Are you a person of God? Most of us would answer "yes" to that question, especially most of those of us reading this blog. But are you in the people of God?
We are living in a time that declares that maybe being a people of God isn't so important. We tell each other that it's okay to be "spiritual, but not religious," that it's just as valid to "worship" God at the lake on Sunday morning while you're fishing as it is to worship Him in a church service. That you can have a strong, robust faith without having a church home. That, in fact, you don't need church at all to be a person of God.
Maybe you don't. But you need it to be a people of God.
And God has always called us to be a people of God.
What we have to understand is that so much of what God is doing in our lives is connected with what God is doing in the lives of others. We are working together toward glory, not all on our own. His promises are often fulfilled together with the promises He has for the lives of others, not just for us.
Look again at the Promised Land. Israel is dividing up Canaan as they enter the land, and God is telling them what cities belong to what tribe. They are mapping it all out and laying out property lines and staking their claims.
And Ephraim ends up with a bunch of towns and villages inside the borders of Manasseh.
This just rattles our brains. Something inside of us says, wait a minute. If these are the towns of Ephraim, why not just draw a new border around them and declare this the land of Ephraim? Why do we have to say that these towns that belong to one brother are inside the borders of the area that belong to another brother? Seems simple enough to just divide that out further, but that's not the way that God does it.
God gives the land to Manasseh, then gives some of the cities in that land to Ephraim. God fulfills the promise of one brother within the borders of the promise of another brother.
That's the way He often does it.
Our lives are more intertwined than we think. If you ever really sit down and think about the opportunities and experiences you've had, do you realize how many other persons are connected to them? How many pieces God had to put in place for those things to happen? Even small things. More often than we realize, the promise of God in our lives is fulfilled within the borders of the promise of God in someone else's life.
That's why we can't do it on our own. That's why we can't live our lives as persons of God apart from the people of God.
Ephraim doesn't get those cities if Manasseh doesn't get that land. It's not going to work that way.
And you don't get that promise if someone else doesn't get theirs.
That's just how God operates.
So, person of God...are you in the people of God? If you're not, what might you be missing out on?