“Comfortable outside of Canaan!”
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock.
2 So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said,
3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon—
4 the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.
5 If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”
This morning I would like to speak a message that I believe The Lord has placed upon my heart.
The title of the message is “Comfortable outside of Canaan.”
What is happening in this passage of scripture is that the people of God were promised a certain part of a land and the name of that land was called Canaan, but on their way to Canaan they ran into some good land.
So what happened is when they ran into the good land they wanted to stay there, instead of going into the land that God had promised them.
So that is where we read in Numbers 32:1-5
See what happened is they came out of Egypt – they had conquered the Moabites and the Midianites and now they were on their way to the Promised Land, but on their way to the promised land they ran into some good land.
Seeing that this land was good they wanted to talk to Moses about staying in the good land.
The Ruebenites and Gadites pulled their leader Moses aside and Moses we have something we want to share with you.
We know the Lord has promised Canaan, but we this land is very green and will be good for our animals. So, we want to know if we can just stay here instead of crossing the Jordan and going into the land the Lord has promised us?
See the Lord had promised to give them Canaan, but they wanted to settle in the good land.
It is important to know that they no longer bound up in Egypt, but neither were they in the land that The Lord has promised.
So that is where we have the conversation in the book of Numbers Chapter 32.
The said Moses we want to know if it’s ok, if we can just stay right here in this land because it is green and has a lot of grass for cattle.
So being that we have a lot of cattle, we wanted to know if we can stay here, instead of going for the land God has promised us.
Please don’t make us cross the Jordan.
Moses was the type of person that didn’t let the people settle. He said shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here.
In their minds, they probably thought Moses would understand after all we are not in Egypt any longer and we are better than before.
How many thank God for leaders that don’t let us settle?
How many thank God for leaders that always challenge us to be better?
Let’s bring it home to us. Sometimes you and I can get comfortable on our way to the promise that God has given us.
After all we are no longer in Egypt.
After all we are not in the party life no more.
After all we are not doing drugs anymore.
After all we are not drinking anymore.
Yes, that is true, but at the same time, we are not in the place that God has promised us.
sometimes we can get comfortable with our progress on our way to the promise land.
On our way to accomplishing the original idea of what we had in mind when we first started.
What we need today are Christians who are going to go after all that God has promised us.
God has not called us to be average, ordinary or status quo.
Don’t sale out your inheritance. We have been called to inherit the nations.
We need to have a vision for our lives.
Don’t be like these tribes who got comfortable, but be willing to go for all that God has for you.
I look at it like this: Have you ever seen a poster of someone playing sports?
Maybe it was rugby, maybe it was soccer, maybe it was cricket.
You have the one who is scoring the goal or the try and then you have the ones who are being scored on or the ones who are in the background.
Which one do you want to be?
Do you want to be the one who is in the background, or do you want to be the one who is putting in action?
God didn’t save you and I so we could just fill up a Church seat, but He saved us because He has a purpose and a plan for our lives.
It was easier for these tribes to stay right where they were at, instead of believing God to take them across the Jordan.
After all they were not in Egypt anymore.
It was a lot of work getting out of Egypt, so now that we are in a good land, we can just rest right here.
I don’t have enough energy to cross the Jordan.
Let me just get comfortable right here outside of Canaan.
Let me just serve God right here in a space that is good for my cattle.
They had lost their vision of going into the promised land.
Notice it wasn’t opposition that wanted to stop them from going into the promised, but it was the things they acquired on their way to the promised land.
It wasn’t that they didn’t have the ability to get there.
It wasn’t that God had not promised them the promised land, but it was that they got comfortable on the way.
The lost their vision of moving forward.
When they first left Egypt that had a vision to get into the land of Canaan, but on their way, they lost the vision of going into Canaan because they got comfortable.
I know sometimes you and I think that the enemy of great is bad, but sometimes the enemy of great is good.
Tell your neighbor don’t settle…
When you and I have a vision, it will not allow us to settle and become complacent, but it drives us to keep building.
The vision that God has for our lives is not taught, but it is caught.
Let’s take a look at Paul’s life.
On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
we all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.
‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
What you and I accomplish for God is not a chance it is a choice…
You and I need to make a choice to go after all that God has for us.
It is very important for you and I to have a vision for our lives.
God told Abraham in Genesis 13:14 – as far as you can see of the land I will give to you and your descendants…
Let me read to you a quote from Helen Keller who was blind she said – “The only thing being worse than blind is having sight but no vision…”
Somebody say Vison…
I want to take a look at a few things of what vision does for you and I then I will be done…
What does vision do for our lives?
1) Having a vision gives meaning to our lives.
See when you and I have a goal and a vision for our lives, it gives our lives meaning. We know that we are not just here by accident or just here by mistake, but we know that God has a specific plan and a purpose for our lives.
We were placed here for a reason and our goal should be to see that vision and mission come to pass.
Vision gives our lives meaning because it gives you and I something to shoot for. It gives us a goal for our life.
I often say – Living our life without a vision is like playing soccer with no Goal, you have nothing to shoot for.
See having a vision and living for God is exciting?
Vision gives us meaning because it gives us something to accomplish.
It gives us a reason to do what we do.
Just like Jesus had the mission to seek and to save that which was lost while He was here in the body on earth, so you and I are now His body and we still have that same mission to seek and to save that which is lost.
What is your part in the body to help us in reaching the lost?
There are different spiritual gifts.
Not everybody is called to preach.
Not everybody is called to be a missionary.
Not everybody is called to full time ministry.
We all have a part to play in helping us reach a hurting world for the Honor and Glory of God.
Do you feel your life needs meaning today?
I encourage you to get a vision for your life and it will bring both excitement and meaning to your life.
Once you and I give our lives over to God's purpose and plan then we will know just like Paul, that we have been given both a ministry and a mission.
Our ministry is what we do in the body of Christ and our mission is to impact the world.
2) Having a vision gives you and I direction.
Have you ever met someone doing all kinds of work, but not ever getting anything done?
It seems they have all kinds of movement, but no progress.
They just do whatever comes up and whatever can occupy their time.
It is like they are living their life on a treadmill.
Constantly running but going nowhere.
See having a vision and a goal for our lives gives you and I direction, it sets boundaries of what you should and shouldn't do to get where we want to go.
Those boundaries help you and I to stay in line toward our vision. It restrains us.
If you want to get to your vision stay within these boundaries.
Where there is no vision people cast off restraints.
When you play sports, if we get outside of those boundaries the referee will blow the whistle.
That's how our life should be. It should have boundaries that keep us the direction of our goal and when we get off track.
Once you and I set a vision or goal, it puts boundaries on our life.
If I want to get my Matrix – Now I need to study.
If I want to upgrade the marks on Matrix – Now I need to study.
If I want to get my learners or license – Now I need to study and practice driving.
When we have a vision for our lives it gives us boundaries.
Now instead of staying out late, now I need to study.
Now instead of watching Netflix whole day, I need to study.
I think we get the point.
Well so it is in the things of God, when you and I are pursuing the vison and purpose that God has for our lives, it gives us direction and helps us to stay within certain boundaries in order to see that vision come to pass.
It is important for you and I to have vision because it give us directions.
Vision acts like a spiritual navigation system. It tells you and I the steps we need to take to get where you and I want to go.
How many know to get those directions from the navigation system you need to type in a destination of where you want to go?
Somebody say, Vision.
3) The last and final thing is that Vision gives you and I passion.
Paul was a man who got a vision for his life and because of that vision Paul had passion.
Once he found out God's purpose and plan for his life, he pursued it with a passion.
You know the thing I like about Paul, is the same passion and energy he put into the things he did before he served God, is the same passion and energy he put into the things of God.
He didn't use all his energy for worldly things and then get saved and kick back.
No, he said king Agrippa I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven and that is why I am standing before you today.
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem, all Judea, and to the gentiles I preached.
The same energy that he used to do the things that he did before he got saved, he turned it around and used that same zeal and energy for the things of God…
See before Paul got saved he was a person who travelled city to city to try and get Christians to Blaspheme God.
Now when he had an encounter with God, he turned that same zeal around for the things of God.
Paul had a passion to pursue the purpose that God had for his life.
Paul was committed to the heavenly vision.
Here are a few things that Paul went through after he got saved and started to, pursue his God given mission but he didn't let it stop him from preaching the Gospel…
II Corinthians 11:24
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.
27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
Imagine that going through all these things and still keeping that fire and passion for the vision that God had placed on his heart.
Is there anybody in the house tonight that has a Godly vision.
Let me ask us a question – are we willing to put that same energy, commitment, radical ness, and boldness in the things of God as we did for the things of the world?
I know before you got saved you did this or you did that, but is there anybody in the house that is willing to have a radical commitment to what God has called you to do?
You say I may be going through some things right now, but I am still staying focused on my Godly vision and going after all that God has called me to do…
There may even be some of us here this morning that are not serving God.
You may be far from God, and you are wandering if your life even has purpose.
You may be going through a season in your life where you are wandering if your life has a purpose.
Well, I am here to tell you that God has a plan for your life. I encourage you to give your life to God and pursue that plan and vision with a passion
When you and I have a vision for our lives it gives us passion.
Passion keeps us going – passion wakes us up – passion helps us give – passion gives us fire and passion gives us radical ness!!
Somebody say Passion!!!
A vision drives us and gives us a passion to put in work for the things of God.
The same passion in the world now for God…
Someone who has passion keeps on pressing even during opposition because it burns on the inside of them.
The vision they have gives them energy to keep pressing toward their goal and pursue it with a passion even during setback and opposition, because it is a passion.
Let’s not get comfortable outside of Canaan and what God has promised us, but lets go after all that God has for us.
Quote form Bill Hybels, Who You Are When No One's Looking,
It started like so many evenings. Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner. Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon and some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. “Jimmy, it's time to go to bed. Go up now and I'll come and settle you later.” Unlike usual, Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room. An hour or so later his mother came up to check if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his window at the moonlit scenery. “What are you doing, Jimmy?” “I'm looking at the moon, Mommy.” “Well, it's time to go to bed now.” As one reluctant boy settled down, he said, “Mommy, you know one day I'm going to walk on the moon.” Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a near fatal motorbike crash which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon's surface, just one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so?
But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love.
Let me ask you “Got Vision”
- Vision gives our lives meaning
- Vision gives our lives direction
- Vision gives our lives passion