'O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?Deuteronomy 3:24(ESV)
God has a plan for each of our lives just as He has a plan for His chosen nation of Israel. God had rescued His people from Egyptian bondage in order to bring them into the land He had promised to their forefathers. In this passage, Moses had just transferred Israel's leadership to Joshua, before delivering a detailed review of all that had taken place during his 40 years of leading Israel through the wilderness.
During the first two years, the Israelites had received instructions from the Lord. He established the Law of Moses, defeated their enemies, sustained all their bodily needs, and provided them with their Tabernacle for the worship of God. The people were ready to enter the Promised Land, but due to unbelief, disobedience, murmuring, and rebellious hearts, it was postponed, and God allowed His people to wander for 38 more years before the little company finally crossed the Jordan into Canaan.
Canaan is not a picture of heaven, for there were battles to fight, cities to conquer, and giants to kill. But it beautifully illustrates the victorious life and spiritual richness believers can enjoy if they walk by faith and not by sight. The Lord Jesus is our promised rest, and to live a victorious life in the daily challenges we face, is to appropriate what is already ours - by faith - for His grace is sufficient.
While Canaan was Israel's promised rest, Christ Jesus is our promised 'Rest'. While the literal land of Canaan is a physical inheritance promised to God's earthly people, Jesus is the spiritual inheritance promised to His Body, which is kept for us in heavenly places.
Israel could have immediately entered God's promised land following their miraculous redemption from Egypt, but unbelief, disobedience, murmurings, and rebellion, prevented them from entering. In the same way, believers in this Church age can immediately enter the promised rest we have in Christ and be kept in His perfect peace, through a living faith, humble obedience, a heart that is guided by the Spirit of God, and a life that walks in spirit and truth.
For 40 years, Israel was prevented from entering their rest due to carnality, and in the same way, the redeemed Body of Christ who have been brought into glorious union with Him can remain in a spiritual wilderness of spiritual infancy... and live a defeated life throughout our sojourn on earth. Fleshly carnality breeds fear and failure in a believer today, just as it did in the days of Israel's desert wanderings.
The time eventually came when Moses was inspired to pray, "O Lord God, You have only begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?" Moses recognised that despite the mighty miracles they had all experienced, the goodness and greatness of God was far beyond anything they had experienced.
The Lord had so much more to show His people. He had promised to fight their battles, conquer cities, establish them in their land, and give them peace, if they would simply trust His Word, obey His direction, and not rely on their own understanding or do things in their own strength. But time and again, they did what seemed right in their own eyes and so God withdrew His blessings and postponed His promises.
Like Israel, the Church... who are also redeemed by faith, have only scratched the surface of the privileges that are ours by faith in Him. Every one of us have been given all we need to live a victorious life through Christ and partake of our promised rest, if we will simply believe His Word, live by faith, and receive all that is ours in Christ. Like Israel, the Lord has only begun to show us His greatness and mighty acts - and all we have to do to receive it, is to believe.
He has pledged to defeat all the spiritual giants we may face. He has promised to be with us every step of our earthly journey if we will simply trust His Word, obey His commands, and be content in our calling. He has promised us a triumphant and fruitful life, if we will abide in Him and He in us... if we depend on Him and live humbly before Him all the days of our life... as we die to self and live for Him.
What great comfort we find in this simple verse. God has only started to show us the greatness and wonder of all that God has prepared for those that love Him. The vast expanses of the universe and the intricacy of every facet of His creation is a small reflection of God’s loving-kindness and faithfulness towards those that love Him.
As we journey through life, we have been given all that we need to live a victorious life. We have all we need to defeat every 'giant' and conquer every 'Jericho', through Christ, Who strengthens us.
God cares deeply for each of His children, and as with Israel, nothing can ever happen in our life that does not concern Him deeply. He hears our cry for help and gives us the grace to stand fast in this evil day. As we abide in Christ and He is us, we begin to understand that God has only just begun to show us His greatness and His mighty hand, and we can say with Moses, "for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as our God?"
If the One Who flung stars into space also cares for each tiny fledgling sparrow – how much more can we depend upon His love and faithfulness towards us as we pass through life. It is in His strength that we are enabled to battle the satanic giants that bar our way. It is in Him alone that we can live a victorious life and claim a better resurrection in our own spiritual battle – and it is all done by grace through faith in Christ alone.
Loving Father, You alone are great and wonderful. You alone are faithful and trustworthy and Your glory reaches into the heavens. Thank You for caring for me. Lord, You have only begun to show Your servants the greatness of Your power and the strength of Your mighty arm - for what god is there in heaven or on earth Who has redeemed us by His own blood and given us all we need for life and godliness. I praise You for Your wonderful works and mighty acts. I pray that I would appropriate all that is mine in Christ, so that I may live a victorious life in this world and in the ages to come - life everlasting. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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