From a comfortable chair, wilderness signs can be entertaining; at the trail-head hikers should take them seriously. Here’s a selection:
No parking next to the trail-head.
Pay attention to signs.
Bear management area; party of four or more recommended. Stash your food and trash.
Trail re-routed due to landslide.
Enter trails at your own risk.
STOP—Assess hiking fitness.
Moses knew nothing about being a trail guide until God signaled to him out of a burning bush in Sinai. The supernatural sign got his attention; the message was quite clear—Moses was to lead Israel on a journey.
I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt . . . to a land flowing with milk and honey. (Ex. 3:17)
Egypt was no place for God’s people to park; they needed to leave. God had a Promised Land waiting for them, territory where, in relationship with Him, they could prosper and glorify Him.
God has promised lands for us too; we experience them when we live close to Him. To some people God offers healthier relationships, freedom from overwhelming life struggles, or greater abundance as their new homeland. Others find victory and joy in the midst of suffering. God’s promised lands are rarely geographical, but God calls individuals, ministries, and churches to serve His purposes—promised lands are areas of life where God reigns as King. The most overt kingdom vocations are evangelism and discipleship in church or in cross-cultural missions. Some people extend His kingdom through a subtle influencing of whole segments of society toward godly thinking and behavior. Others do it by a life of silently caressing the hidden hurting.
Our promised lands are rarely a single step away. When God first gives us a glimpse of what He has in store for us, it signals the trail-head of a long journey. Israel’s journey included various highlights and hazards—our trails are the same. None of us should be dissuaded by the distance or difficulties, though they are sobering. Journeys to promised lands require the company of the Lord—He guides, provides, and protects along the way. He even uses the challenges to increase our spiritual fitness. So . . .
Enjoy your journey!