Numbers 13: 25-33:
25 After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned 26 to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we travelled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
God instructed Moses to send out men to explore the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:1), the land that he had promised the Israelites.
2 And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. 4 And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. 5 You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them.
God originally made this covenant with Abraham, the forefather of Israel:
8And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”
Yet, when they went to see the land that had been promised to them, they were disheartened. They could not conceive how they could capture this land flowing with milk and honey with giants roaming about.
Like the Israelites, there are positions, places and dreams we want to conquer but we feel like grasshoppers alongside them. We make the same mistake as the Israelites and look within. God had promised the land to them, he told them it was theirs but they still couldn’t get over how big the giants were.
Many of our hopes and dreams are bigger than us. We see ourselves there but can’t see ourselves there at the same time because we can’t do x,y,z or we are not a,b,c. So many of us are stuck in mediocre positions because we can’t envision ourselves on the other side.
The Israelites had to shift the focus from themselves onto the Lord. God brought them out of Israel and he was with them the whole way through. Constantly reassuring them that he would guide them through, but it was a mighty battle getting to the other side.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
Do we actually understand the incredible greatness of God’s power? We utter phrases like ‘’God you are great…all powerful…mighty’’ …
But has it really sunk in?
Because if the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us, what is there that we cannot conquer?
We look within and become paralysed with fear, doubt and anxiety. The Lord has set aside all sorts of wonderful things for us to conquer, but the fear, doubt and anxiety prevent us from going in and captivating them.
We have to surrender the fear and all the other things holding us back to the Lord and stand firm in his power. Our faith is everything and it will take us as far as we let it. Your faith will have you conquering the territories allotted to you. When all the men said they wouldn’t stand a chance against the giants in Canaan, Caleb said:
“Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30)
People probably looked at him and laughed. But Caleb had a confident hope in the Lord, he knew the Lord was with them and he was ready to go.
Fear and faith cannot co-exist. Our faith eliminates fear and our fear eliminates faith.
We have to continually surrender our fear to the Lord and step out with confidence, no matter how big the ‘giants’ are. Because it is in these moments that we can operate in the incredible greatness of God’s power (Ephesians 1:19-20). When we shift the focus off ourselves and onto him.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Yes, like most things this is easier said than done. But we have to be intentional and militant about it. We don’t want to be that man in the parable of the talents that hid his talent in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30).
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us so we need to make the most of every minute. Time is too precious to be scouting out your territory when you could be inside of it.
3 O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,
mere mortals that you should think about them?
4 For they are like a breath of air;
their days are like a passing shadow.
Lastly, the territory has to be yours to conquer. Sometimes we try to conquer land that does not belong to us and get frustrated when we get defeated time and time again. We can pray all we want but what is for us is for us and what is not for us is not for us.
1 John 5:14
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us
The key here is ‘’according to his will’’. We often miss this part out and pray for God to bless our plans and then go about our business. But we need to seek him first to ensure that we are on the right path. It all comes back to this famous scripture:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
He knows the plans but do you?
As the year comes to an end, I’m sure many of us have started writing lists of our new year’s resolutions. Above all else we should seek his face and surrender our plans to his will.
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas x