704 steps up the Eiffel Tower to a beautiful view … 1 step + God towards possessing the promises of a lifetime

Eiffel Tower Night

 

Built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower stands as the symbol of Paris and a spectacular monument to the technical expertise of the 19th Century. The tower was built to stand for 20 years; 126 years later, it celebrates freedom with light shows and spectacular panoramic views of Paris. Approximately 7 million visitors gaze upon this 300 meter-high tower. Some climb the 704 steps to the top; others take the elevators. Some stand at the base of the tower, gaze at the 7,300 tons of iron, take a few photos and move on to the next tourist attraction.

Keith and I met a lady in The Walking Company this weekend stocking up on walking shoes.

“I heard that the view from Notre Dame is better than the one from the top of the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ll just go to the top of Notre Dame and not climb the Eiffel Tower.”

“Nooooo! You have to go to the top of both!”

 

How often do Christians choose to go right up to the fullness of God, stop and admire the view, and turn around and walk the other way?

To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God gives you rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but you shall cross before your brothers in battle array, all your valiant warriors, and shall help them, until the LORD gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” Joshua 1:12-15

Forty years through the wilderness, battles in the Promised Land, home beyond the Jordan. They agreed to fight the battles, so that their brothers could possess the land that the Lord had given them, but they chose to live outside the Promised Land, and God honored that.

We see God at work in the lives of people in the Bible. We may even recognize God at work in our lives. We read the promises God has for us in the Bible. We nod affirmatively and read the next chapter. Sometimes, we work to possess a promise. Sometimes, we decide the battle is too difficult, and like the Reubenites, we cross back over the Jordan to what we think is a more comfortable life. God honors our decisions.

Like the lady in the shoe store, sometimes we take the word of others that it’s better atop Notre Dame, so we choose not to huff and puff up the 704 steps of the Eiffel Tower. We miss the satisfaction of conquering those 704 steps, AND we miss the spectacular view.

And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? Joshua 18:3

It takes effort. It takes sacrifice. It takes courage. It takes faith.

It takes you plus God.

Won’t you step out and possess the fullness that God has for you?

My prayer

Father, show us the fullness and the promises that You have for us. Remind us how You have worked in our lives to prepare us for the time that we are to possess Your promises. Prompt us to step out and watch You fight the battles it will take to possess all that You have for us. Thank You, Lord. Jesus, we love You!

704 steps to a beautiful view. One step + God to start possessing the promises of a lifetime.
What promise are you going to step out and possess?

Is God asking you to step into the unknown?

River2Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. … And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:11-13

Camping, circling in the wilderness for 40 years.

Stepping into the Jordan River, waters standing in one heap.

Walking on dry land.

Carrying the ark of the covenant to the middle of the river.

Scurrying past the ark of the covenant and the priests.

Reaching the Promised Land.

Returning to the middle of the Jordan.

Heaving stones on shoulders.

Remembering God’s work.

Creating a memorial.

All the Israelites who had escaped Egyptian slavery and crossed the Red Sea on dry land died in the wilderness, except for two, Joshua and Caleb. The Israelites born in the wilderness lived under the coolness of God’s cloud by day and the warmth of God’s pillar of fire by night. They ate God-supplied manna and drank God-supplied water. All they knew was the provision of God.

Now was the time for the priests to take up the ark, put their feet in the water of the Jordan and walk out to the middle. The Israelites scurried to the other side, the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey and inhabited  by giants.

Forty years earlier, Moses led their parents across the Red Sea on dry land into the wilderness. Now, Joshua led them on dry land to the Promised Land.

The Israelites had a choice that day. They could stay in the land they knew, or they could obey God and step into the unkown–with the promise that God was with them and would provide for them. They chose to step into a land where they would encounter battles, a land where they would work to eat, a land impossible to possess without God, a land of promise with God.

Is God asking you to step into the unknown? He’s with you. Jesus promised never to leave you or forsake you. God showed the Israelites the path they were to take in faith, and He will do it for you.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

My prayer for you:

Provider of all that is good and right, please guide us into all that You have planned for us, for we know that Your plans for us are filled with eternal pleasure and joy. Empower us to step out in faith, so that through Your great strength and power, we will point others to You.