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Focus: Believing God
Joshua 1:9 (NKJV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
If you’ve had a history of failures, you might be fearful when you face something that calls for courage. Even if it looks like an opportunity from God, you still could be prone to wonder if taking this step of faith will lead you to victory—or another defeat.
You’ve certainly been through enough to know that not every opportunity that comes to you is from God. If there was no chance of failure, you wouldn’t have fallen in the past. God allows failures to teach us not to jump at everything that looks like a sure thing.
Sometimes you just won’t be able to get a clear word as to whether something is right or wrong and you might have to step out in faith to find out. It never hurts to ask God for a sign…and if you’re still not sure, ask Him for another one!
God wants you to seek Him for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in all things. He will sometimes have you ‘test out’ an idea to see if He will bless it. When He has confirmed to you that the way He is leading you is right and good, you should move forward with courage. There will always be the naysayers…those who would like to snuff out your vision before it ever has the possibility of succeeding.
In the Book of Numbers, in the Old Testament of the Bible, the children of Israel were on their journey to the Promised Land. As they approached it, the Lord instructed Moses to send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which He was giving to the children of Israel. A group made up of one spy from each of the twelve tribes was to be sent to go see what the land was like—whether the people who lived there were strong or weak—few or many—and whether the cities they lived in were like camps or strongholds—whether the land was rich or poor—and whether there were forests, or not. Moses told the spies to ‘Be of good courage’ and to bring back some of the fruit of their land. It happened that the season when they would be going was the season of the first ripe grapes.
So, the spies went and surveyed the land, from the wilderness—to the city gates. When they came to the Valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes. It was so large, that it had to be carried on a pole between two men. They also collected some pomegranates and figs and then returned to Moses and their people, after forty days of spying out the land.
When the got back to the camp of the children of Israel, Moses and the whole congregation was there to meet them. Everyone was eager to find out what the spies had learned about the promised land. When the twelve men stood before the congregation, they told them that they had gone into the land they had been sent to search out. They reported that it truly flowed with milk and honey and they showed everyone the fruit they had brought back. They went on to say that the people who lived in the land were strong and their cities were fortified and very large. They gave an overview of the various types and nationalities of people who lived in the land from the mountains, to the seaside and along the banks of the Jordan River.
There must have been a considerable amount of talk going on among the congregation, because Caleb, one of the spies, quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let’s go up immediately and take possession, because we are well able to overcome it.”
But the men who had gone up with Caleb said, “We can’t go up against these people—they are stronger than we are.” And they proceeded to give the children of Israel a bad report of the land they had spied out, by saying, ”The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw were like giants. We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and that’s how they saw us, too.”
The congregation was scared to death. They cried like babies all night long. The next day, they complained to Moses and Aaron and said, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in the wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” And they proceeded to make plans to select a new leader and turn back.
Because of their unbelief, none of them were allowed to enter the promised land. Caleb and Joshua believed God would give them the victory and they were allowed to enter Canaan—forty years later. The rest of their people died in the wilderness.
Declaration: I will find new strength by putting all of my trust in God and believing that He will give me victory.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.