Don’t settle for what you’ve got, when God wants to give you more.
That’s an important biblical principle some people, like the Israelites, choose to learn the hard way.
Let’s catch up: the Israelites have been wandering through the desert for 40 years in search of “the promised land”. And in Numbers 32, we find them just across the river from their destination. They’re so close they almost taste it, and they can probably even see it.
As they camp on the other side of the river from their destiny, there’s certainly a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air. Then a couple of people go and ruin the mood:
“The Gadites and Reubenites came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community and said…’If we find favor with you, let this land [we’re currently in] be given to your servants as their possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.'” (Numbers 32:2,5)
Two of the tribes (the Israelites are broken up into 12 tribes) approach Moses: “Hey. We’ve been thinking. This land we’re hanging out in right now is pretty nice. I mean, I’m sure it’s not as nice as the promised land, but eh, this’ll do. Just give us this land, don’t make us cross the river and conquer the promised land with y’all. That seems like a lot of work.”
God had great things in store for them. Extraordinary things in store for them. And they just wanted to settle. They didn’t want to work for it. They just wanted to take what they already had because they had decided that thought it wasn’t “great”, it would do.
In Your Life
Does your life reflect that same sort of attitude? Are simply “satisfied” where you’re at? Do you give up on big dreams because they would be a lot of work to make happen? Do you settle because where God has brought you will do, and it’s not worth the risk to cross the river in search of greater things?
In Your Ministry
Take a look at your ministry. Are you doing programs that are working, but not as good as they could be? Are you afraid or unmotivated to try new things because what you’re doing now seems alright? Do you look at what you’re producing (media, graphics, print, etc.) and think “It’s not great, but it’s just for church, so eh, it’ll do”? Do you settle for what is easy instead of pushing forward with where you know God is calling you?
Why Does it Matter?
1. Your example matters. When you settle for what’s easy, people notice. When you’re too afraid to trust God for more, people notice. When you live a life of mediocrity when God’s called you to greatness, people notice. Your example matters, and your example will be imitated. Your lack of faith, your fear, your laziness serves as a model for those who look up to you.
The same was true for the Gadites and Reubenites, and Moses knew it:
“Why do you wish to discourage the Israelites from crossing to the land the LORD has given them?” (Numbers 32:7)
2. Excellence matters. The Church has the most important, relevant and life-changing message in the world. And if we truly believe that, then we should be presenting that message with both excellence and innovation. The programs we run should be the best we can create. The methods we use to share the Gospel should be fresh and relevant. The materials we produce should be as good (if not better) than the secular world around us.
The way we share Jesus reflects what we believe about Him. Do we believe He deserves our best, or eh, this’ll do?