Here’s the opening line of Deuteronomy chapter 9 spoken by Moses to the children of Israel who have wandered in the wilderness for forty years and this very day are crossing the land barrier that separates them from their promised inheritance. The phrase ‘mightier than thyself’ resonates strongly with me as I read this. Today we would express it as ‘greater or bigger than we are’, or ‘too much for us’.
And I think this is a key, because as believers the Lord calls us to places & conditions of spiritual possession that are indeed ‘mightier than ourselves’. The difficulty we often experience in the process is looking at ourselves, getting and keeping our eyes on ourselves, instead of the Lord, and limiting the possession, limiting the victories: He’s promised it but we have to claim it.
There is always the thing to overcome: the conflict, the difficulty, the opposition that stands in the way of potential success, that is mightier than ourselves, greater than what we think we can do, be, manage, or achieve. These are the focal points of spiritual engagement. Do we surmount the difficulty, overcome the opposition, and possess the land, in that thing or condition because we are proceeding in faith? Or do we shrink and slink back in defeat through our lack of faith?
A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
This second line of scripture literally talks of a race of physical giants known as the Anakim that then inhabited the Promised Land. Think of it. God has promised His people this incredible place but when they get there, the long awaited Promised Land is full of giants, myriad difficulties, and seemingly endless obstacles. What kind of a promised land is that?
Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.
In this third verse are two more key components of surmounting difficulties. We are to ‘understand this day’, meaning let it sink in and dawn on you today, grasp hold of this understanding now. And what is the understanding? That, the Lord thy God is ‘he which goeth over before thee’. In other words proceed with the knowledge, the certainty, the faith, that you are not alone, the Lord is going before you on this thing. He’s got your back. He hasn’t left you alone in your wilderness. He’s there with you, leading the way, going through the situation, obstacle, difficulty or downright impossible thing with you, in the power of His strength, might and righteousness.
The Lord doesn’t’ make the tests easy. He knows what we need; the battles we need to face, the things we need to conquer: He doesn’t shield us from those things but He does promise to ‘goeth over before thee’.
God knows these things are ‘mightier than thou art’. That’s not the point and yet it is. The point He’s making and wants you to realize and act on is that of course it’s’ too much for you. It’s purposely designed that way. But it’s not too much for Him. Let Him do it in you and through you and for you. And as you do so, you begin to discover and rely more and more on His Great incredibleness and capabilities, and that there is nothing too hard for Him. And in the bargain you’ll be inheriting those places and conditions of spiritual possession that were meant for you but you never thought possible.
A mini studies article from Through the Bible in 52 Weeks
Copyright © 2015 by John Hislop