Prayer Focus: Belgium

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 1-3

Scripture

“And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?  Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ Deuteronomy 3:23-25

Observation

Moses stands before all the Israelites after 40 years in the wilderness to give them this message; a review of where they have been and what’s happened to be followed by instructions of what to do when they get to the promised land.  Moses already knows he can’t enter the promised land, but he makes one final plea to God.  The plea is heard by God and rejected, in fact, God doesn’t want him to mention it ever again.  Yet, God didn’t reject Moses as a leader because he wanted Moses to encourage and strengthen Joshua, Moses’ successor.  And Moses still gained eternal life since we see him again in the New Testament on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 17:1-13).  The only thing Moses missed out on was the promised land.

Application

One of the hardest things for us to grasp as earth bound spirits that have already gained eternal life is that the fact that our reward will not always come to us this side of the veil.  That’s a loaded sentence, what I really mean to say is: Sometimes we have to wait until we die before life gets better.  That’s a huge downer and maybe that’s why we can’t grasp it.  Consider what happened to the disciples when they met Jesus.  Life changed, but it never really got “better.”  Then Jesus leaves them.  They are bold and they spread the Gospel as men on a mission because that’s what they were, but they never achieved the success they had as fishermen of fish.  I mean, they never reached a point where they looked back and said, “I’ve arrived.”  And that’s a good thing because Jesus told the parable of the guy who figured he was “all set” and then God killed him.  But that ought to be a comfort to us.  Life may not be wonderful, but it’s worth it because, well, let me put it to you the way my Lutheran youth pastor put it to me way back when I was in high school.  He’s said, “Cliff, the saying is true, life’s a [pregnant dog], then you die, but then we get to go to heaven.”  (Lutheran youth pastors get away with a lot)  That’s the reward that still awaits me and you.  Moses didn’t see the Promised Land, but did see heaven and he’s there right now waiting for us.  Along with the apostles and and the believers in Christ that have gone before us.

And I think, once we get that through our heads we start to understand the fruit of the Spirit.  I can have love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control because even though the rewards in this life will come and go, being with Jesus forever can never be taken away from me.

Prayer

Lord, I’m sure I’ve asked and will ask for things that you don’t want me to have.  I’m sure that I haven’t understood at times why you denied me what I wanted and I’m sure I will misunderstand why you will deny me things in the future.  So, while I sit here and everything I just wrote is all fresh in my mind, I want to thank you for being patient with me.  You are my savior and you’ve promised to call me to you when the time is right.  If you could somehow stamp that into my every waking thought, I think I could remember it at least half the time.  🙂  Thank you, Lord, for keeping your promises to the Israelites, to me, and to all of your people throughout all of time.  Amen.

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