Whatever your God-given “Promised Land” is, know this: only YOU can keep you from reaching it!
Isn’t that empowering!
- Not your present circumstances
- Not your past
- Not your background
- Not your family
- Not your education
Nothing, nor no one, can prevent YOU from living the Abundant Life!
As we see in the Bible account of the Israelites stumbling aimlessly in the desert for 40 years, an entire generation was not permitted to reach their God-ordained Promised Land because THEY got in the way!
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Choose Who You Work With Wisely
And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.”
~ Exodus 3:17
When the Lord told Moses to “send out men to explore the land of Canaan,” He told him to choose one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes of Israel. Included in this illustrious list was Joshua, Moses’ servant, and Caleb son of Jephunneh from the Tribe of Judah. Like most of the men from the list, this is the first mention of Caleb in Scripture.
The only person that we have been given a chance to get to know up to this point was Joshua, and it really is no surprise that Moses chose him as one of the 12. Joshua was more than just Moses’ personal assistant, he was a reliable leader and war hero. Someone God called to be strong and courageous.
Why were Caleb and the other 10 chosen for this important expedition to the promised land?
We’re not sure. We can only assume that they, like Joshua, were known for being mighty men of valor. But, as we’ll see, their reputation wasn’t a true representation of who they really were. I reckon that if Moses were given the chance to choose his team over again, he’d do so differently. He’d probably do it more God’s way.
“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)
Lesson Learned: Don’t choose people to be part of your team because of their reputation, look at their heart.
Focusing on Giants Hurts Self-Image
After giving the 12 men instructions, Moses sent them out to scout the Promised Land. After seeing the precious inheritance that God had prepared from them, they brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole and gave this scouting report: (from Numbers 13)
“We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!”
Sensing that this fear of giants would discourage the nation, Caleb interjected as they spoke this to Moses in front of the people,
“Let’s go at once to take the land,” Caleb shouted, “We can certainly conquer it!”
But the other men disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” they proclaimed.
Unfortunately, it was the fearful report of the 10 who had prevailed that ended up paralyzing the Israelites in fear from ever rising up and taking the land God had promised to them.
“The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Lesson Learned: brooding over our problems too, makes them seem insurmountable.
Fear Gets You Out of Your Right Mind
This fear caused a frenzy that permeated throughout the entire nation. They cried out against Moses and the Lord.
“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle?” they complained. “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”
Joshua and Caleb tried to reason with them,
“The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
But the people turned against Joshua and Caleb and tried to stone them, until God stepped in.
Lesson Learned: Fear makes people irrational and unwilling to listen to sound wisdom.
In the end, it was this disobedience that caused God to punish the Israelites to wander through the wilderness for 40 years on a journey that should have taken under 2 weeks!
In His anger, God vowed that not one person from this disobedient generation would enter the Promised Land, but Joshua and Caleb who followed God and trusted in His promises. Everyone else was destined to die in the wilderness.
A Different Spirit
“But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.”
~ Numbers 14:24
What was different about Caleb and Joshua that caused them to see thing differently?
To them, the “giants” were God’s problem, not theirs. To them, the descendants of Anak weren’t invincible because God was fighting their battles.
The difference was that Caleb and Joshua had faith that God would stay true to His promises. They have seen enough of God’s power through all the miracles in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea to cast off any doubt in His ability to handle a few giants.
The Bible says that these two men had a “different spirit” and because they fully followed God, they would inherit the Promised Land.
Lesson Learned: As believers in Christ, YOU too have a different spirit – The Holy Spirit of the Living God! Like Caleb and Joshua, you too can choose to live the Abundant Life and walk in the Promised Land that God has prepared for you.
Nothing can stop you, but your own fear and unwillingness to take that step of faith and do what He’s telling you to do!
How about YOU? What’s YOUR promised land?
- Financial freedom?
- A risky business venture?
- Marriage after an ugly divorce?
- Losing weight & regaining your health?
- Chasing after your dream of starting a ministry?
- Getting some heap to heal from past emotional wound?
- Mending a relationship with someone you haven’t spoken to in years?
Whatever it may be, commit today to living a life free of fear, and don’t let anything come in the way of you receiving all that God has for you!
- Joshua 13:1-14:25
- I Samuel 16:7