Moses sent scouts to spy out the land of Canaan to bring back a report of the land which God had told them was to be their inheritance, (Numbers 13:17-33 and chapter 14). Joshua and Caleb were the only two who brought back a positive report. The other scouts brought back an evil report and filled the people with fear regarding the giants in the land. Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit to the others. They believed what God had said and promised them: if God was with them, He would overcome the giants. The children of Israel continued their murmuring and complaining against the Lord, and consequently, lost their inheritance. They chose to forget all the mighty miracles God had performed in their exodus from Egypt, all the miracles of His provision in the wilderness, and focused instead on the evil report of fear-filled men. The long-suffering of God came to an end and the Lord sent that generation back into the wilderness to live and die there. Their inheritance was lost to that generation, apart from Joshua and Caleb, and was given to their children to go in and possess the land of promise.
How does this relate to you and me? Do I complain about my circumstances, or do I believe what God says? Scriptures state of Joshua and Caleb that they gave a good report of the land, and wholly, or fully, followed the Lord, (Deuteronomy 1:36, Joshua 14:14, Numbers 14:24, Numbers 32:12). To have an undivided heart is to always side with God and what He says. David prayed: Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, O Lord, I will walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear thy name.” A united heart with God is an undivided one. It refuses the negative and always has a positive view.
I can quote familiar scriptures and yet not apply the truth of them to my walk with the Lord. For example, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8. Do I see God in all my circumstances, or do I see the “giants”?
Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God…. ALL THINGS! A heart united with God’s will quickly deal with its murmurings and declare these words by faith, instead of whining about their lot. If God has permitted the circumstance, I can move closer to Him through it and reap the benefits of His input in our relationship. There are times in our lives when the mountain seems so big and all my efforts so futile, that the Lord will say, “Be still, and know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10. There are other times when He will require action or words to be spoken. When I choose to obey, He will enable me, in His strength, to carry them through.
Romans 8:35-39 is another well known scripture declaring that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. NOTHING!
Unless I believe and operate in these scriptures, I am no different to the scouts who gave an evil report of the Promised Land! How many Christians declare they believe all the fullness of God is their inheritance and, yet, never reach the goal? Is this me? If I am carrying so much negative baggage on my spiritual journey, it will hinder my walk. I need to travel light!….in the light of what the word of God says. I may think my opinions and judgements are against situations and people, but do I realise they are, firstly, against God who has permitted them.
GOD PERMITS IN HIS WISDOM WHAT HE COULD PREVENT IN HIS POWER!
Why? To drive me, in permission, into Him – to walk more closely to Him, to bring me into His divine purposes. His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours, (Isaiah 55:8). As I surrender to this truth, instead of trying to figure God out, I discover the intimacy of the peace of His presence, which surpasses my understanding and is independent of, and in spite of, any circumstance.
I need to stop judging the events of my daily walk as good or bad and subconsciously filing them in these two compartments. In doing this I am eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which, right at the beginning, God forbade, (Genesis 3). This division I have in my being is the very thing that prevents me receiving my inheritance. The fullness of God is the birthright of every Believer in Jesus Christ. Joshua and Caleb refused to bring an evil report and wholly followed the Lord. They received their inheritance – the Promised Land. Two… out of their generation of millions! What a statistic! These two proved that God is who He says He is, and believed that He would do what He promised. No-one could rail against God and say He had asked the impossible and not made the provision He promised. He made it all available from His side, and only two from their generation believed God’s word, in spite of all the miracles they had witnessed in the exodus from Egypt and their journey through the wilderness.
So many Christians believe that because they have a desire for more of God, the fullness of God, the Promised Land, they will receive it. It is available through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. He has made it available to everyone of us. So then, what is our responsibility, what is our believing to receive and walk in the fullness of our birthright? Joshua and Caleb gave us the example of a heart united with the Lord, giving a positive report. In all our circumstances we can be positive in God. Let us deal with our complaining hearts in life’s challenges and praise God that He is with us,strengthening and enabling us to walk, talk and live worthy of Him. Let us apply His word to our lives and silence our murmuring hearts. These choices will rid us of the baggage preventing progress towards our journey’s goal.
In the olden days, farmers used Shire Horses to pull a plough through their fields. The skill of a farmer was judged by the straightness of the furrow. Considering Timothy’s words, 2 Timothy 2:15 “…Show yourself approved unto God…..rightly dividing the word of truth.” As we walk with the Lord on our daily journey, let us plow a straight furrow.