Moses revisits Israel’s greatest failure. Their refusal to trust God and follow Him into the Promised Land. This was the undoing of the last generation.
We see something in this account that we didn’t see in the last one. Moses tells the people that it was their idea to send spies into the land. He states that he told them to march in boldly but they wanted to spy it out first so they could find the best way to do as he commanded.
The problem came when the spies came back and most of them told the people that it was a recipe for disaster. Caleb and Moses urged the people to trust in God but they flatly refused. They were even ready to kill Moses and those who stood with him.
We don’t get to hear what God’s response was in our reading today but we have already learned of it previously. I don’t want to go there today. Instead I was inspired by a thought I want to share instead. A “practical lesson” for us from what we read today.
I was thinking about how we respond when God calls us to do something. On one hand we may act like the people of Israel who wanted to “count the cost” as Jesus puts it in Luke 14:25-33. They wanted to know what they were up against. And on the other hand we may be like one of Jesus’ disciples who, when He called them, dropped what they were doing and went with Him immediately.
Jesus was talking to His disciples about the cost of following Him. He hadn’t promised them a grand future or given them a cost/benefits analysis to help them make their choice. Something about Him spoke to their hearts. THEN they saw the miracles He did. They were hooked! It didn’t matter the cost at the time.
Israel had been led by one miracle after another from before they even left Egypt but they still weren’t sold. They didn’t have any personal faith to draw on. I wonder if God was any more real to them than the gods they had to leave in Egypt. They didn’t trust Him.
When we are faced with a command to “go” what do we do? I believe it depends on our relationship at the time. If we have a relationship of trust and faith built up we will be ready to go without having to “spy out the land” first. We will know that whatever waits on the other side of our first step will be something that we and God can handle. This is because we KNOW that we are not alone. He ALWAYS goes with us wherever He calls us.
If we have more fear than faith it is because we have a lacking relationship. Only by staying close to Him can we build the necessary faith.
Something I want to back up and explore though is the “call” itself. I will admit right now that I’m not always certain it is God calling me to do something. Sometimes I wonder if it is my selfish heart or even Satan trying to trick me. These are the times I have to listen very closely, examine the steps that led to the “call”, ask for God’s guidance, and examine the possible outcomes. I’m going to use writing this blog as my “call” experience.
Israel had clear evidence that God was leading them to the very place He issued the “call.” What evidence do I see? When I was first approached about starting a blog I was actually looking for a way to make money. I didn’t have the first clue about writing a blog but I knew that I wanted to try. I had a desire to share my bible study time with others. I had experienced God speaking directly to me through my pen so many times that I was dying to share those times with others. I didn’t come up with the insight myself; it seemed to appear as my pen moved across the page. It HAD to be God. This desire and His insights were proof to me that I was meant to share what He had given me, somehow.
The person who contacted me stated that I should blog about something that was special to me and do it at least weekly. Journaling with my bible was the FIRST think that came to my mind. My spirit screamed out “YES” and off I went. I began with “counting the cost” because it involved an investment but that lost its meaning right away. God took care of the money issues I was fretting over without me doing a thing but trust Him. I dropped all pretense of trying to make money with my blog and gave it over to God to do with as He saw fit.
Here I am several years later, still following wherever He takes me. I have seen that He uses my writing to reach places I could NEVER go. I pray He is blessing people with His insights and my words. I have no idea how long we will be on this journey together but as long as He is leading, I’m following. It took me a little while to know for sure but I feel safe is saying this truly was God calling.
It took me a while to know because I had to see where my heart went. Was I excited by the prospect of someone giving me praise for my writing? Was I trying to make a name for myself? Did I think I would have followers hanging on my every post? Or was it something more?
I will admit that I have had times when I got discouraged because I didn’t see anyone coming to the site. I even got depressed because of how few comments I receive. But when I stopped and pulled my pride out of the equation I realized that sharing God’s word, in whatever form is more rewarding than seeing numbers go up or hearing from others about the impact they may have felt. More enjoyable than anything else though is seeing that the Holy Spirit is STILL in charge of my “pen.” I LOVE seeing where He takes me/us each time I sit down with God’s word. THAT brings me joy regardless of anything else.
Father God, thank You for the opportunity to share what You share with me. Thank You for calling me to share. I know I don’t always get everything right when it comes to following You but You never quit redirecting me back onto Your paths. I know I have been on this one so long because it is where YOU placed me. Continue to speak to my heart. Let me hear each day what You have for me in Your word. I want to know You deeper each day! Show me when it is time to “sit down and count the cost first” and when it is time to charge ahead in faith. PLEASE don’t let me ever make the mistake Israel did that day! I NEVER want to go beyond Your grace and mercy.