We read in the book of Joshua that it was very important for the ancient Hebrew people to enter the promise land, that land flowing with milk and honey that they could call their own. This was a land where God would dwell with them and shape their lives in a new and positive way.
But what about us today? In the 21st century when we read about the promise land, how can these texts speak to us about our promise land experience?
Our promise land experience is less about geography and so much more about recognizing that the kingdom of God dwells within each of us. Jesus answered this for us when he said, “the kingdom of God is among you.” Or I would add, within you.
Place your hand on your heart. There. You have found the promise land, the kingdom within you. God is within you seeking expression as you. The divine within you, that promised land, is filled with rich textures and insights, with revelations and wonder. To not look within and seek those things is to wander in the wilderness afraid and uncertain of our future.
We have to really look within, deep within, consistently and with an open heart and mind into our humanness to find the divine. It is not that the divine within is hiding from us, or making its presence difficult for us to find, but we look within deeply so that we can experience it more fully.
Did the Hebrew people struggle in their long sought after promise land? Yes, of course they did. It was most often when they forgot about the presence of God in their lives.
Will we sometimes struggle and have challenges? Yes. But think about the foundation we have to get through those challenging times.
The land of milk and honey is healing, it is enriching, it is welcoming, it is sustaining, it is filled with unconditional love.
The promise land within is rich with possibility. The promise land is filled with opportunities to re-waken your life with the assurance that God dwells within you and God will guide you at each and every moment through your life.
Discover the divine within you and watch as everything changes. Why? Because now you are looking through a new lens. You are looking at your life as God sees your life.
Should you think this promise land is not open to you, maybe other people, but not you, let me remind you that Christ died for you. Christ was resurrected for you. Because God is within you it must be the promise land.
So, welcome to the promise land. Population: YOU!
“You shall live in the land that I gave your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36: 28)
Affirmation: “God’s rich land of possibility flows within me today and everyday making all things new.”
Rev. Jefferson Beeker
(This is an excerpt from a sermon preached on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at First Christian Church of North Hollywood, California.)
We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.