The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Turn and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites …. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them. — Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (AMPC)
Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind – by Joyce Meyer
Those of us who are parents know these words so well: “In a minute. Just a little longer. Pleeease?” We call our children to leave their playing and come inside, but they want just a little more time to stay out with their friends. For now, at least, they’re content playing and don’t want to think about getting cleaned up or eating dinner. It’s always, “Just a little longer”—if we let them. And at times, we adults act a little like those children who cry out, “Just a little longer!”
I’ve met miserable people—people who disliked their lives, hated their jobs, or were in intolerable relationships with the wrong kind of people. They knew they were miserable, but they did nothing about it. Their actions were saying, “Just a little longer.” A little longer for what? More pain? More discouragement? More unhappiness?
Those are the people who have what I call a wilderness mentality. To understand what I mean by that, we need to talk about the Israelites as Moses led them out of Egypt. If they had obeyed God, stopped grumbling, and moved straight ahead like God originally told them, they could have made the trip in eleven days, but it took them 40 years.
Why did they finally leave? Only because God said, “You have stayed long enough on this mountain.” If God hadn’t nudged them into the Promised Land, I wonder how long they would have stayed and longed to cross the Jordan.
They were people in bondage. Although they had seen miracles in Egypt and praised God when the Egyptian armies were defeated at the Red Sea, they were still in bondage. The chains of slavery were no longer on their bodies, but they had never removed those chains from their minds. That is living in the wilderness mentally.
For 40 years, they grumbled. They had no water, and then God provided it for them. They grumbled about the food. Manna was all right, but they wanted meat of some kind. No matter what the situation, they were still mental prisoners. As they had been in Egypt, so they were in the wilderness. No matter how good things became, they were never good enough. They had forgotten all the hardships and slavery in Egypt, and every time they were frustrated with Moses’ leadership they moaned, “Oh, if only we had stayed in Egypt.”
They had forgotten how bad things were, and they had no vision for how good things could get. When they had the chance to move into a new land, they were afraid. “There are giants in the land,” they cried out. They had seen God’s deliverance in the past, but they weren’t ready for it in the present.
Finally, God said, “Okay, it’s time to move out.” The Bible doesn’t tell us much about their attitude at that moment, but I imagine they cried out, “Let’s stay just a little longer. Things aren’t good here, but we know how to live in the wilderness. We’re afraid to leave this place—we’ve gotten used to it.”
If you don’t like your life, but you won’t make an effort to change, you may have a wilderness mentality. If your mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts, they will keep you from moving forward into the destiny God has for you.
However, you don’t have to waste any more time—you can do something about it! You can say, “I’ve stayed long enough at this mountain. Now I’m going into the Promised Land—the land where I’ll live in victory and defeat Satan’s plans.”
Prayer Starter: Father, please help me completely throw off the wilderness mentality. Thank You for helping me replace it with the Promised-Land mentality, and to live in freedom through Jesus! In Jesus’ Name, amen.