Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar
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: 29-30
This was the promise that God gave to the Israelites as they set out to Canaan the Promised Land. God had called it, “the land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:17
But even though this was a land flowing with milk and honey; the Promised Land was full of mighty nations much stronger than the Israelites. Because the Promised Land was occupied by powerful enemies it required time to prepare them for it.
God had a plan, and the plan was to deal with the enemies little by little until they had fully possessed the land.
When we come into the kingdom we enter into a new life in Christ. We enter into everything that God made ready for us from the foundations of the world. But as new believers, we are never ready to fully possess what God has for us. Therefore, God takes us through the process. He gives us the Promised Land little by little.
God told the Israelites, they needed to increase to be able to possess the Promised Land. They needed to increase to deal with the enemies they were going to face. They needed to increase to be able to live fully in the blessing of God.
Why it’s little by little.
If it was done too quickly stronger enemies would occupy the land. You will not be able to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals would multiply around you. Deuteronomy 7:22
Sometimes we don’t understand why some things take so long. But God knows that if what we are begging him to remove quickly is removed it will just make way for greater enemies to enter in.
He trains us for battle. To possess the Promised Land the Israelites were going to need to learn how to fight. When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though it was shorter. For God said, “ If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. Exodus 13:17 they were not prepared to face the philistines yet. They needed to learn how to fight first.
It’s the same thing with us, we ask God for things not knowing that our land flowing with milk and honey also have some formidable giants. Giants that will require we know how to fight and overcome. And if we enter too quickly we will be overcome or run back to the things God has delivered us out of.
We wonder why the business is taking so long, not knowing success comes with powerful things, powerful enough to take us out. And unless we are well prepared for them we will be overcome.
We wonder why God won’t give us a marriage, not realizing marriage comes with unique battles that we may not be quite ready to face just yet. So He grows us and makes us ready little by little until he is sure we can be able to steward it.
We wonder why the ministry or the influence is taking so long, or why the opportunities won’t come just yet. Not knowing that platforms and influence bring greater battles that we may not be able to tackle yet. So He allows us to mature in stewarding it little by little until we can fully possess the land.
He prepares us for hardship little by little. The children of Israelites weren’t quite prepared for the hardships they would face on the way to the Promised Land. And many of us usually aren’t. We aren’t prepared for the battles we will need to fight. We aren’t quite ready for the endurance and patience it will take to stay the course and not quit. We aren’t quite prepared for the hard work it will take to steward some of the things God wants to give us. If we are not careful we might end up like the Israelites. They despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not listen to the voice of the Lord. Psalm 106:24-25. Because they were unprepared for the hardship they despised the Promised Land. They didn’t want it anymore because it was too hard. They resorted to grumbling, complaining, and being discontented.
When we realize the work it will take for God to give us the marriage, we begin to despise the promise. We look for shortcuts and date people who aren’t God’s will for us because it’s too hard to wait on God, it’s too hard to not have sex outside of marriage; it’s too hard to steward being lonely. It’s just too hard to do the work marriage requires beforehand. We feel cheated just like the Israelites did.
When we realize what it will take to build a God-centered business we begin to despise the Promised Land. We instead choose shortcuts that will make us quick money. We take shortcuts because we would rather be successful now than wait for it. we decide that God’s way is too hard and we find easier ways to the promise.
It will require greater faith. The Israelites didn’t know that they were on a faith journey. They didn’t know that everything they were going through was meant to strengthen their faith to possess the Promised Land. So they decided they didn’t want to work on their faith. They didn’t want to believe God for bread. They didn’t want to believe God for meat in the desert. They didn’t want to use faith and choose trust when they lacked water in the desert. Not knowing all these things was a building block to the faith they were going to need to believe God for a land full of giants.
So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest – the Promised Land] because of their unbelief and an unwillingness to trust in God. Hebrews 3:19 AMP
They wouldn’t choose faith and trust when it didn’t matter much, so when it mattered most they couldn’t believe God and his promises for them.
You won’t believe God for a small job but you are sure you will be able to believe him to be a manager / CEO in a company.
You won’t believe God in your singleness and you are sure you will have faith to build and steward a godly marriage.
You won’t believe God for small things but you are sure you will be able to believe God for big things.
But we will be like the Israelites when the stakes are high we will just fall back on our unbelief. We will just fall back on taking shortcuts. We will just fall back on not taking God seriously and doing whatever we want.
Because they didn’t build their capacity for faith in small things they were unable to enter the Promised Land by faith.
Whatever you are in the middle of, remember it matters. 3 or 5 years from now what you are doing today will be the foundation of what you will be doing. Maybe, what you are doing today is the building block for the things God wants you to be doing 10 years to come.
We see the small picture of now but God sees the bigger picture of where He is taking us. So He does it little by little.