“…and You brought them into the land that You had told their fathers to enter and possess. So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land…” – Nehemiah 9:23-24
These two verses contain both greatness and sadness in them. Upon first glance, we might even pass by them without even slowing down to ponder what is being said. This seems like a mere recounting of Israel’s history concerning the land which God had pledged to them in covenant. It provides a great testimony in that we are being told that there was a generation who received from the good hand of God all of the inheritance which was promised to them – they went in and possessed the land. As they walked in faith into their inheritance, God took care of all their needs and defeated all of their opposition. They simply took Him at His word, and they received a bountiful harvest because of that. Life became an experience of the goodness of the Father and an unfolding of the fulfillment of His promises to them. They believed Him. They obeyed Him and they received from Him all that He desired to give them.
Yet, notice the seemingly innocuous phrase, “the land that You had told their fathers to enter and possess”. Did you catch what is recorded there? God had promised the generation before them the very same things. God had promised that generation the land, the defeat of their enemies, the consistent supply of resources, and the resulting blessing which would be theirs through trusting and obeying Him. But they let fear win the day. They listened to ten leaders who only saw the cost and not the reward. They gave their ears (and wills) to leaders who served a very small God, and they ignored Caleb and Joshua who lived with a different spirit than the other ten leaders (Numbers 13:26-14:3). That previous generation would not walk into the place of fullness. They chose, in their own wisdom, the path of least resistance. They avoided the fight. They discounted the need for sacrifice. Their tremble took away their triumph. This generation completely missed the will of God for their lives and consequently died after four decades of wandering in very dry circles in the wilderness. This is what happens when a generation does not move into what God is designing to do for them.
I love my children and think upon their generation every day. I love them, but I do not wish to ever become aware that they inherited something which I forfeited. I want them to be blessed through me, not around me or instead of me. My generation is being offered the same inheritance that all of the generations of God’s people have been offered. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give His little flock the Kingdom (Luke 12:32) – I cannot and will not reduce that massive statement from Jesus down to a pocket-sized promise which fits neatly in my shirt. God will do a great work in any generation that will seek Him, wait for Him, trust Him and then obey Him. Truthfully, He will do that for every individual within that generation, so there is no need for any of us to wait for the rest of our generation to get with the program. The people in Israel who came after the faithless generation actually received the promises which were made to the generation before them. They believed, they trusted, they had learned what it meant to not rest in God’s promises and then, when their time came, they went in and received the fullness of their inheritance. I hope you will choose to do the same.
Friends, these are not days for the faint of heart. This is not a season for ease-addicts within the Church. We stand at the threshold of powerful Kingdom advance and God is summoning us to take our eyes off the obstacles and to fixate on His gloriously good character and His proven promises. He is inviting us into holy adventure with Him. I promise that, if you continue to follow Him, He will stretch you so far out of your current comfort zone that you will look back one day and be embarrassed that you ever thought that this was as far as you could go with Him. God is asking us to stand up, step forth and fight for the renown of His Son’s holy name. He will provide all that you need. He already knows how and when to do away with your opposition. He has resources for you – both spiritual and material – that you will not know anything of until you step in faith toward the place of His promise. This is His desire for our generation, and we have less time today than we did yesterday. He is offering this generation a powerful move of the Spirit which will result in powerful advance by the Church. What more do we require from Him? What more must He offer to us?
Let’s honor Him by not leaving it for the next generation to complete.