Husband and wife had a tiff. Wife called up her mom and said, "He argued with me again, I am coming to live with you." Mom said, "No darling, he must pay for his mistake. I am coming to live with you.”
God the Father whispered (through Moses) to twelve men in the Wilderness of Paran: “spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel” (Numbers 13:2). The men did, and they saw good land . . . but they also saw large foes, whom they’d have to defeat. Ten of them took the “just too risky” option: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are” (Numbers 13:31). They felt like “grasshoppers,” they said, compared to the
huge men of Canaan. (Numbers 13:33).
Only two—Joshua and Caleb—mustered courage and trusted in God’s adventure. Only they were willing to go: “. . . he will bring us into this land and give it to us . . . And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? 12 I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.”
Whether it’s a Mother-in-law or parent or teacher or policeman or a mean old associate pastor, there’s usually someone that is coming to collect when we make a mistake. In this case, it was the Lord and He meant business. Why? It was all about obedience. Obedience was lacking because their faith was lacking. To put it into perspective, God was giving them a gift and they pretty much refused it. Sure, there was no denying that God was giving them a challenge, but He was not leaving them to fend for themselves. Joshua and Caleb had faith, so they saw more than the rest of the people. They saw beyond the fortified cities and the giants. They CHOSE to see beyond the temporary to the reality of God’s plan and provision. With every gift from God comes a challenge that requires faith, where we have to trust Him and obey Him. Can you see beyond the challenges our church is facing to the blessings that He wants to give us? If you see, are you willing to step out in faith and possibly sacrifice your preferences and definitely serve in obedience?
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” II Cor. 4:16-18