Do you remember the story of Joshua and Caleb? They were part of the company of 12 spies chosen to collect information on Canaan, the 'Promised Land'. Before Moses sent them out, God had clearly told the people that He would go before them, and that this land was the fulfilment of His promise to them. They had God's Word on it! Now it was time to gather intelligence, and strategise the best plan of action to posses their promise. To everybody's horror, the reports from ten spies that came back were more terrifying than they were encouraging! The Israelites' dream of finally possessing their own land, 'flowing with milk and honey', was crushed!
Have you ever held onto a promise from the Lord, only to receive information that causes your hope to crash, suddenly making your dream look too far out of reach?
But WAIT! There were two spies who had a completely different report! Joshua and Caleb were more excited to posses the land after they collected their intel, than when they left camp to find it! In fact, they were so eager to get going they wanted to leave immediately! (Numbers 13:30)
All twelve men saw exactly the same things. A land full of promise, yielding enormous fruit and overflowing with plenty! It was just as the Lord had promised them. The issue wasn't the promise of the land, it was who was inhabiting it! The locals were just as impressive as the land they were living in! In fact, one spy was so overwhelmed by the mere size of them, that he compared the Israelites to being grasshoppers next to those ferocious giants. Suddenly, as they compared themselves to these people, their limitations and obvious inadequacies, sealed their fate concerning the promise. They were no match to these super humans, meaning possessing the land was an impossibility.
Surely Joshua and Caleb, men of excellent reputation, noticed these giants too. The reports of what they saw were no different to the others. Except, while Joshua and Caleb were chewing at the bit to immediately, go get their inheritance; the other ten men were so discouraged by what they saw, they practically gave up all hope of possessing the land. And their fear was contagious. The moment the people heard their reports, they began to give into despair and give up all hope of the promise.
Caleb and Joshua, in absolute frustration, tore their clothes and in a desperate attempt, tried to get God's people to see things from their perspective, a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. They didn't deny the intimidating size or ferocious attributes of the inhabitants. They simply refused to COMPARE THEMSELVES to the giants.
One of the wonderful benefits of being vitally connected to the Lord, is understanding our covenant relationship we have in Him. While we may seem inadequate to the task, He is not! Our relationship with Him is a CONTINUOUS surrendering of our own limitations in exchange for TRUSTING in HIS ABILITY. If God has given us a promise, we can be sure He has everything we need to walk in it's fulfilment. The issue isn't our limitations verses the challenges, it's trusting in our God's limitless ability to overcome each challenge!
Caleb and Joshua chose to have a spirit of faith. They believed God's Word and they compared His nature and promise, not themselves, to the giants they saw. And there was no comparison, when it comes to God and His Word, there is no rival or match. Even the devil himself, is powerless against it.
Look and listen to Caleb's argument to the overwhelmed, fearful Israelites, "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” Numbers 14:7-10.
Unfortunately, the Israelites were more comfortable being in fear than faith, they came very close to stoning Joshua and Caleb that day - silencing the only voice of hope and faith they had to posses the promise God gave them.
Each one of us have the choice to live in the reality of God's promises. He is not a respecter of persons, His promises are for all who choose to believe. But faith and fear cannot coexist. That's why a choice must be made. Have faith in God or give in to fear. It's faith that pleases God, and causes us to walk in His promises. The Israelites of old, refused to trust God. Their unbelief prevented them from ever entering the promised land. Instead, their generation died out in the wilderness, just outside of the promise God had for them. They could see it, but they refused to believe that God could do it for them.
So who's report will you believe today? Are you comparing yourself to the challenges standing in the way? Or are you going to be like Joshua and Caleb, choosing to have a spirit of faith and not fear? If God has promised it, there is simply no more to it. Our part is to trust Him and obey everything He tells us to do - and rejoice, because He does delight in you, and He will bring you into the land (promise) and give it to you!