Numbers 32:1-5 – “Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, 2 the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Shebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the country which the LORD defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5 Therefore they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan.” NKJV
I wonder how many times God’s people have craved to stay on the Wrong Side of the River. If we are going to have God’s best and walk in His perfect, we have to go all the way through and not stop short of the fulfillment of the commission. The tribe of Ruben and Gad fell into the trap of Eve in the Garden and Christians throughout the ages in allowing what they could see in the natural outweigh what they could not see in the spiritual.
In a real sense, it was the Lust of the Eyes and the Pride of Life that caused them to say to Moses, “Do not take us over the Jordan.” They were saying, “We are satisfied to have this rather than placing our confidence in God’s Promise that what He has for us would be better.” Most would say, “I’d never do that.” Yet, we do it more frequently than we are willing to admit.
They wanted to stay on the Wrong Side of the River away from the Place of Promise. I do not want to live there I want to go all the way with Jesus. They knew God’s promise and the description of the land. They knew but they wanted immediate gratification and made a choice to stop short of the fullness of God’s Promise. Can you see the dangers of living on the fringes, outside the Place of Promise? Living where you are literally cut off from the rest of the body and leaving yourself an easy target for the enemy is a dangerous place spiritually and literally. They had a Sprinter’s mentality rather than that of a Marathoner.
The Marathoner gets in the boat at the directive of His Lord and rows. He is determined to go to the other side as directed. When he faces difficulty, he refuses to quit. There are times we are in the middle of the lake and the storms of life rage with the billowing waves crashing over us, but we refuse to quit.
We may become so overcome with the situation that we question, “Where is the Lord?” But the Marathoner says, “Even though I’m not hearing or seeing Him right now I Have His Word to do this, so do it I will.” I’ve had people come to me and say, “Preacher, things are so bad I am beginning to wonder if I’m even saved.” I’ve had people say, “I believe but there are times I begin to wonder, is there a God.” The darkness envelops you but, in your heart, you know that you know that you know He said, “Go” and go you must.
We are all eternal souls, and we talk to this world through our bodies, but talk to God through our spirits. Someone suggested that our minds are like the Control Tower of a large airport where multitudes of messages are coming in from both the “spirit” and the “flesh”. You will is the Traffic Controller and when the messages come in you have to decide who is going to land, where, and when, and who is not. Your will can say to the Reubenite Spirit, “You are not cleared to land. Doubt, unbelief, circumstances, you Cannot land here.” Too often we settle for what we were in the past rather than embracing what we are now in the Spirit.
I have observed churches and individuals who have failed to break free of the Reubenite Mentality and when they gather, they are not singing the songs of Abundant Victory or a Holy War in which we pull down strongholds. Rather they are singing Hold the Fort, In the Sweet By and By. They are Lion King Christians singing “Hakuna Matata.” That is the song of many churches and believers crying out, “Let’s have no worries or problems.” Instead of getting out of the boat and walking on the water they are warning, “Don’t Rock the Boat.”
If we journey back in Israel’s history, we realize that the very moment they placed the Blood on the Door Posts they said Goodbye to a problem-free life and philosophy. The moment they committed to crossing the Jordan and entering the Place of Promise they said goodbye to a problem-free life and philosophy. I’ve had preachers and Christians tell me, “Well if this were of God there wouldn’t be any problems.” Really? Tell that to Paul and the other apostles. Tell that to Jesus! Believers take heart we are more than what we have become, and we are not what we yet shall be.
In Numbers 32:7 Moses questioned why they would do something to discourage the rest of the body from going forward. That is a norm in the church world where those who do not want to Press In an attempt to discourage others from going forward. It may not be intentional, but the end is the same. God sets before us life and death, blessing and curse and it is up to us to choose which path we will take. He will be there, guarding and guiding us but only after we make the choice.
God bless you as you embark on today’s wonderful journey in Jesus!