Moses, in obedience to the Lord, sent 12 scouts to spy out the Promised Land and report back on what they found, (Numbers 13 and 14). Ten of the scouts brought back an evil report, allowing negativism preeminence. Scripture declares that Joshua and Caleb were of a different spirit, wholly following the Lord. This determined their outlook, they saw things from God’s perspective and brought back a good report, endeavouring to encourage the people to enter the Promised Land and trust God. Sadly, the people did not listen to Joshua and Caleb and forfeited their inheritance. Their choice resulted in them dying in the wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb, two people from the older generation of millions, entered the Promised Land with the younger generation.
In today’s terms, what does that mean for you and I to wholly follow the Lord? We can follow Him without wavering, being single minded and refusing discouragement when negative thoughts rise up in response to a situation.
James 1: 6-8 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”.
What a statement! Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord….. A divided heart is an unstable one and detrimental to my spiritual health. In Psalm 86:11 David asks of the Lord: “Teach me your way, O Lord. I will walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name”.
If I open my heart to receive discouragement when it appears, it will result in instability, a divided heart, complaining and negativism. Discouragement is not of God. How do I deal with it when it shows up? Ruthlessly!
God’s Word always provides the answer to pull down these strongholds in our lives. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. This verse is a declaration that deserves meditating on until the Holy Spirit firmly deposits it eternally in my heart and mind.
My negative thoughts are never sourced from Jesus Christ and will keep me out of my “Promised Land”. I need to see them as an insult to the Living God and all He has made available to me through the costly sacrifice of His Son.
When the negative thoughts arise in adverse situations, I must learn to “take them captive” before it becomes a stronghold “exalting itself against the knowledge of God” in my life. Let me learn to declare Christ as the victory in my life before He gives me the victory! Our altitude results from our attitude. Christ, our super Victor, can enable us to soar like the eagle above life’s on-going problems. Ephesians 2:6 declares we are raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places. From this position and perspective, earthly problems are just seen as opportunities to prove God in every situation, without wavering. Making Jesus Lord of our lives is a daily challenge. If He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all!……Taking captive every negative thought!
To wholly follow the Lord demands a refusal of negative outlooks in response to adverse situations. Refuse discouragement in adversity, whatever form it comes in. Discouragement is independence from God and the road to nowhere! We don’t deny adverse situations, but in Christ, we rise above them, in Him, and discover the joy and wonder of His resurrection life in us.
So, brothers and sisters, take heart! Continue to grow in the provision of His grace. The old hymn penned by J. Oatman and A. Habershon, “I’m pressing on the upward way”, reminds us that we, too, are pressing on towards the goal of our high calling in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, and He makes a way for us to walk in, with Him, our dependable Guide, our dependable Love.