“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’” Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (New Living Translation)
There are times in our lives when (if we are listening) we would hear God say to us, “You have stayed at this mountain long enough!” God spoke this word to the Israelites when they were in the wilderness after their great deliverance from slavery in Egypt. They had camped at Mt. Sinai for almost a year. God wanted them to keep moving toward the Promised Land. But it could not have been easy to get started. They had their children, their livestock and all that they possessed with them. Daily life (post-slavery) had become familiar and routine during that year. It had been a battle just to get that far and they were probably reluctant to face more change. Some may have felt that camping at Mt. Sinai was “good enough.” They were free from the Egyptian slave masters, and they could just stay where they were in peace. But God had much more blessing in mind for them.
For you, the “mountain” may represent a place in your life, career, or geography, about which God is nudging you to make a change. God will never force you to do His will, but He will gently urge you to lay down your will for His. You may feel that where you are right now is “good enough.” But God has a greater plan and much more blessing in store for you! Following His will is the key to unlocking those blessings. It is also important to recognize that “good enough” is the shrewd enemy of God’s perfect will.
Human nature will fight against fully surrendering “self” to God. It always wants to maintain control. Yet to walk with God in the highest level, unconditional surrender is a non-negotiable requirement. The Holy Spirit will help us make that surrender if we ask Him. The famed Welsh intercessor, Rees Howells, learned the secret of “being willing to be made willing” by the grace of God. He discovered the spiritual riches God would open to the person willing to fully surrender to God’s will. As a result, he lived an extraordinary life, seeing many miracles and being a powerful part of God’s intercessory army during a critical point in World War II history. (I encourage you to read the book Rees Howells – Intercessor by Norman Grubb)
It is time to break camp and move on…
The very next instruction God gave to Moses and the Israelites after telling them their time on that mountain was over, was a call to action. It consisted of two important components that you will have to embrace to obey God in your own life. The first was an instruction to “break camp.” The Israelites were literally camping on their way to the Promised Land. Breaking camp was hard work and required packing up all that they possessed and severing any ties they had made while staying in that area. When God calls you to break camp, it will require the same sacrifices. You may have to say goodbye to family and friends you are accustomed to having nearby. It will be hard work both physically and emotionally, but God will give you the grace to do it if you are committed to do His will.
The second part of God’s instruction was “MOVE ON!” This will take a faith-filled determination to walk away (physically and mentally) from your current “mountain” to follow God’s leading in your life. You must be willing to leave the familiar and the comfortable to walk by faith into new and uncharted territory. You will have to valiantly resist fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and learn to trust God at a new level. But the rewards will be outstanding.
Go in and occupy it…
The final instruction God gave the Israelites would require both faith and great courage. The Lord had clearly specified what territory they were to take. They understood the meaning of “GO IN AND OCCUPY IT…” They had to believe in their hearts that God was giving them that land and then demonstrate by corresponding action that they truly believed Him. For them, the corresponding action required was a physical battle to conquer that territory. For you, it will be fighting the good fight of faith to take hold of the “territory” God has appointed for you. This may be that new job, career, school, geographic region or area of ministry.
Joshua, Moses’ assistant, became the leader of the Israelites (after the death of Moses) and the one who would fulfill God’s command to “Go in and occupy” the Promised Land. As he was about to embark on that enormous undertaking, the Lord gave him these words of exhortation: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (Amplified)
God knew that Joshua had to guard himself against fear and intimidation if he was to be successful. If you are going to be successful in your God given assignment – you also must fight fear with faith. Faith means you have more confidence and trust in what God has said to you than what your circumstances appear to be. It “appeared” that the Israelites could never overcome the enemies in the Promised Land – but they did! God had already planned a way to give them victory.
God has already planned for YOUR victory – but you must believe that and act accordingly! You will have to guard your words – never speak defeat (even when you feel defeated) – and you will have to take steps of faith daily to move toward the territory to which God has called you. Build up your faith by recounting every word and scripture God has given you about your new assignment. Don’t allow any circumstance to intimidate you or cause you to back off. Instead, remember God’s words to Joshua …the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
If you have thoroughly read this article to the end, I believe this is a prophetic exhortation for your life. You have stayed on this mountain long enough…and God is calling you to break camp and move on.
Don’t hesitate to obey the Lord and end up like the thousands of Israelites who never made it to the Promised Land because they couldn’t bring themselves to trust God. The Lord has already planned a way for you to have victory and occupy the new territory He has prepared for you. God is not depending on you to make it happen. The victory is dependent upon God. You must simply trust and obey.