate. When God says go, it always means that He has gone ahead of you. When He sent Moses to bring out water from the rock, He also told him that He would be there waiting for him. For David, He told him to follow Him into the battle field when he hears the sound of the wind on top of the trees that He has gone ahead of him.
Also, look at the four lepers in 2 Kings 7:3, it was when they moved out towards the Arameans (Syrians) that God transformed the sound of their foot-steps to disorganize their enemies. There are unseen forces that always come to your aid when you move. So you must get up and start acting upon what God has told you. Take deliberate actions towards that, which God has said. You must break camp. You must reach out, make that contact, take that exam, write those letters. Make that reconciliation and visit. Move away from that distraction and that negative influence. Get out of that self-condemnation. Get out of that soliloquizing and regrets. Stop weeping. Just move forward for better days are ahead. Break camp!
God said you must go and occupy what He has promised you by covenants and oaths. And each time He mentions Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then know that that particular matter has gone beyond the ordinary. His covenants cannot be broken. So, get up and keep moving for you are about breaking forth into rejoicing.
Gabriel Agbo is the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer. Tel: 08037113283. E-mail: [email protected]