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Whose Power? - Wholly Loved - February 4

Whose Power?
By Jana Kelley

“But Moses said, ‘Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed!’” Numbers 14:41

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by circumstances?

Have you ever felt confident … pretty sure of yourself?

Most of us can answer yes to both questions. Neither feeling is wrong. It’s what we do with those feelings that can steer us toward God or away from Him.

A peek into the journey of the Israelites gives us a good example. God had rescued them from slavery and was leading them to the land long promised to their patriarch, Abraham. But first, they needed to scout out the area. They did, and two of the twelve spies gave a good report, encouraging God’s people to conquer the land.

“With God’s help we can do it!” they said.

The other ten, gripped with fear, forgot all the miracles God had already performed on their behalf.

“Are you crazy? There’s no way. The enemy is too big.”

Whom do you think the Israelite nation believed?

They listened to the fearful men. Refusing to trust God’s mighty power, they made plans to return to Egypt. God punished the Israelites for their unbelief and they appeared to repent.

But then they turned from fear to presumptuous pride. They put faith in their own skills and moved to attack the enemy, even after God said to turn back.

Moses pleaded with the people. “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed!”

Numbers 14:1-35 confirms the defeat of the Israelite army. The reason? They marched to war in their own strength.

As sinful humans we sometimes act cowardly and forget to trust our mighty God. Other times we behave recklessly and put faith in our own ability.

Along the way, God asks us to trust Him. When we feel weak and when we’re sure “we’ve got this under control.”

Don’t disobey the Lord by depending on yourself. Trust in His power. And then, whatever you do, move in His strength. That’s always enough.

Jana Kelley, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ devotional project, is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. She and her husband married in college and by their second anniversary, they lived in a remote African town. After 13 years in Africa and the Middle East, they moved to Southeast Asia where they and their three boys currently live. Jana is the author of two devotional books and three novels. You can learn more about her at

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