This was true for the twelve spies who were sent to scope out the land that was promised to them by God. Moses sent one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel with instructions to find out all they could about the place they would soon be entering. Moses instructed them to, “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad?…How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees…?” And, so the twelve men set out to spy the land and bring back a report.
Upon their return, the men said, “We went into the land…and it does flow with milk and honey…but the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.”
Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we certainly can do it.” But, the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread a bad report about the land inciting fear in the people.
Caleb and Joshua saw half-full. The rest of the spies and the fearful people in Israel saw half-empty. Caleb and Joshua trusted when God said, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” It was already promised.
There are so many things I can apply from this story. The biggest one for me is not to allow fear to keep me from entering the place where God is leading. He prepares the way and gives me the faith to overcome my fearful thoughts of half-empty glasses. Despite what the land looks like, or how big the obstacles appear, He will be the one to bring me there.
I can apply this to my writing, speaking, new ministry, changes in my circumstances, moving to a new place, or an unknown future. Because of my tendency toward fear, I know I need to assimilate this on a daily basis because fear cannot coincide with faith.
How about you? What have you spied out lately and how does it affect your response to God’s direction?
Read more about the adventure of the twelve spies in Numbers 13 & 14
Quotations above taken from the NIV