Numbers 14-16, Psalm 44
Most of us consider ourselves more exemplary than we truly are. If we placed ourselves in the crucifixion scene, most would envision ourselves weeping at the foot of the cross rather than who we truly are one of the mocking sinners shouting out insults at Him. If we were Peter walking on water we envision ourselves maintaining that steady gaze on Jesus rather than becoming distracted by the waves and sinking. In the story we read today, we envision ourselves boldly standing up for the cause of God with rock-like faith like Joshua and Caleb. We get angry with the other 10, but how often do we allow our eyes to get off Jesus in our daily lives and onto our own sinful lives. As we read the story of the twelve spies, of course we identify with Caleb and Joshua. We see the two standing in total conviction and absolute boldness. Despite seeing giants, they were not fearful. These are the examples that we want to emulate but often don’t.
When the 12 spies return from Canaan, the majority sway the masses to revolt against going into the Promised Land, fearfully describing the giants and the massive fortified cities. But Caleb in Numbers 13:30, said, “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” Look at Joshua’s comments after he and Caleb tore their clothes in response to the congregation in Numbers 14:7-9, “The land we passed through to spy out is exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” They realized then what Paul said so well in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.
We, who are in Christ, have the fullness of the Holy Spirit residing within us. Yet, we often, like the other 10 spies live our lives in fear. We don’t evangelize, we don’t step out in faith, we remain quiet for fear of the reaction of those around us. The only thing that hold us back is ourselves. We must ask ourselves who we really fear. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”.
Imagine the revival in our midst and the power in each of us, if we simply would get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do in each of us.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: