Yesterday, we talked about the Israelites’ lack of trust and how they turned an 11-day journey into 40 years of wandering through the wilderness. While the lesson for us in this story is to cultivate the faith of Joshua and Caleb, there’s an interesting observation about the rest of the Jewish population that I believe teaches us something about the heart of God. You see, because they were too afraid to take on conquering the Promised Land, the Lord, who is a gentleman, didn’t force them to go there. Although He was angry at their unwillingness, He didn’t make them embrace a challenge that they didn’t feel equipped to handle. And, while some would say His reaction was punitive, He was really just giving them what they wanted. In response to Moses’ earnest plea, He spared their lives, but He declared that they would never enter their new home, and He allowed them to carry on as vagabonds. Since they didn’t want to fight, take a stand, or work for something better, He simply let them be, and He continued to provide manna for them to eat, His cloud to protect them, and His pillar of fire to guide them.
My friend, God is a gentleman, and He will never force you to move into a place you don’t want to be. Since He cares for you so much, He desires that you walk in complete liberty, and He respects your boundaries, even if that means that you don’t experience His best. While He is pleased when you exercise bold and courageous faith, He will not withhold Himself if you play it safe; you just might not know the thrill of unfettered surrender or the exhilaration that comes from seeing Him do the impossible through your undaunted trust. Though He has given you every reason to lose your life for His sake, He is longsuffering, patient, compassionate, and abounding in goodness. Your Savior understands the journey, and He will take care of you, even as He knocks on the door of your heart and woos you with the wonders of His love.