Numbers 13 and 14 tells the story of the spies who went to scout out Canaan, the promised land. Out of the twelve who went, only two, Joshua and Caleb returned with a good report. I love Caleb's boldness in Numbers 13:30: "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it!" Again, in Numbers 14:7-9, Joshua and Caleb plead with the complaining Israelites to listen to their report. Picture it. Ten of the twelve give a negative account, and only two come back with confidence. Who are you going to listen to? The majority or the minority report?
How many times do I miss an opportunity because of my fear? God was ready to give the Israelites the Promised Land, yet the fear and influence of ten spies not only cost them their life (Numbers 14:37) but it also caused an entire nation to wander in the desert for forty years.
As I read this morning, one phrase jumped out at me... Numbers 13:33 "...we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." Self-doubt. Fear. Forgetting when God is on your side you are in the majority. Guilty as charged. I can think back to times in my life that God clearly was giving me opportunities to move into a deeper relationship with Him. I had the opportunity to meet weekly with the Dean of Women at my college, but I messed it up. I wasn't disciplined. I was afraid of what she would say because I hadn't been in the Word consistently. So I just stopped. I missed a huge opportunity for spiritual growth in my life because of my own fear.
I can think of other times. Times when I neglected to speak up for my God. Times when I missed an opportunity because I was afraid it 'wasn't the appropriate time or place." I considered myself "as a grasshopper" in the eyes of those I should have talked to about Christ. I've failed a thousand times.
Joshua and Caleb followed God with their whole heart, and they were rewarded for their obedience. They were the only two adults that were permitted to enter the promised land! Numbers 14:24 says Caleb would inherit the promised land not because of his faith, but because he had a different spirit and followed God wholeheartedly. They had courage and faith, coupled with boldness and action.
Today I'm challenged to be like Joshua and Caleb. To put my faith and assurance of God and His plan into action. I need to listen to God for my marching orders. I don't want to miss another opportunity because of fear or considering myself to be a grasshopper in the eyes of those around me. I don't want to 'ask the experts' or listen to the majority, but I need to remember that whatever side God is on, that IS the majority!