READ: Deuteronomy 1-2
THINK: Have you ever gotten into something or taken on a responsibility before you were truly ready or before the time was right? What happened? Chances are, things didn't turn out so well. In the process, you probably got frustrated, discouraged-even humiliated. Perhaps you still have regrets about the whole situation. Then again, you may have learned some valuable lessons about patience, purpose and depending on God. As you grow in your relationship with Jesus, you'll realize that He knows exactly what you need to do and when. You can trust Him to give you things and lead you to places at just the right time. You don't have to be anxious or apprehensive about what's ahead, because you follow the One who knows what's out there and has been there before you.
RESPOND: What evidence do we have elsewhere in the Bible that Deuteronomy is a message from God? (See 1:1 note.) Why do you think God allowed so much time to elapse (many centuries) before bringing Israel to the point of inhabiting the promised land? For what purpose did Moses choose leaders from each tribe? What kinds of people were chosen and why (1:9-18)? Why hadn't Israel entered the promised land before this time? In what way did Israel rebel against God when the people first reached that land decades before? (See 1:26 note.) How did they demonstrate their unfaithfulness in how they interacted with each other (1:27)? How and why do Christians today often do the same thing amongst themselves? How can such behavior delay God's purposes in our lives or even cause us to miss out on things He intends for us? How did God's response to those who disobeyed Him differ from His response to the few who trusted Him? (See 1:35 and 1:36 note.) How were God's mercy and faithfulness evident even during the Israelites desert wanderings? (See 2:7 note.) What can you learn from your past experiences with God?
PRAY: Give God thanks for bringing you into things in His perfect timing and not before you're ready. Repent of any way in which you've grumbled or shown a lack of trust in God's plans or power.
ACT: Don't complain about any of your current circumstances, as if God has abandoned you or cannot accomplish His purposes from where you are now. Make a list of five faith-inspiring things God has done for you or brought you through in the past. Keep it in your Bible or post it where it will remind you to trust God more in the future.
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