It could’ve taken Israel 11 days. Instead it cost them 40 years.
In Deuteronomy 1:2 we see that it only takes 11 days to walk from Horeb (where Moses was given the Ten Commandments) to Kadesh Barnea (which is the final camp before crossing into the Promised Land).
They could have been free from Egypt’s oppression and gotten right after conquering the Promised Land in just two weeks. But it took 40 years.
They didn’t get lost. But they lost two important things:
- Trust in God (Deuteronomy 1:32)
- Submission to God (Deuteronomy 1:43)
Israel’s lack of faith and and sufficient arrogance sent them wandering for 40 years instead of conquering in 11 days.
And I think for many of us in the Christian life (and ministry in particular) we suffer the same plight. We try too hard and we trust too little and give God no room to work or be admired. So we beat our heads against the wall reading Thom Rainer and George Barna, brainstorming for change in a dying program, a dying ministry, or a dying church.
- Am I trusting God or Simply Youth Ministry?
- Am I submitting to God or relying on past experience?
- Am I trusting God or doing what has worked at-my-last-church?
- Am I being humble or do I feel entitled?
My fear is I could be wandering for 40 years instead of conquering in 11 days.