Thursday, October 22, 2015

learning from the spies who first saw the promised land

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained…

I do not believe that God has placed any of us on a shelf.  In fact He has infused us with life, with energy and purpose.  That is why we have to know our purpose.  Pursuing God will define our purpose and motivate our continued action. 

When the spies in Numbers 13 and 14 entered the Promised Land, they had a purpose, yet their personal fears or faith and perception either emptied or filled them with purpose.  We have to be careful to not allow our environment and situations to redirect or to determine our action and our direction. 

Our life and purpose was given by, established by God.  We are accountable to Him and to one another for that.  Revisit why you live the way you live and do what you do.  What motivates you to keep on?  Is it living because you are supposed to live this way or because you are driven to?

A living relationship with God is vital to anyone, and we desperately need a God-given, God-infused, God-breathed vision.  Being anywhere for any length of time will often make anyone move their goals lower and let them settle for less.  That may have been the biggest problem the spies had.

When we look at the verse above, many different things come to my mind.  Here are a few other Bible translations view of the same verse:

KJV --- Where there is no vision, the people perish
NLT --- When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
NIV --- Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint
MSG --- If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves

Without vision from God we as well as the people around us have no direction and loose our lives to worthlessness.  God intends for us to live with vision, with purpose and with joy.  That isn’t easy.  It’s impossible without faith.

Read the story of the spies who were sent by Moses, really by God, to check out the land promised to God’s people.  It is found in Numbers 13 and 14.  This story is not a new one to some of us.  We have been students of the Bible, both old and new testaments.  We’ve learned that God formed the world, formed people and gave us life to enjoy and to encounter God Himself.  Through sin we were separated from God, but praise God for His grace. 

2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, said that it is possible to take the land no matter the obstacles and problems.  The other 10 spies said that the people were too big and too tough.  Who do you think was listened to?  Often we lean on the place of fear rather than the person of our faith.  But what keeps us from experiencing God?  What puts up a roadblock to following God or claiming the promises that He has given us?

In this story we have a group of spies that separated themselves in to 2 camps.  All knew that God promised them this land.  Yet one group saw the problems as too big to get what God promised.  The other group believed that their God was big enough to deal with all the problems ahead.  Doesn’t that fact define much of your life and mine?  Think about it.

John 10:10  NASB
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Either we allow Satan to distract us or maybe even destroy us OR we hang on for God to issue and fill us with abundant life.  The decision is yours, and the decision is mine.

We can have abundance or settle for less.  We can either trust God and claim what He has promised us or settle for les.  It is time for those who know God to follow God.  This is and ahead of us are opportunities to trust God and accept the best that He has for us. 

Claim His promises.

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Go a little deeper.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 4:21  NASB
and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

God has a plan, and when we live with purpose, we are part of His plan.  The question to each of us is will we live by fear or by faith?  Will we point and lead others to be full of fear or of faith?  I pray we would be willing to be part of the minority like the 2 spies were, Joshua and Caleb.

They believed God.  We can too.

2 Peter 3:9  NASB
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

I leave you with thoughts from Joshua:

Joshua 1:7  NASB
Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.


Joshua 14:7-9  NASB
I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God. So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.’

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