Monday, April 23, 2012


So I was reading Exodus the other morning, and I got stopped in Chapter 23, right where God is talking to Moses telling him how He will prepare the way for the Israelites. Currently being in a state of preparation myself (can anyone relate??), the passage seemed to leap off the page at me. Right there at verse 20 I started to get fired up! He was talking to the Israelites, but He might as well have been talking to me. God’s asking them to follow Him (check), not rebel (check), worship Him (check, check), and with their obedience God promises He’ll go ahead of them, guard them, become an enemy of their enemies…“wipe them out” (check it out, He actually says that! v. 23). He outlines His plan to send their enemies into confusion, to make them turn tail and run.  And with each word, I got more and more excited.

I mean, do ya’ll realize that’s the God we have on our side? That He’s created us with a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11) and with a land He wants us to inherit? And as we follow Him, He's going to blaze the trail for us. It may be a ministry, your family, your business…but there’s a land He wants to bring you to. And as I read I could almost taste the fruit of my land, feel the breeze blow through my hair, touch the soft hammock I’d relax in after the long battle to get there.

I continued to read with zeal until verse 29 where I screeched to a halt. There it was. One little word: but.

Wait a second. Hold up. We’re right in the middle of talking about how He’s smiting our enemies and now there’s a BUT? And not just any BUT, but a “but I will not drive them out in a single year”…

So what you’re saying is you’ll bring me to the land BUT that’s not where it ends? No hammock.


Way to rain on my parade.

The thing with God is He always has a reason, and this time is no different. He didn’t put the BUT in there to discourage the Israelites or us. It wasn't there to pour a big old bucket of water on my Holy-Fired-Up Zeal. No. It was there to prepare: arriving at your destination does not mean the journey is over.

See, just because we finally set foot in the land does not mean our growth is complete. In fact, if we read the rest of that verse, we see why God wouldn’t drive their enemies out all in one breath when He so totally could have. He didn’t because they weren’t ready for it. Just look: “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

Sometimes the land He’s prepared for us is so large, we can’t take it all in until we’ve grown enough. If He merely delivered us there all at once, the land would overtake us. So He gives it to us in snippets. The victory is still ours. The land still belongs to us, we simply may not take possession in that moment because sometimes our very growth cannot be complete until we’ve lived in the land for a while.

What I love the most about this passage is how God bookends these few sentences. He starts off telling them about His power, how if they obey Him, He’ll bring them into the land. Then He lays that BUT in there—to prepare, not to discourage—but doesn’t leave them there. He finishes with the reminder that the land will be theirs. He ends firing them back up, encouraging them, reminding them of His strength.

Because He is a mighty God. And He loves you. A lot. And that land He's bringing you to? He's going to give it to you--when you've increased enough to take possession.

What land are you heading for today? Have you seen glimpses of it? Do you trust God to get you there? Or maybe you’ve taken your firsts steps into it only to realize you won’t be taking possession for a while. Wherever you are, I pray you are encouraged today and remember He’s going before you and behind you—the land is yours. Keep your eyes on Him.


  1. Awesome post, Susan! Thank you!

    Great, great stuff! God bless you!

  2. Oh my goodness. This is so, so, so good. I love it. Especially this:

    "Sometimes the land He’s prepared for us is so large, we can’t take it all in until we’ve grown enough."

    There's hope in that...hope that even the baby steps matter...that God is always out there in front of us...that His timing so totally rocks.

  3. Michelle - Thanks - all God, you know? I'm heading over for music now:)

    Melissa - He does 'so totally rock' - love that! And hope is such a great word! That's what I took too:)

  4. Have I seen a glimpse of it? Have I taken my first step and realize that I won't be there for a while?


    What you said just repeats what Lance said to me: "a life event will happen, something that will make your story stronger, before you move up here."

    I took that first step, seen where I need to be, know where I am to go: not the why I need to be there or what I'm to do when I get there...not yet.

    The verse that sticks with me: Jonah 1:2 "Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me."

    My next step was uncovered, and I took it. Now I know He will uncover the next one soon.