“‘If we have found favor in your [Moses’] eyes, they said, let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.’ Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, ‘Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them?’”
Friend to Friend
In sports training, whether it’s the swing of a bat, a golf club, or a tennis racquet, the follow through of your swing is what imparts the full force, and gives the ultimate trajectory to the ball.
In our spiritual lives, our follow through—or lack thereof—can markedly impact the power with which we live and the course of direction our lives take.
Today’s Bible passage, while possibly unfamiliar, is taken from a well-known account: the nation of Israel is just about to be ushered into the long-awaited Promised Land, west of the Jordan River.
Moses had previously led the people of God out of Egypt where they had been living in slavery for generations. But because of Israel’s subsequent rebellion, what was supposed to be a 14 day journey to the banks of the Jordan turned into a 40 year wandering through the Sinai desert. Now, at long last, the time had come to follow through with the Lord’s original plan. But some of the 12 tribes of Israel weren’t feeling it—specifically Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh. They came to Moses with an alternative plan. These men requested to stay where they were and settle east of the Jordan. The land there was good, their families and animals were comfortable, and they wanted to just leave well enough alone.
Ultimately, Moses relented. He first required the men of these two and a half tribes to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land with the rest of Israel in order to help rid the land of its inhabitants so God’s people could take possession. Once this was accomplished they could return to settle in the land east of the Jordan where their wives, children and livestock awaited them.
All’s well that ends well, right? Not so here. Fast forward further in the First Testament (Samuel 10:27, 2 Kings 10:32)—and we find that while the tribes who had followed through with God’s plan for their lives were safe, happy, and thriving in the Promised Land, the tribes who settled for “good enough” were attacked and enslaved, and the right eye of every Israelite had been gouged out!
What does this lack of follow through look like when applied to one’s Christian life? It might be that after receiving Jesus as Savior (a release from the slavery we had to sin), you fail to be baptized (cross through the waters of the Jordan). Or maybe you’ve been saved and sealed in baptism, but have been content to just “do church,” when the Lord’s Promised Land for you lies in the realm of the “yet to be conquered”—an area of service He’s been calling you to that you’ve neglected to pursue.
Spiritual follow through not only enables us to take hold of all the blessings the Lord has intended to lavish on us, but also can protect us from unforeseen dangers lurking in our future.
Jesus, I am so thankful that you have a detailed plan for my life. Thank you for rescuing me from my Egypt and for leading me towards my individual Promised Land as well as the eternal Promised Land that awaits me in Heaven. May I never settle for less than all that you have in store for me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
In what area of your life have you been content to stay “east of the Jordan”? What would need to happen for you to cross the Jordan and enter into the Promised Land that He has waiting for you to inhabit?
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Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!
Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa Morrone’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or wherever books are sold.