Pastor Miles delivered another moving sermon by this week about the importance of shortcuts, bringing our enlightening journey through the book of Numbers to a close.
Through any journey we are tempted to take shortcuts, and in our spiritual journey doing so may appear to bring us closer to God's blessings sooner than God had planned. This may seem like a good idea for our natural journeys, this often isn't the case for our spiritual journey.
The book of Numbers is the story of the Jews who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Because of their disbelief in God's promises, they were forced to wander the desert for 40 years until the next generation would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land--the land of milk and honey.
In chapter 32 of Numbers, we find that the Jews' wandering is about to come to an end, as they have once again arrived at the Promised Land.
Shortcuts May Shortchange Everyone
When they arrived two of the twelve tribes, Gad and Reuben, approached Moses to ask if they could stay in the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, on the Jordan River opposite the Promised Land. Upon hearing this request, Moses asked these tribes: Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here? Numbers 32:6
God did not simply hand The Promised Land over to the Jews; they knew that they had to go and take over the land and that, although God had promised victory, there was going to be a war. Moses was asking if these tribes thought it was okay to not help take over this land as they were commanded to by God.
This clearly brought up Miles' first point; before taking shortcuts to the blessings for everyone, one should consider the rest of the team or congregation, as our shortcuts could place a burden on the rest of the group.
Shortcuts Lead to Second Best
Pastor Miles illustrated his second point by showing us that taking shortcuts and not sticking to the journey may not land us where God intended us to be, therefore not receiving God's full blessings. As a result, we may never be able to receive those blessings again in our lifetime.
By avoiding shortcuts, we are often required to sacrifice more (usually part of God's plan for us) and in the long run show our faithfulness to God. Only by completing our trip the way God planned it, can we receive all the blessings God has for us.