You Have Stayed Long Enough
On February 6, 1952 headlines across the world screamed of one significant event: Princess Elizabeth Becomes Queen of England.
In the early morning hours, King George died in his sleep, leaving his daughter, Elizabeth, to assume the British throne at 25 years of age.
The world was captivated.
On the same day in history, a seemingly unimportant event occurred in New York’s Times Square that barely made a blip on the radar: New York adopted and used it’s first three-colored stop-light system.
Previously, New York City had been operating on a standard two-light system. Red for stop, green for go. Simple enough. Early models of the two light-system used a bell to indicate to drivers that the light would soon turn from green to red.
While hoping that the diligent driver would be quick to stop, the system did not prevent traffic time on 5th Avenue from running approximately 40 minutes and many significant casualties and deaths. The new lighting system would alleviate traffic, save lives, and communicate clearly to thousands of people one simple message: The signal is about to change.
I wonder if this is how the children of Israel felt shortly after the Exodus? At the time of the Israelite expulsion from Egypt, the events of massive plagues, astounding miracles, and mysterious defeat made worldwide history headlines. News of the Israelite God had spread to far-reaching lands.
When the timid people left the bondage of Egypt, their gracious God led them to Mount Horeb (literally, the mountain of God). When His presence descended on the mountain, they saw God as never before in His splendor and glory. They experienced fright, terror, and wonder as their unseen God made Himself known. They heard Him speak with thunder. They saw His overwhelming power in the clouds. They met with God. (For the full an incredible story see Exodus 19! Absolutely worth the read!)
But they could not stay here.
The signal was about to change.
Their great leader Moses delivers a message directly from God that would change their trajectory. He steps up to the proverbial microphone and addresses the nation:
“The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough.’” (Deut 1:6)
Wow. What a message. They had been here long enough. They had stayed in this one spot, at this one place, and this was not their final destination. This mountain wasn’t a bad place. It wasn’t an ungodly place. But it wasn’t the place.
In order to enter into the Promised Land, the Hebrew people had to leave the mountain of God. I would imagine it might have even become a comfortable place for them. It certainly wasn’t the land of milk and honey, but there was food and water and they weren’t slaves anymore. Surely, that had to count for something? But their God wanted more for them.
In Deuteronomy 1:7-8 the Lord continues to speak: “Resume your journey and go . . . See, I have set the land before you. Enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their future descendants.”
Is there a place in your life where you have stayed long enough? Is there something that God is calling you to do that may require you to put your foot on the gas and step bravely into the unknown?
Perhaps God is asking you to disciple some women in your church, teach a class, or surrender your life to ministry. Maybe He’s asking you to take some seminary classes to be theologically equipped for the task that lies ahead of you. Are you being called to the mission field or perhaps to share the gospel boldly with other women in your neighborhood? Maybe it’s foster care, or godly social advocacy.
Is God calling you to write, dream, or do?
Your first step towards obedience to God may not make headlines. The rest of the world may be focused on other things. But maybe you’ve been in the same place long enough and God is calling you to something more.
If the light from God is green, sister … GO!