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Better the Devil You Know

"The LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: 'Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.'"1

It wasn't too long after God delivered the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt that they wanted to go back there—in spite of the miracles they had witnessed, such as the parting of the waters of the Red Sea so they could cross over to the Promised Land on dry land. However, when the going got rough through the wilderness, they complained and wanted to return to Egypt. Was it because they were afraid that things weren't going to get any better, or that God had deserted them? Or were they afraid of change? Like the old saying goes, "Better the devil you know than the one you don't know."

People haven't changed too much have we? As one writer said, "The trouble these days is that people want to get to the Promised Land without going through the wilderness."

For the Christian God has a "promised Land" of freedom, growth, wholeness and fulfillment. It's there for the taking—but not without the struggles of working through our private wildernesses.

Like Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, we too need to "arise, go and possess" the promises that God has for us. And we, too, will have plenty of obstacles and setbacks to overcome. At the same time, we have the same assurance that God gave to Joshua when he said to him, "Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the courage to actively claim all the promises you have for me so that I will become and do all that you have envisioned for me to be and do. And give me the determination to never give up, no matter how challenging the way, knowing that you will be with me every step of the way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Joshua 1:1-3 (NKJV).
2. Joshua 1:9 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.