Most people don’t enjoy salvation in its fullness. I mean, if you have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit you have been delivered from bondage. That is great, but are you also enjoying life in the Promised Land? The Children of Israel were delivered out of bondage in Egypt, but not all of them entered into the rest of the Promised Land. I’m afraid that is where most Christians are also. They have been forgiven of sins, delivered from bondage and yet they aren’t enjoying the rest God has for them. The following is an excerpt taken from Norman Grubb’s book “God Unlimited” in which he talks about this very thing. He said it so well I thought I would just let him do it, so here it is, enjoy!
“Israel had a savior, indeed two saviors: one brought them out of the land of their bondage, and the other into their land of promise: Moses and Joshua. A greater than these is our Savior; but we had better be sure that we have experienced the benefits of His salvation, as they did of theirs.” At least, they all did of Moses, but much fewer of Joshua. They all came out triumphantly enough from under Pharaoh’s yoke: “they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea”. That is what we would call a regenerating experience, separated from the world, justified by the blood, dead and risen with Christ. But then trouble began. Through ignorance and willfulness they allowed civil war to rage in their hearts. On the one hand they had the bread from heaven and the water from the rock, which Paul said was Christ to them. On the other, they were constantly racked by fear, unbelief, resentment, murmuring, and even hankerings after the old life in Egypt. They did not know the secret of victory, as Moses did. They had an undiscovered self-life, which God had exposed and dealt with in Moses long before, in the backside of the desert. They foolishly thought that they could be true to God in their own strength; they even replied to God, when He told them how gracious He would be to them if they obeyed Him, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do”. What abysmal self-deception! And all their miserable failures did not open their eyes. So they never entered that land of promise, land of corn and wine, with rest from their enemies. They never made real in their experience the fullness of the blessing which was theirs from the time they joined themselves to Moses, if they had only gone through with him in faith. They died, in the wilderness, not damned souls, but defeated Christians, as we would say.
What about us? The writer asks. We have gone through in faith with our Moses to separation, justification, regeneration, which in fact means death and resurrection with Christ. But then we have landed where the Israelites did in “the waste and howling wilderness” of trial, assaults from the enemy, dryness of soul, good resolutions which we fail to keep. We too have had to learn the hard way that self-effort, though it is the new self, can’t keep the commands of God or live the victorious life. Have we learned this? Or do we continue rebellious, resentful, unbroken, like the children of Israel? Do we die in the wilderness, as they, instead of reaching the Promised Land?
Extended quote taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb