[bl]F[/bl]or so long I thought the point of being a Christian was to go to Heaven. That Heaven was the goal, the Promised Land waiting for those who believe. And the way I live on Earth mattered because it determined my entering of this place where God is present.
But as I read the story of God’s chosen people, I know that God is present in this place where we walk with feet of flesh. And his promised lands of freedom are possible now. That how we live and relate now doesn’t just determine our future, it becomes our present Heaven on Earth.
We are not chosen by God at the end of our life. Nor are we delivered one time into a place of healing and wholeness, after our physical death.
Rather, we are continually chosen and delivered by our Creator as we walk this earthen ground in faith. Our salvation begins now. Deliverance is available now.
If you live in a place where fear keeps you captive, the Lord God will lead you to a place where Perfect Love brings peace.
If your riches or your desire for wealth powerfully controls you, the Lord God will lead you into an abundant life marked by the Spirit, rather than money.
If you are enslaved by a spirit of negativity and complaint, the Lord God will lead you to a place where thankfulness grows and bears joy.
If you are bound by past sin, the Lord God will lead you to a land of cleansing, of reconciliation and restoration. A place where you are forgiven.
If you are held captive by judgment, the Lord God will lead you to a place where grace abounds.
These enemies will not defeat us. The Lord God, the one who created us, formed us, and chose us will deliver us from anything that keeps us from fruitful living and the abundant life he intends for us.
And when we stand at the brink of freedom, he urges us not to forget him. But to always remember the ways he passed over us, carried us, led us, and provided for us. Today is this day of remembering.
And these new and promised lands of freedom – of joy, of contentedness, of peace, of faithfulness, of grace, of thankfulness, of love – this is God being victorious now. This is us living God’s will on earth as it is Heaven.
Hear, O Israel.
God’s chosen people, listen.
You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall!
You will face enemies stronger than you. You will confront what looks impossible to conquer.
You know about them and have heard it said: Who can stand up against the Anakites?”
And others will say you can’t do it. It’s not possible to defeat these enemies.
But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you. (Deuteronomy 9:1-3)
We are a victorious people. Now, on Earth.
I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. (Leviticus 26:11-13)
Let us live like we are victorious, with heads held high looking to the Father with gratitude!
Remember today what the Lord God has done for you. The ways he has delivered you. The promises he sets before you. And trust that he will take you there. That he will cross you over. And in our remembering, let us not forget to praise him for his victorious acts of our past, the ways he is presently victorious within us, and all that he will claim for us in the future. He is faithful and good.
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuse, and underneath are the verlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” So Israel will live in safety alone; Jacob’s spring is secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heaves drop dew. Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places. (Deuteronomy 33:26-29)