My pastor often speaks of taking insights learned in the natural and applying them to the supernatural. Recently, I made the decision to attend graduate school. My initial response was fear. What if I fail? I should be financially preparing myself to support a family. I became bombarded with thoughts from the enemy. You don’t have the intelligence needed to accomplish this goal. Everyone will know that you’re a failure if you try to do this. You will lose everything you have worked so hard to obtain. Does this sound familiar to anyone or am I the only person who battles with negative thoughts.
We are living in a world filled with fear and doubt, yet we see people who relentlessly rise to the top despite opposition. What separates the people who give up when life circumstances become too difficult from the ones’ who refuse to let anyone take away their dreams?
How we view our past and current circumstances will affect how we perceive opportunities. The Israelites give us a perfect example of how our perceptions can affect our decisions.
God listened to the cries of His people as they were held captive as slaves in Egypt. God used signs and wonders to free the Israelites from the Egyptians. He wanted the Israelites to trust Him and have a personal relationship with Him. He not only promised them freedom, He promised them the land of Canaan.
The land of Canaan was so plentiful it took two men to carry a single cluster of grapes during their mission to spy out the land. Numbers 13:23. God had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians while giving them food and water during their journey in the desert.
Why did the Israelites not believe they could possess what God had promised them from the beginning? Why would they quit their journey after traveling so far?
God tells us,”they never got there because they never listened, never believed.” Hebrews 3:19.
God wanted the Israelites to see themselves as He saw them. They were His treasure and He wanted them to be set apart as His chosen people. Exodus 19:3-6:
3 As Moses went up to meet God, God called down to him from the mountain: “Speak to the House of Jacob, tell the People of Israel:4 ‘You have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to me.5 If you will listen obediently to what I say and keep my covenant, out of all peoples you’ll be my special treasure. The whole Earth is mine to choose from,6 but you’re special: a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.’ “This is what I want you to tell the People of Israel.”
God said that He had carried the people throughout the journey in preparation for them to put their trust in Him. As I read this scripture I was reminded of the numerous times God has carried me throughout my own journey.
We must understand that during our journey there are going to be times when God is carrying us because He is trying to help us build up our faith. He wants to have a personal relationship with us.
We need to make sure that during these times we don’t forget God is our source. He expects us to trust Him and this will require us to take a leap of faith. The Israelites had victory in their hands if they would have only listened and believed God.
We must not forget when opposition looks bigger than we can handle that our faith is in God’s ability and not ours. Our victory depends on how well we listen and believe His instructions.
God’s word says His promise to the Israelites is still valid for us as believers’ today. Hebrews 4:1-3.
1 For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified.2 We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith.3 If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.
8 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.”9 The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people.10 God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God.11 So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience. 12 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.
God is faithful and He is obligated to fulfill His promise to us if we listen and believe. Caleb and Joshua were the only adults of the original Israelites promised the land of Canaan to possess it. God honored the faith of these two men as He will honor ours.
About the Author:
Erick Richey is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a B.A. in Psychology. He graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center with an emphasis on Pastoral Studies. He is currently a student in the Master of Arts program in the Human Relations department at the University of Oklahoma in Organizational Studies. He has been an usher for the Synergy singles group at Rhema Bible Church since 2006 and has been a team captain since 2008.