Source: Better in the Process | better
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you…
I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
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.
~ Exodus 23:20, 22, 27-30 ~
The Bible is a wealth of knowledge, much of which can be Greek to us (pun intended), especially in the parts heavy laden with legal and genealogical details.
It can be especially easy to get lost in the numerous laws and commands established by God in the Old Testament.
They lack the practicality and excitement of the more familiar stories, like those we often associate with Exodus—the birth of Moses, the plagues, leading the people out of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and even the Ten Commandments.
But sometimes, in the unlikely places, God will reveal a nugget of truth; He will lift something off of the page that we might not otherwise see; He will spotlight something that is seemingly insignificant.
And that is exactly where we are in the passage above. The epic tales of Exodus are behind them, the Ten Commandments have been handed down, but then God began to give Moses a litany of other laws and commands, commonly a place to tune out.
This time was different. Not only did I find myself revisiting this obscure scripture but in it, I saw something I haven’t seen there before. Perhaps the Holy Spirit was revealing it to me.
Look at the text. God promises to protect and guide His people into the Promised Land (v. 20). He promises to drive out the enemy (vv. 22, 27-28). Nothing surprising there; this was the point from the beginning, wasn’t it?
This is no different than what He has been doing. He has already done miraculous things and exhibited His incomparable power. By now, you would think His people would expect nothing less.
At this point, given what they have seen and went through, the rest should be downhill; they should be able to coast.
Surely God in His infinite power can take them right into the Promised Land where they could be chillaxing on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea sipping milk and honey by tomorrow, right?
Nope. The Lord continues: “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.”
Could God have given them the land immediately? I mean, does He not possess the power to make it happen now? Of course He does…He spoke the universe into existence in seven days, He wiped out evil mankind with a flood, He parted the Red Sea…this He can do. Yet He relents.
And so it goes with my life and maybe yours too. God has already prepared a place for me and cleared the path for me by way of His son, Jesus Christ. He protects me and guides me.
I have seen Him do miraculous things in my life and even in the lives of others but I have not arrived; I have not yet gotten to the place He has prepared but more importantly, He is still preparing me.
What is true for His people corporately in this passage is true for me individually. I am a process. The soil of my heart is fertile for whatever is planted there. In it, He devours the enemy while it is my responsibility to tend the garden; to increase or mature into Him.
Salvation is a gift. I don’t have to earn it or be perfect to get it. But His Word exhorts me and His love compels me to work out my salvation; to become like Him.
Does He have the power to change me right away? Probably. But would it be too much for me? Would it be too substantial a garden for me to tend all at once? Is it something I would take for granted? So little by little, day by day, I am trying.
Perhaps the journey is what makes the Promised Land so promising. Perhaps the process is better than promptness. It is in the process that a product is refined.
I am a process but in the process, I will become better; I am His process, the work of His hands. There are no better hands to be in.
See more at: http://better.godinterest.org/