What is “The Land Between?” It is when a girl gets dumped when she is expecting a proposal. It is when parents have a miscarriage after celebrating the pregnancy. It is when parents have kids in the middle of teenage angst. It is when you get a call in the middle of the night when your father has a heart attack.
Jeff Manion knows what it means to live in “The Land Between.” His mother died in an accident when he was young. His father moved the family to an affluent area, where he did not feel like he fit in. His father married another woman soon after, and she happened to be much younger. His father moved the family again.
The Israelites spent time in “The Land Between” while waiting to enter The Promised Land. In Exodus 3:7-8a, God says that He has seen, He has heard, and He is concerned. Further, He states that He has come to rescue. He is going to take them OUT OF and INTO… Nothing was said about “The Land Between.” While God is concerned, He will not always rescue you from that land.
Jeff made sure that we understood one thing. “The Land Between” is fertile ground for transformational growth, but it is also where faith goes to die.
There were three crises while the Israelites were wandering in the desert:
- Water – Water was ahead, but the water was undrinkable. Their reaction was to get upset with Moses for bringing them out of Egypt, asking what they are supposed to drink. God made the bitter water sweat. God gave them water, which gave them life.
- Food – They remembered the food they had in Egypt, stating they have no food here in the desert. They said they wanted to be in Egypt instead. God provides manna. God provided food, which gave them life.
- Water – No water again. The people complained again that they were brought out of Egypt. Moses hits the rock to get water. God got angry that the people did not trust Him.
Even when you are stuck, it’s your move. The challenge is to continue to trust God through “The Land Between.” How are you growing closer to God in the middle of “The Land Between,” as He is giving you life? Jeff stated, “There are choices made in our hearts while in The Land Between that determine the people we are becoming.” When you want to remove complaint out of your life, fill you life with trust. Complaint and trust are incompatible roommates. He went on to state that, “The same soil that we detest is also the soil where we may grow the fruit we most desperately desire.”
As a closing encouragement, Jeff let reminded us that God “is at his best when life is at its worst.”
Known for his vibrant teaching skills and passion for communicating the Scriptures in a clear and relevant way, Jeff Manion has served as teaching pastor of Ada Bible Church in West Michigan for more than 25 years. His church of 6,000 attendees was named by Outreach magazine as one of America’s largest and fastest growing churches in 2009. Using video venues and two offsite campuses, they strive to create a small church feeling within a large church setting.