“See, I have set the land before you…”
The Finish Line Awaits
Is anyone in your family a runner? It’s one of those love-it-or-leave-it activities that no one can really be neutral toward. The training process is grueling and requires cooperation between both the body and mind. If you’ve ever found yourself running a longer distance, then you know how it feels to have made some progress. Yet it’s never more frustrating than to not already be at the finish line—a promised land of sorts. When that promise is right there in front of us yet still seems so far away, how do we endure?
Here’s what we learn from the Israelites about who we are and who the Lord is as our God. And what it means for our families as we lead them to run the race of faith.
In Pursuit of The Promise
The first chapter of Deuteronomy offers incredible insight into our own human responsibility. It also details so much of God’s promise-making, covenant-keeping character of old. Today’s verse is just a snapshot of all that God has provided for His people since the beginning. It reads, “See, I have set the land before you…”
And it was so simple; it was His promise to His people and for His people’s own good. All that they desired was right there for the taking. It should’ve been so easy for them to cling to His promise and guidance as they marched forward into the land that was already theirs, wasn’t it? Well, we know the story. What should’ve only taken 11 days (according to Deuteronomy 1:2) would soon turn into almost 40 years of wandering. It was an issue of faith. And for us…well, are we also making the pursuit of life everlasting so much harder for ourselves? Or are we marching forward in the faith, leading by examples so that our families would be witnesses to God’s goodness in our own lives?
Shrinking Back or Marching Ahead?
God promises to be with us, guiding us by His Spirit who dwells within our hearts. Are we living like His promises are alive and well, as though they are ours for the taking? The promise was right there for the Israelites, requiring only their obedience and trust that God was who He said He was. And the same dichotomy is revealed for us today, too, as we lead our families to know Him as Lord, too.
Are we walking in obedience, by faith in His name and promise? Or are we shrinking back in fear, not believing that His good is for the best or that we can accomplish hard things in His name? When we live courageously, moving forward by faith in the God who provides for us, those in our circles of influence see how our faith shapes our worldview. What a gift it is to lead others closer to the Creator who desires to be in relationship with them, too!
Keep Your Eyes on Jesus
As long-distance runners in the faith, we must continue on towards the finish line, trusting that our toils aren’t in vain or forgotten. We must believe wholeheartedly that the finish line lies before us, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He is the fulfillment of all we hope for, the promise of life everlasting for all who would believe.
Keep running and keep enduring, for the promise is right there. May our obedience follow the faith we profess and may our gratefulness shape our view of the finish line that lies ahead.
Consider what the race looks like for your family. Are you collectively, as a family unit, pursuing the things of the Lord together? Is your faith something that’s tangibly seen and discussed in front of and around those in your closest circles of influence? Ask God for the boldness and intentionality you need to take strides for the gospel within your own home, remembering that His promise is already with you and yours for the taking.