Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.” Numbers 13:30-32
After the twelve spies of Israel had reconnoitered the land of Canaan for forty days, they gave their report to Moses and all the people. Two of them, Joshua and Caleb, called on the people to trust God to deliver the land into their hands. It was truly a good land, but the people who inhabited the land were big and their cities were well fortified. The other ten spies focused on the size of the people and their defenses, and they lost heart. They said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
All twelve of those men knew the promise that God had made to the nation about giving them the land, but only two of them were willing to trust God to keep the promise after they saw the challenges that would be a part of it. The people heard two very different visions of what they should do: one was directed by faith, and the other by sight.
You face the same choice today, Disciple, that the people of Israel faced back then. You have received the promises of your Master Jesus about the new and full life that we can have as a part of the Kingdom of God. You have the Scriptures that declare that we can become like Him and be powerful agents of change as we live by the Spirit. Some, however, who see the challenges that face us in that process may become discouraged and then discourage you. They may say that our three enemies (Satan, the world, and our own fleshly natures) are stronger than we are, and so we cannot fully succeed in becoming like our Master. This message may seem to agree with what you feel as you look around you as well, but there are other voices that we must heed if we are to experience the life that God has in mind for us.
I encourage you, Disciple, to turn your attention to those voices that point you to the greatness of God and the certainty of His promises. No matter how great the enemies or the challenges that come against us in our pursuit of becoming like Jesus, we can know that they are no match for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word that have been given to us. Do you have those in your life who can reinforce that truth for you? Yes, there are giants in the land, but they are only giants to us – not to our God!
As you read the words of Joshua and Caleb below, see if you can translate them into the New Covenant promises of Jesus about who you are becoming:
“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If YHWH is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against YHWH. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:7-9
Following the voice of faith with you,