Suggested Reading: Deuteronomy 1:19-33
Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. And you murmured in your tents—Deuteronomy 1:26-27
Pastors and spiritual leaders would call this the “meeting after the meeting.” That’s the meeting and discussion that takes place after the initial meeting, encouraging discussion, and decision, that can undo every good which has been decided and put in motion. This is the place the forces of evil seek to have their greatest influence and impact; to sway us, use our fears and apprehensions to their benefit, persuade us to second guess the promises and power of God. The place they will make mountains out of molehills. And because of this this is the time and place we need to hear, stay close, and trust God most.
To listen, not to our negative, inner voice or human logic, but God alone. To remember his nature, characteristics, attributes, and faithfulness. The moments we must ask ourselves if God has ever lied to us or led us astray. The devil does not want us to do any of these things; he’d rather we backtracked, let our doubts, apprehensions, and fears take the lead: those actions assure him a victory.
Many real-life examples come to mind right now. One of the most memorable and impactful is related to a time we were serving a congregation that had just made a courageous decision to build a new facility on another side of town to expand our ministry and enjoy a facility accessible to everyone, including those with limited mobility.
Great meeting, all-on-board, hallelujah! As we closed in prayer, excitement filled the atmosphere. Everyone committed and excited about the work ahead, determined, happy to be partnering with our District to accomplish enlargement of God’s kingdom and reach out to a new people and area. All was going well until the meetings after the meeting started. Until murmuring in tents (smaller clusters of people holding secret meetings) began to take place. Soon there was division and the unanimous decision became a split decision. Soon, the excitement waned, and many began to express apprehension about doing something so bold, moving from the familiar and comfortable, looking for flaws in the plan, entertaining “what if’s”, and “maybe we should wait,” until eventually the spirit of fear and doubt took root in many hearts and minds.
The devil had been successful through a few to cause division and disrupt our plans, however he did not have total victory. Did the new facility happen? Yes, it did because it was God’s will. But sadly, not through them. It was a blessing they missed. Not because God changed his mind or pulled back his support but because the influence of darkness became more believable than the promises of God for many.
That’s what happens when God has stirred up our courage and helped us to make a decision in favor of whatever it is he has put in front of us, promised or shown to us. Blessings from God often come with a need for us to step out on faith and trust God in a new way. Like the Israelites, when we are not willing to take that needed step, trust God to help, assist, deliver, protect, or empower us, we also miss the blessing he has designed and secured for us.
Our calculating and sly enemy loves to slide in after God has met with us, revealed his wonderful plans for us, and unravel all that has been decided. He comes in to make us doubt God, second guess our decision, give in to fear, decide in favor of comfortability and familiarity. He comes to stop God’s plans from going forward, stop blessings from flowing, and lead us into the sin of disobedience.
It was a great day and great victories when the people of God no longer feared their fears, no longer listened to the enemies of inner doubt, no longer distrusted God but believed and were willing to be bold in the Lord. Every place they set their foot upon became theirs, they experienced great victories and the Lord’s name was renowned; other nations knew him as the God who would fight your battles and bless you. As the saying goes God will never lead you where he has not already gone ahead of you and made a way for you. Let’s Pray,
God, sometimes after you have shown us or shared your plans with us to prosper or bless us, we allow the enemy to plant seeds of doubt, whisper in our ear, dissuade us and make us pull back, he tricks us in the meeting after our meeting. In times like these make us bold in faith and firm in footsteps, remembering your faithfulness and provision. Knowing you will never lead us where you are not waiting on us. in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen
Reflection: How does revisiting the story of the Israelites and how their fears and disobedience caused an entire generation to miss out on God’s blessings encourage you to be bold in the Lord and his promises for you?