What if I told you that something – something often viewed as rather innocuous and even prized by Western culture – aims to inhibit you from inheriting the future that God intends for you?
This “something” not only exists but is pervasive in our churches today.
However, this “something” is not new to the scene. This foe boasts a record of provoking the people of God to pass on the promises of God…even all the way back to the book of Deuteronomy.
Throughout our lives, each of us will find ourselves exactly where the Israelites are in Deuteronomy 1: positioned to take possession of the future God intends for us.
In those moments, we will either: shrink back in doubt, settling for less, or surge forward in faith, seizing the future that God has for us.
The force of faith and the foe of doubt always deliver us to different destinations. Faith possesses the future that God intends for us, while doubt forfeits it.
So, how do we cultivate a posture of faith towards God that leads us to inherit the future that He intends for us?
There is no better place to look than the book of Deuteronomy, where the people of God forfeited their future by assuming a posture of doubt.
As we reflect on their doubt and the faith of Moses, we discern three practices that lead us to cultivate a posture of faith towards God that prepares us to possess His future for us:
Practice #1: Faith Defines Reality by the Promises of God
In Deuteronomy 1:20, Moses tells the Israelites: “You have reached the hill country…which the Lord…is giving us.” Then, in the following verse, he says it differently: “See, the Lord your God has given you the land.”
Moses, in a posture of faith, declares that what will be has already come to pass. That is how much Moses believed in the promised words of God!
The Israelites, however, respond in a posture of doubt, defining reality by their present circumstances. Not yet inhabitants of the Promised Land, they believe they never will be.
Like Moses, our confidence must be in the promised words of God!
A posture of faith embraces God’s Word as our final authority, confident that our circumstances do not interpret God's Word, but that God's Word interprets our circumstances.
What has God already said about you, about Him, and about your future in His Word? Allow that, and not your circumstances, to define reality.
Practice #2: Faith Rests In the Character of God
Deuteronomy 1:32: “You did not trust the Lord…”
Hearing the report of the land, the people assume a posture of doubt. They first look outward: they are “bigger…taller…their cities are large and fortified.” Then they look inward. They never look upward.
In contrast, Moses looks upward in a posture of faith, fixating on and resting in the character of God, acknowledging that He is faithful, loving, present, and powerful (v. 30-32).
Facing an obstacle, we can respond in a posture of doubt that looks outward and dreads its magnitude or inward and fears our inadequacy; or we can respond in a posture of faith that looks upward and rests in who God was, is, and will be.
To grow in faith, dig into Scripture. Reflect on the matchless character of God and rest in the truth that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Practice #3: Faith Recalls and Anticipates the Faithfulness of God
Deuteronomy 1:27: “Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out…of Egypt…to destroy us.”
In a posture of doubt, the Israelites forget what God has done, said, and how He has been faithful.
In contrast, in a posture of faith, Moses recalls God’s faithfulness in delivering them, fighting for them, carrying them, and leading and providing for them (v. 30-32). Remembering the past faithfulness of God, he anticipates the future faithfulness of God.
Doubt forgets God’s faithfulness; faith recalls and anticipates God’s faithfulness.
What lies ahead of us as the future will eventually move behind us as history and the new pages of history will demonstrate and proclaim that God was, is, and will always be faithful!
What are all the ways that God has been faithful to you – the cross, your salvation, your very life and every specific answered prayer? Write them down. Then pray to have eyes to see His faithfulness and watch confidently for it in the days ahead!
As the people of God, may we be positioned to take possession of the future that He intends for us, by cultivating a posture of faith that defines reality by God’s promises, rests in His character, and recalls and anticipates His faithfulness.
Rebekah lives in Highlands Ranch, CO, where she serves as the Executive Pastor at Cherry Hills Community Church. She is passionate about helping those who don’t yet know Jesus discover life in Him, teaching the Bible, and equipping others for ministry. Wife to Josh and mom to Zuri, she loves hanging out with her family and friends, reading, writing, running, traveling…and doing just about anything outdoors! You can connect with Rebekah on Twitter at @RebekahLayton1.