The children of Israel weren't supposed to take 40 years to get to the Promised Land. In fact, according to most commentaries, the journey on foot from Egypt to the Promised Land is only 11 days. There were a lot of people in that caravan, so maybe it would take more time than 11 days. They even stopped at Mt. Sinai, but the total travel time ended up being a lot longer than needed. The children of Israel had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years because of doubt and unbelief. They didn't believe that God could deliver them and give them their land after all He'd brought them through in Egypt. When the spies came back talking about "'giants in the land," only Caleb and Joshua believed God was able. As a result, the people had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the previous generation died out—except for Caleb and Joshua. Then they got to move forward toward the Promised Land (Num. 13).
If you compare the two stories of the Israelites leaving Egypt and them heading into the Promised Land you can easily find similarities. The Red Sea and Jordan River experience where the water dried up (Ex. 14 & Josh. 3). Both stories required a strong leader to take them to the place God was calling them. Both encounters required a lot of faith because the circumstances were less than ideal. We don't know what would have happened had the Israelites believed God the first time. Would they have simply walked in? Would they have just taken their land? We don't know. However, we do know that 40 years later, God gives Joshua a clear direction. They were to match around the city, shouting and then the walls came down. I don't know about you, but if God told me to march around a wall and shout at it, I'd do it, but it would certainly sound a bit odd. But we all know the story. The second generations of the children of Israel were obedient, and they got their land.
The above illustration is very important in recognizing your own hurdles and faith-walk. If you choose not to face what God is telling you to do in one season, He will bring you back around to a similar situation until you face what you need to learn. I have faced situations that, although I confront them, dealing with the situation exposed some things in my life. So as a result, I've faced similar things a couple of times, and I've noticed that each time, there has been more and more faith arising and fewer fights about fear. God will never put you in situations to harm you. However, He does know in order for you to walk in what He's called you to, you will have to face the things you would rather run and hide from.
If you find yourself in similar situations time and time again, or your facing a situation you'd rather run from, I want to give you some godly wisdom:
- Stand your ground. Do not allow circumstances and trials move you from the place God has placed you. Do not allow fear and intimidation to control you. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
- Go to prayer. Every circumstance and situation requires godly direction and wisdom. Note that Joshua had a God-encounter, and God showed him specifically to march around the walls and what to do when. You need that same direction. Get in your prayer closet and hear from God. He knows how you need to navigate this situation.
- If you notice there is a pattern in your life of similar situations, people and circumstance, take a moment to reflect. How have you handled these situations before, and what do you feel God would have you do differently? I've opened up and discussed in previous articles about dealing with wolves in sheep's clothing. I've learned to recognize the spirit behind it, so now when I see it, I know what I'm dealing with. In the past, I have wanted to run and hide, but now I've learned that God is bigger than a manipulating and controlling bully. I can't tell you that I've arrived in this area, but I've learned how to handle the spirit instead of brushing it under the rug.
- Determine you will not go back around this mountain again. Aren't you tired of encountering similar situations? So choose that this time when you stare at this situation again will be the last time it really gets to you. Determine that whatever lesson God is trying to teach you, you don't need another time around the mountain to learn it. Make this your final conflict in this area.
- Remember that the devil knows how to push your buttons. He wants to freak you out and get you off course. If there have been areas he has been able to get you to run away from before, then he will try repeating those situations in your life. But you must resist the enemy, and he will flee (James 4:7) Through these the situations God is trying to teach you and to remind you that you are victorious in Him. The devil is just trying to take you out. It's your choice what the outcome will be.
Life can have hurdles and challenges, but you don't have to keep going around the same ones. You need to determine that this time around is your last. Even if you might see the situation again, once you pass this circumstance and have the victory the next time you see it, I promise you won't look at it the same again. Do not let the devil remove you from your place. Jesus died so you could have the authority in Him. Learn the lessons you need to learn for the next season and take the ground. Your Promised Land is worth the effort.
Anna M. Aquino is a published author, guest minister and prophetic voice. Her books: Cursing the Church or Helping It? Exposing the spirit of Balaam, Confessions of a Ninja Mom, An Ember In Time and A Marriage In Time are available wherever books are sold. Please feel free to check out her website at annamaquino.com.
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