After release from bondage in Egypt and receiving the Law from the Lord at Sinai, the people reach the edge of the wilderness. Moses sent several men into the land to spy it out. Upon returning, the report from several spies was not good. They feared the people in the land. They didn’t trust the Lord’s promise. They told the nation they could not take the land as God had promised.
Seeing the mood change in the nation, both Joshua and Caleb, two of the many who spied out the land, attempted to lead the people to trust in God’s promise, will, and power.
“If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.” (Nu 14:8)
They directed the people to focus on the Lord and not the obstacle. They pointed to God’s will and desire. Ultimately the people did not listen and ended up spending 40 years walking in the wilderness. Their misfortune provides a valuable lesson, especially when we connect this text to the New Testament author James. James warns us not to plan too far ahead.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13–15)
James warns us to submit our plans to the Lord. We should trust in His will and not our own. His promises, His strength, His sovereignty.
Our God is a God who is capable. Our God is a sovereign God who is in control. Our God is a God of Providence. He is purposeful in bringing about His will. We must not presume upon the Lord, thinking He will do what we want Him to do. Rather, we must rest in God‘s will for our lives, trusting that He has our best interest in mind and we will be used for His glory, which will result in His praise.
Admittedly, it is not easy to realize our life is meant to bring God glory especially when times are difficult. It is much easier to believe we were created to bring God glory when we are successful in our eyes and the world’s eyes. But God has a plan for each and everyone of our lives. God‘s plan is meant to show forth His glory for His praise.
We must rest in our God given purpose, recognizing we are a part of bringing God, the God who created the universe, glory. In other words, we are who God has chosen to use to show forth His greatness in numerous ways.
Knowing we are created for God’s glory should provide us comfort and joy, as well as it should provide us meaning in life.
How can you trust in the Lord today? How can you delight in His will for your life even if it is proving to be a difficult time?