Recently, I led a team from our church on a tour of Israel and Jordan. On our final day of the tour, we left our hotel in Amman, Jordan, in the early hours of the morning so that we could stop at Mount Nebo before crossing the border back into Israel and, ultimately, head on to the airport in Tel Aviv.
When we arrived at the summit of Mount Nebo, the view was overwhelming: the vast rift valley with the Dead Sea to the south, the Jordan River snaking its way through the arid landscape. In the distance, we could see a cropping of trees—Jericho, the City of Palms. Beyond Jericho, up in the mountains across the valley, we could just barely make out little white flecks like stones neatly scattered atop the hills. It was Jerusalem.
Taking in the view, we opened our Bibles to Deuteronomy 34, the final chapter in the Pentateuch, and read about the time when Moses stood at that same place. He looked over the vast expanse of the Promised Land, knowing that he wouldn’t be going in with his people: “I will give it to your descendants. I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” (v. 4).
The thought of Moses looking into a Promised Land he couldn’t inherit got me thinking. First, it got me thinking about my limitations. Like Moses, I too will come to an end of my life and ministry. It’s possible that some of the dreams God has given me won’t be fulfilled in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be fulfilled. I’m limited, but His limitless love is extended to a thousand generations of those who love Him.
Second, it got me thinking about my legacy. There were people who fought and prayed and sowed and wept for the breakthrough that I’m living in now. There are generations behind me that paved the way for me to be where I am, freely proclaiming the gospel. We’re living in homes we didn’t build, drinking from vineyards we didn’t plant.
Am I willing to invest my time and energy into the generation that comes after me? That’s the legacy I want to leave—not that people would look at my life and see the great things I did, but look at my life and see the great things God did in me.
Third, it got me thinking about my inheritance. Moses lost his inheritance when he turned his staff into a scepter and acted like he was the real king. He could only look in from a distance at the inheritance he had squandered.
There was a future that he couldn’t enter into on his own, but even Moses would get a taste his inheritance. In Matthew 17, we see Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. How fitting that even Moses needed the ministry of Jesus in order to step into the inheritance that he had lost. There on that mountain, Moses’ feet touched the Promised Land.
May you embrace the limitations that God has placed on you. May the legacy of your life add to the glory and renown of God. May Jesus restore the inheritance you thought was lost, but that He has won.
- Pray that God will help you to embrace your limitations and to entrust to Him the things you cannot control.
- Ask the Lord to give you a glimpse of the future generations you’re fighting for now. Pray for the wisdom to lead with an eye on the future.
- Pray for the many pastors and leaders who feel like their dreams will never be realized; pray that God will empower them with the inheritance of His Son and the presence of His Spirit.
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