January 14, 2009
Focusing on God or Obstacles?
The Lord gave the Israelites a commission to go in and possess the land of Canaan. The people needed a separate place in which to thrive as a God-centered nation. And He chose an exceptionally good country for their development.
So at the Lord’s direction, Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land. What a surprise when ten of them returned with frightening negative stories. All that these spies could see were the obstacles to taking ownership.
However, Caleb was certain that they’d “surely overcome” (Num. 13:30), because he was focused on God’s promises rather than the obvious difficulties. He based his confidence on God’s words to Abraham: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Gen. 12:7).
The people didn’t share Caleb’s faith—tales of giants and fortified cities scared them. Ordinarily, those would have been obstacles worth fearing. But the Israelites served a God who had proven that He could overcome anything: He’d parted the Red Sea to facilitate their escape from Pharaoh. And He fed them for two years in the desert.
Focusing on obstacles distorts our vision. Problems seem to loom so large that we can’t see to take the next step in faith. In reality, if God has called us to do something, the only hindrance is between our temples! He has already planned a way around, over, or through any barriers that might lie on the path to fulfilling His purpose.And when we, like the Israelites, give in to fear and refuse to move forward, we miss out on the great reward found in doing God’s will.
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