The children of Reuben and Gad had a lot of cattle. God promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, but they saw the land of Jazer and Gilead and thought it would be a great place for their cattle. They thought it would be better. They went to Moses, the priest and the princes of the congregation about their plan (not God’s plan). May we settle here instead of crossing the Jordan into the promised land? (Numbers 32:5, VOICE). Moses couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Shall your brothers go to war and shall you sit here? (vs 6).
In Numbers 20, Moses was told he wouldn’t enter the promised land. The Lord spake to Moses and Aaron, Because you didn’t believe me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them (vs 12). Here we have Moses, who wanted to enter in, but couldn’t while the Reubenites and Gadites had the opportunity to enter in, but chose not to. Moses couldn’t believe that they came this far only to settle here when God wanted to give them there. He was also concerned that it would discourage the others from going across to the land that the Lord had given them. Eventually, half of the tribe of Manasseh decided not to cross over either. Our decisions do affect other people.
Moses told the Reubenites and Gadites that they were just like their ancestors (Numbers 32:8). When Moses sent their ancestors to survey the land, they went as far as the valley of Eschol, took one look at the land and quit. They discouraged the others who wanted to go by telling them how strong and tall the people were that inhabited the land and that they wouldn’t be able to go up against them. God was so angry with them that He made them (with the exception of Caleb and Joshua) wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation (20 years old and older) died out.
The Reubenites and Gadites vowed to help the others fight and to cross over, but their minds were made up. They were content. They didn’t want to go any further. Now that may have been fine for them, but that’s not okay for us. Don’t settle. Don’t accept something or someone just because you don’t see what God said yet.
God has better for you.
God has already given what He promised, but you must want it. You must go and possess it. Wishing and hoping is not enough. Going to church and hearing the word is not enough. You must do what the word says. Some of us are trying to find different ways to enter into the promise, but there is only one way – obedience. This is how Caleb and Joshua entered in. They followed God completely (vs 11). And lazy people don’t inherit the promise. You can’t be like the five foolish virgins who expect other people to have oil for them – and for you. Get your own oil! Do what you are supposed to do. Use what God gave you.
In Mark 6:45, Jesus revealed to the disciples their destination, but He never told them what would happen during the journey. And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship and to go to the other side to Bethsaida (vs 22). On the way there – in the middle, the wind was blowing against them and their ship was tossing because of the strong waves. Jesus saw them struggling, trying to row the boat. Even though the journey was hard, they never stopped rowing. They did what Jesus told them to do. They kept moving toward the other side. They kept resisting the wind and the waves. They made it to the other side (with Jesus in the ship with them) and so will you. The enemy wants you to get discouraged in the middle. He wants you to give up and settle where you are. If you are going to become settled in anything, become settled in the word. Come in agreement with God and accept what He said as true. Don’t sit here when God has promised you there. God wants to give you more than what you can see.
But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Please understand that this isn’t just about receiving ‘material things’ on the other side. This is about discovering who we are in Christ (here) and doing what we were anointed to do (there). The enemy wants us to remain in the middle, straddling the fence (lukewarm), halt between two opinions. He doesn’t want us to grow spiritually. He wants us to just go to church and have a ‘good time’. He wants us to be hearers only – always learning and getting new information and revelation, but never understanding the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
Let’s look at this another way. When the disciples entered the ship with Jesus, a severe storm came (Matthew 8:23). The ship was covered with waves. Jesus was sleeping while the disciples were panicking. When they woke Him up, He asked, Why are you fearful, you of little faith (vs 26)? Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea and they got to the other side. On the other side, they met two men possessed with devils living among tombs (vs 28). Now do you see why the enemy fights you so hard? The reason why he doesn’t want you to cross over to the other side is because he doesn’t want you to heal those he oppressed.
Let us not be like the tribes that only thought about what they wanted for themselves. God doesn’t just want us to go to the other side, but He wants us to help someone else get to the other side, too.
I pray that we all cross over and enter into what God has promised.