revjoaquinwillisweb.gifIn this season of politics, we oft hear an intriguing word: hope.
In this season of politics, we oft hear an intriguing word: hope.

Through belief in God’s promises, we experience hope.  Some Christians might ask, “Why isn’t our practice of Christianity working? Why don’t we see more of God’s word and promises being fulfilled?”   

During Pentecost, we reflected upon Moses’ suffering, and of his untimely death in the mountains, which prevented his longed-for entry into the Promised Land.

Today, God asks us, “What does it take to come into your Promised Land?”

Isn’t the most fascinating aspect of life God’s promise to us of personal fulfillment?  Most of us seek to become what we perceive as our God-given nature.  

But many of us are unable to discern an individualized Promised Land.  If we use a sprint or race as metaphor for life, we could imagine the Promised Land as the finish line, and could find energy to overcome spiritual exhaustion.

Deuteronomy 8:7-9 reads, “God is bringing you into a good land – a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and figs trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing.”

The Promised Land is a place wherein God’s people lack nothing. It is a beautiful place of blessing where God brings forth a great harvest.

Our last five Bible study classes have focused on faith. We have used Beth Moore’s  book, Believing God.

Moore instructs that “the ticket out of the wilderness is belief.” Christ teaches us that the key to experiencing miracles is found within our belief that faith is the triggering ingredient, the catalyst, in our Christian theology.

What is “Promised Land Theology?” It is belief in God, in His ability to pull us through the wilderness, and times that test us.
Moore says, “Your Promised Land is the place where God’s personalized promises over our life become a living reality rather than a theological theory.”

During the Exodus, an entire generation died in the wilderness, owing to a theology of disbelief and self-inflicted confusion. God grew weary of those who whined, complained, and pined for former days in Egypt.

According to the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 3: 7-9, we are warned that, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried Me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”  

In Promised Land Theology, we readily recall the blessings bestowed by God.  We learn to repeat to our demons the words of Christ in his encounter with the devil in the desert, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord,” Deuteronomy 8:3.

What Christ did not say, found in a following verse, also reflects upon God’s caring:  “Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years,” Deuteronomy 8:4.

God spared and sustained His people in their time of hardship.  How few of us remember to thank God when our cars and computers function well and misfortune is a stranger to our homes.    

In times of plenty, we take credit for our prosperity, citing hard work and cleverness.  Those who wandered in the desert longed to return to Egypt because they recalled the riches of Pharaoh, and chose only to look backward, not forward.  In fact, the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land required a traverse of only 11 days. 

Those who practice Promised Land Theology find it expedient.  A “go for it” attitude allows churches to be built upon newly acquired land, businesses to form, tasks to commence.

If God suggests to a man that he run for president, in spite of limited tenure as a senator, Promised Land Theology would support his decision to act. Those who adopt Promised Land Theology know that, with God’s help, their journeys can be speedy, and safe from the peril of the wilderness.   

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at