While I was tempted to name today’s blog, “So Close, but No Cigar,” common sense kept me from wavering off topic. As I listened to Jentezen Franklin’s sermon on the Trinity Broadcast Network before attending church on Sunday, the Holy Spirit jogged my memory of the walls of resistance which deny believers from entering God’s promised land. Moses dedicated his entire life to the nation of Israel, foregoing the riches of Egypt, Hebrews 11:24-27, yet the closest he came to a land flowing with milk and honey was a view from atop Mount Nebo. Why did God deny him this privilege? According to Numbers 20:6-13, Moses failed to carefully obey God’s command, striking a rock twice instead of just once.
Obedience is one wall to climb, but sometimes your own circumstances prove too much for a person to overcome. Although hard to believe, my friend Harry endured a brutal set of events, triggering a back slide of historic proportions. The person who led him to Christ committed suicide shortly after his conversion. In the weeks that followed, one of his youth leaders who began to ease his pain, had an affair and abruptly abandoned the ministry, moving to California. These poor witnesses kept Harry from entering a church for nearly 20 years. My friend Eddy and I never thought Harry had been to church until a divine appointment at Cedar Point Amusement Park, reintroduced Harry to his former youth pastor. In one moment, 20 years of severance was reunited, the first of many steps toward healing his bruised, confused and wounded heart.
Whether you feel like Moses today, with a mountain standing in between you and your dreams or as Harry did, coming to grips with a desolate soul, remember that sanctification is an on going process, not complete until the Lord takes you home. Sure, you might have mountain top experiences, yet there is always a valley between mountains. You may want answers, transformation and victory immediately, but sanctification occurs gradually, through a day by day process, Ephesians 2:3-7. Therefore, live each moment on earth with a James 4:15 mindset, recognizing that you are close, but yet so far!
by Jay Mankus