September 8, 2017
Do You Want More?
By Skip Heitzig
C.S. Lewis once wrote, "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."1
In Numbers 32, the children of Israel were on the verge of entering the Promised Land, but there was one little holdup: "Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses…saying, '…The country which the Lord defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.' Therefore they said, 'If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan'" (vv. 1-2, 4-5).
You get the picture? The tribes of Reuben and Gad saw the lushness of where they were and thought, Why should we go any further? We'd like to stay right here. Notice that the text says they saw (see v. 1). Your eye is the gate through which discontentment is bred and grows. These two tribes saw something that looked good and were willing to stop short of what God had promised them.
Now, what they saw was indeed beautiful. What they saw was bountiful. But what they saw was not bestowed—it was not what God had for them. Sometimes we make decisions in life based solely on what we can see. A young man sees a beautiful girl and is willing to forgo the fact that her character is not very good in favor of the fact that, "Boy, is she hot!" People make career moves based on income or location: "Wow, that's a nice place. I'll go there." It may be beautiful, and it may be bountiful, but it may not be bestowed.
Look at Moses' reaction to their request: "Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: 'Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?'" (v. 6). We all have a tendency to sit. Most of us would rather cruise along in life than fight battles. God tells us, "I've got so much for you," and we go, "Oh, okay. But I like it right here. I like watching. I like sitting."
"Why would you do that?" Moses would say. When you cross over into the land God has for you, yes, you'll encounter fights, but you'll also encounter incredible adventure. If you keep reading Numbers 32, you'll find that God did allow Gad and Reuben to occupy Gilead under certain criteria, but they missed out on so much more. They didn't get to enjoy the inheritance of the Promised Land.
Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." When I read that, I picture God with a ton of presents saying, "I'd love to get these down to you." Here's the deal: they're yours if you open them, if you appropriate them, if you put the soles of your feet on the ground and move, reading and internalizing His Word and then walking in it.
Are you content to go on making mud pies when the adventure of a lifetime is offered to you? Or do you want more? Discover what the Lord wants and, with reckless abandon, go for it—cross the river and walk in the land God has for you.
1. C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, New York, HarperOne, 1980, p. 26.
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