"It’s scary out there!"
Ever felt that way?
Picture yourself with Moses and the Israelites. Here they are at the edge of the Promised Land. They have been successfully and miraculously rescued from slavery in Egypt, and led through the great and terrifying wilderness. God has been with them every step of the way.
God has proven faithful.
And yet, Moses decides to send out scouts.
I don't think this was his original plan.
Moses had said, "You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the LORD our God is giving us. Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don't be afraid! Don't be discouraged!"
But the Israelites came to him and asked that scouts be sent out to explore the land –figuring "they will advise us on the best route to take…"
Plan B, maybe?
So, Moses sent out twelve scouts, one from each tribe. Upon their return, they reported that the land was a good land.
But…(why is it that there’s always a "but" when it comes to the Israelites?)
The people rebelled against the command of the LORD and refused to go in.
Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" tells us what they said:
"'The LORD must hate us. That's why he brought us here from Egypt – to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, 'The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are…We even saw giants there – the descendants of Anak!'" (Deuteronomy 1:27-28)
The people had concluded that the land was not worth the obstacles. They were afraid and decided not to enter.
Do you ever feel like that?
I sure do.
As I walk along my life's journey, God has proved Himself faithful, over and over. He's rescued me from the slavery to sin. He's led me through the wilderness. And yet, when He brings me to the brink of a breakthrough, a growth period, a time of testing – I balk.
He promises the Promised Land – and He promises to help me conquer it.
But…(why is it that there's always a "but" when it comes to me?)
I stop, I look around, I get scared – I only see the obstacles – I focus on the difficulty and the fear – and I do not go in.
God gives us the power to overcome our obstacles, but all too often we let difficulties control our lives. We become fearful and immobile when we focus on the negative aspects of a situation.
"It's scary out there."
Moses had quite a comeback for the Israelites. I hear him saying it to me:
"'Don't be shocked or afraid of them! The LORD your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you…you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.'" (verses 29-31)
This is what I forget.
God has gone before me – and He will guide me every step of the way.
I am not facing anything in my life by accident. Whenever I come up against "scary new territory" – I must remember this – God has brought me to this place.
He is on my side.
I can trust His direction and His promises. I can rely on His presence and power.
Fear does not need to rob me of the victory.
I must move out in faith – courageous, overcoming faith.
And God will provide even that…
Are there any "giants of Anak" in your life?
"When in doubt, search God out!"