The Promised Land: Big Vision

At CrossWay yesterday we began a five-week series called “The Promised Land.”  It’s essentially about the vision, mission, values, and strategy of our church.  It answers questions like: What is the Promised Land for us today?  How do we get there?  What is it like?  Why is it important?

Yesterday we kicked it off by talking about… well… the Promised Land.  In Exodus 3:7-12 God calls Moses to lead His people from slavery in Egypt to freedom in Canaan (which would become Israel), their new homeland.  Through a series of amazing miracles that Jewish people still celebrate today, God used Moses to do just that.

One problem: The people were fearful, doubtful, and didn’t trust God.  It’s okay to have fears and doubts, but it’s not okay to let them set our course.  We can trust God and be obedient to Him even when we’re anxious and don’t see how He can deliver on Him promises.  The bottom line is that He is with us and He always keeps Him promises.

What has God promised us?  And what has He not promised?  There are roughly 5,000 promises in the Bible.  God promises things like peace, love, joy, His presence, strength, and communion with Him.  Notably absent from His list of promises are comfort, health, prosperity, and an easy life.

But the Israelites refused to follow God, so they got stuck in the wilderness for 40 years.  Bummer!  We often do the same thing, however: God wants to lead us from misery and bondage to a land of joy, peace, and freedom, but we keep looking back and doubting, acting on our fear, not trusting God.  When this happens, we’re left wandering in the wilderness.

My parents recently got back from a trip to Israel.  One thing my mom pointed out that really surprised her is that it’s really not that far a journey from Egypt to Canaan/Israel.  But that all depends on what direction you’re facing.  If you’re looking backward, you can wander in circles for a long, long time.  If you face the Promised Land, however, God will lead you there.

So what is the Promised Land for us today?  The answer is simple and short: the Promised Land for us today is Jesus Christ.  Everything that God has promised us is found in Jesus–peace, joy, life, purpose, love, grace, and on and on.  When we stop chasing after worldly things, expecting to find contentment in them, and invest that same passionate energy in the pursuit of Christ, we will find the longings of our hearts satisfied in Him.

The podcast should be up tomorrow.

Next week: The way of life in the Promised Land.

Published in: on January 7, 2008 at 6:44 am  Leave a Comment  

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