eye on it
A long time ago God made a promise to a community of people. He told them that He was going to give them a home, a land to call their own. He asked them to send a group of men ahead of the rest of the camp to spy out the land which He was going to give to them. The men found a beautiful land full of rich resources. They also saw large, fortified cities and strong, mighty people. Fear gripped all of the community. Well, all except two men: Caleb and Joshua. While the rest of the community cried and wept in fear and disappointment, Caleb and Joshua saw only God's promise.
"If the LORD is pleased with 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; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them" (numbers 14:8-9)
The others saw only the circumstances and forgot all about God's promise. They forgot all about God's Character. And in that fear they turned to kill Caleb and Joshua with stones. Despite the circumstances, despite the disapproval of all others, Joshua and Caleb stood on God's promise. They had faith when all others waivered. They chose obedience when the community faltered in fear. God gave a promise. He gave a command, a calling to His people.... go and take this land which I have given to you. Caleb and Joshua set their eyes on God. The rest of the people only saw themselves in relation to the calling. Caleb and Joshua saw only God.
We doubt and become fearful when we look at ourselves in relation to the calling God has given to us. Instead of trusting in God's promises, we instead fear man and turn our eyes away from God's Truth.
The consequences for this community's disobedience were great. They were punished by wandering in a desert for 40 years. In the end, the only people of their generation to enjoy God's promise were Caleb and Joshua. The rest missed out.
What step of faith is God calling you to? Where is He challenging you to walk in obedience? Consider the following:
1. Become consumed with God's Word
As the Israelites prepare to enter the land the second time, God tells them to "be strong and courageous." He promises them success if they will meditate on His Word day and night. I believe we become fearful when we are not drenching our thoughts in His Word. He promises to us again today, "Do not fear or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you where ever you go." (Joshua 1) Our greatest weapon against Mr. Fear is the Word of God.
2. Get your feet wet
God is asking for a step of faith. We want to know all the answers up front. We want to be assured that it is all going to work out. In order to enter the land the Isrealites had to cross the Jordan. God didn't build a bridge. He didn't have them walk around. He asked them to literally step out in faith. He promised that "as the soles of the priests... rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap." God didn't part the waters first, He asked them to step into the flowing waters trusting that He would part them. (Joshua 3)
3. Get rid of whatever is keeping you from giving your whole life to Jesus
"...lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith..." It is time for us to throw off anything that is getting in the way of living every moment of our lives for the sake of the gospel. Ask God to reveal to your heart your own "encumbrances". Ask those closest to you what they think is entangling you from running your race. And then chose to throw it off daily so you can run your race.
This is where my heart is at these days. I would love to hear how God is challenging you to step out in faith as we walk this journey together.