Just a little background, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years and the Lord delivers them from their slavery in a mighty way. I don't mean they just got to leave, there were crazy plagues with locusts and frogs and then when they were leaving the Egyptians pursued them and the Lord parted the Red Sea and they walked across on dry land. We read about these stories and some are in awe and others struggle to believe them, but the Israelites were there. They experienced it. They heard the cries when the firstborn was taken and saw the sea come crashing down on the Egyptians. They knew that the Lord was with them. They also knew the covenant that had been given that they were God's people and he was going to give them the promise land. Fast forward to Numbers 13, they are getting ready to go into the promise land and the Lord tells Moses to send some spies in to take a peek at the promise land and bring back some fruit from the land. God had promised them a land that was flowing with milk and honey, and what did they see when they reached it:
"Thus they told him, and said, 'We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.'" Numbers 13:27
These people knew the promise God had made. They saw that what God had promised lied before them. What did they do? They let fear control them and told the people they could not defeat the people in the land. These men, who had seen God turn the Nile from water to blood did not believe they could defeat the inhabitants of the land. And you know what, they couldn't, but with God (as they had already experienced first hand) they could do anything.
What does this have to do with us today? I believe we all have a "promise land" the question is does ours correspond with what God says or what the world says. Both promise us a destination which will provide "happiness", but only one is true. The world promises a land where when we acquire enough stuff, friends, approval, money, status, relationships, etc that we will be happy. The problem is that none of us can ever have enough of that stuff. It simply will not meet the need. But the Lord promises we will have life abundantly (John 10:10) and eternally (John 10:27-28). Only one of them will actually fulfill the promise.
We are all on the side of the hill spying out what the land ahead of us holds. We see the effects of the world through people who are addicted to substances, pornography, material things, relationships, etc and how they continually seek the next best thing because what they have is not enough. We spy this. All of us know someone who does this. We also see the effects of the Lord through changed lives. We see people set free from addictions and live lives that are joyful beyond everyone's understanding. The same miracles that the Israelites saw we see today, in different forms but with the same power. The question is, which land are we going to run to? The question is not do we have to choose a promise land but the question is which one are we going to choose. We all are going after a promise land, so we need to know where we are going.
We need to know what we are sacrificing our life for. You see, we all are sacrificing our life for the direction we are going. We have a finite amount of time on this earth and we take that time and use it. When we do that we are sacrificing that time for something. Is the direction you are going worth losing your life for? The only thing worthy of our life sacrifice is Jesus. He is the only thing worth it. What are you sacrificing for?