As of today, it has been 250 days since we moved back to California. To be completely honest, LA was not originally my "promised land." Gulf Breeze, Florida (where we moved from) was my promised land, the land I thought God was calling us to live for good. I had already made peace with the fact that I would be over a thousand miles away from family. I had made peace with the fact that my parents' first grandchild would not grow up as close to them as we would've liked. It was tough work, but I did it. I worked through it. I made wonderful new friends and they quite quickly became my family. This place was gorgeous and hello--Publix!? And now God was calling us back home after all that work to move to Florida in the first place?
"12 men came to spy on Canaan, 10 were bad and 2 were good..."
This old children's song holds deep spiritual impact and reveals a little about my own heart through this transition.
What made the two men good and the others bad? For a little backstory:
The men, women, and children of Israel have been rescued from their life of slavery in Egypt and were now THISclose to entering the long-awaited promised land that God had told them He would give to them. They sent out 12 men, Joshua and Caleb among them, to go to the land and bring back report of what they find. They brought back similar reports of a "land flowing with milk and honey," giants, giant grapes, and strong cities that already existed within Canaan.
The reports start to differ when J & C say that they can surely take the land. The other men stirred fear and discord into the hearts of the already exhausted and irritable crowd saying that it was impossible. Long story short, because of this God didn't allow them to enter Canaan and extended their journey in the wilderness. Mercifully, He eventually allowed the generations after this whiny one to finally rest in their promised land.
Now do you see where the "good" and "bad" come from?
This brings me to compare Canaan with Los Angeles (or whatever thing you need to conquer). There was nothing wrong with sending scouts ahead to be prepared and plan accordingly. When God's already telling you that this thing is yours and still disrespect Him or choose not to believe Him and His power to give that very thing He promised to give you, that's when we need to fall on our knees and cry out for forgiveness. Let's not look at the "giants" and instead focus on the promise.
One of my giants was no longer being close with the new friends I had cultivated rich, spiritual relationships with. Another was that I had a "past" in L.A. that I said good riddance to when we moved, yet now I would return to face all I had done. I may not have been a murderer, but I do believe that the normal drama of life as a young adult did take it's toll on me. My fear levels were off the charts! Fear of certain people not believing I had truly been transformed by the grace of God (I was extremely legalistic for a time). Fear of men and the audacity some of them had and the lengths they would go through to disrespect a woman. Fear of crime being in close proximity to my daughter (Gulf Breeze had low crime rates). Fear of the rising prices and taxes. Fear, fear, fear...I was beginning to sound like the 10 men who feared they would get crushed by the enemy.
I had to make a stand. My negativity was affecting my husband as I discouraged him rather than encouraged him. And after seeking and praying on my own, God revealed that we would indeed return home to L.A. Now that I'm here, I'm beginning to see the plans unfolding. It's like Joshua and Caleb seeing the giants but also seeing the potential of the land. These giants were nothing in the face of an Almighty God, and in the name of Jesus I would be able to face them.
Take your Canaan today, don't delay. It may take longer than expected, but don't let what was 11 days away turn to 40 extra years of wandering in the desert; All because we rejected what was right in front of us and rebelled against the promise-fulfilling God within us. It affects everyone in our life when we don't obey God. Imagine if I had pulled Jeremy away from moving back here when we did... we wouldn't have been able to see the life change we see now. A few years, a few weeks, a few days make all the difference in regards to obeying God.
I highly suggest reading the entire history in Numbers to get the scope of what happened in that wilderness all those years ago. I find it a warning to all of us, but mostly it gives me hope...Hope that sees the mercy of our God in our present complaining and grumbling. He always provides a way back into righteousness and justice, to make what was impossible, possible, and to make us face our fears to be able to obtain the promise. Take the land.
Reading: Numbers 13 and 14, focusing on Numbers 14: 7-11