The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 long years because they didn’t believe and trust God. He told them to go in, and to possess the land He had promised, but the spies that were sent to survey and check out the promised land brought back a bad report. They told the Children of Israel that the inhabitants of this land were huge like giants and very scary. Most of the spies held the opinion that they wouldn’t be able to overtake the inhabitants, and this is what they reported back to everyone. God’s people cowered in fear because they were afraid, they thought they’d be squashed like grasshoppers. They had been up against the giant of Pharaoh’s evil rule in Egypt, and God brought them out, but they chose to forget this. It’s pretty unbelievable to fathom that after all the extraordinary things God had done for them in the past, they doubted Him still. Instead of clinging to His unlimited ability and willingness to bless them, they chose to cling to fear. Some of us are making this same choice today.
In Deuteronomy 11:8-9 (NLT), Moses told the Children of Israel, “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. 9 If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants – a land flowing with milk and honey!” One of the things that we see right away in verse 8 is that the people would need strength to go in and claim what was theirs. Some of us have an attitude of a kid in a candy store. We see all of this yummy stuff that God has made available, and we want it all, but we can’t forget that spiritual strength is a requirement. Cultivating strength is the first order of business in a take-over.
Moses told them exactly how to keep their strength up. He told them to obey God’s commands. If they did this, they would be strong enough spiritually to move in victory. When they were in the wilderness, one of the first telltale signs about their condition is that they were full of fear. They had not yet sufficiently put on a mindset of faith in God. If they had, they would not have allowed the evil report of the spies to deter them.
God had promised the Children of Israel something great. The Creator of the Universe and all that we survey had spoken to them through Moses. Heavenly Father made a divine commitment to bless them in an amazing way. During their deliverance from bondage, God caused the Red Sea to open so they could cross to the other side. He fed them manna from heaven in the wilderness and blessed them to come out of Egypt with vast riches of the Egyptian’s treasures. They had gold, silver, and all kinds of beautiful and valuable things. This is what God did for them, yet, they would not press themselves to remember how Heavenly Father had delivered them.
God wanted us to know this record in His Word so that we would have a firsthand account of what unbelief looks like; so we can witness how doubt and fear will cripple our efforts to move forward in strength. When we are not fortified spiritually, our faith isn’t where it needs to be, and we’re not in a position to take what God has given us. So many of us fail to get into position and assume the posture of a winner because our eyes are focused on all the things that provide an excuse for our immobility. We see God’s willingness to bless us in a very limited way, and this causes our faith to fail.
I remember hearing a story of a man that had all sorts of physical ailments. He had a bad back. His knees were continually sore, he had a heart condition, and he also had several allergies. A well-known Christian healer came to his city, and the sick man made his way to see him. He told the healer, “Pastor, I’m a very sick man, but if you will ask God to just heal my back, I’ll be satisfied.” This may seem like a very humble request for an ailing person, but actually this man was refusing to stretch forth with the full brunt of his faith. He was asking God to do only a small fraction, because in truth the sick man only wanted to BELIEVE in a small fraction.
Jesus Christ told us in Mark 9:23 (NLT), “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Our God is so much bigger and greater than we can imagine. Ephesians 3:20(NKJV) tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Heavenly Father deals in the exceedingly abundant. He goes above and beyond anything we can ask or think. In the case of the sick man, you might say that maybe he didn’t know any better, but God has made a way for us to always know better. He’s given us His Word, and it is available just about everywhere we look. So, ignorance is not an acceptable defense. It is an excuse for not studying and trusting His Word.
Heavenly Father wanted to heal every part of this man, not just his back. This is what the healer told him. We need to prepare mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually to receive from God the kind of husband that will bless us wonderfully. If you are prepared, you’ll have faith that you have everything you need to take possession. If you are not prepared, you’ll acquiesce to believe that God isn’t going to bless you. This is fear at its worse. I encourage you to study God’s Word so that you know what is available through His amazing grace, then you will grow in spiritual strength and get more excited by the day about what Heavenly Father has in store for you.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Trust In The Promise”, written for findchristianman.com©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!