When God has a plan, He has already made provisions for the outcome, and has given me the power to overcome any obstacles that come my way.
When Caleb, Joshua, and ten other spies were sent out to observe the land the Israelites were to overtake, the men did not all agree that God would do what He said would do and just give it to them. All twelve men saw the grapes big enough to feed giants. All twelve men saw the pomegranates and the figs of the land. They all saw that the land was overflowing with cows, and goats, and bees. The land was fertile and all that occupied it. And of course, they all saw that the people in Canaan were strong, and that there were giants, and that the cities were walled. Caleb said, “We can take ’em”…in a manner of speaking. “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” -Numbers 13:30. (At once!, he raved.) He was excited and ready to go. This was what they had been hoping for. A promise that was @ six hundred years in the making.
The phrase struck me while this message was being preached by my dad: “We are well able”, Caleb reported…And after declaring Canaan to be conquerable, there were others who grew weak kneed and intimidated.
•They saw the people there were strong.
•They saw the cities were walled and were very great.
•And they saw the sons of Anak, ‘which come of the giants’ (Numbers 13:33
What the 10 spies (doubters) did not see that Caleb and Joshua did,
was the almighty hand of God.
When the two “good spies” said, “We spy.. GREATNESS!”, the other ten said, “We spy.. TROUBLE!” – and a riot ensued. They protested, so much so that the children of Israel ‘got on the bandwagon’ and said it would have been better if they had died back in Egypt or in the wilderness. “They lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night”- Numbers 14:1. Good grief. Get a hold of yourself! Such drama. And what of the great Exodus? And the parting of the Red Sea? And the cloud by day and fire by night? And the manna? And and and…..on and on God was showing them that He would provide, yet they forgot. Or were just plain ungrateful. We can see just around the corner because it’s recorded how it all works out that they were —just within reach— of gaining the promised land. So close in proximity, yet so far apart from God’s mindset. They despised the promise. Maybe it seemed too hard. Maybe they didn’t want to have to ‘work for it’ when in reality, God was going to do the work and all were to receive the promise. They knew what work was. They had been slaves, after all, before God delivered them from Egypt and her taskmasters. Yet, because of their rebellion and fight against God’s will, they missed out on entering the most incredible sights they ever would know. Joshua and Caleb are hailed as heroes for their trust in God’s way. And the ten trouble making spies? They are named as well (Numbers 13) and are forever etched in Scripture for all to see their lack of judgment. In Numbers 13:3, it even says that their little ones would know the land that their elders despised.
Not much has changed since then. God still has a plan and it’s to live by faith, to trust Him in any given situation. And there will always be those who say it’s impossible to live by faith and not by sight– ‘God simply can’t have something bigger out there’. Like Caleb and Joshua, I need to stand firm that blessings will come when I simply trust that God’s way is better. Big faith = big blessings. What God says about Caleb is incredible in Number 14: 24 -“But my servant, Caleb, because he had another spirit in him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land…” Another spirit…not a spirit of scorn like the whole murmuring lot, but one of humility and obedience. And Caleb followed God fully. Fully! Not half-way, not half-hearted, but he was “all in” for the long haul. No tears. No weeping and gnashing of teeth. No drama. In vs 38, it is said of Joshua and Caleb that they “LIVED STILL” when the unbelieving and unrepentant breached God’s promise and slandered the land (vs 34 & 36). The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years and died ‘by the plague before the LORD’ (vs 37). The doubters got what they wished for…to die in the wilderness (those twenty years old and up). Such profound sadness. It didn’t have to be that way.
To live STILL – when fear wants to take over. To live STILL – when I’m tempted to doubt that God will take care of me. To live STILL – when those around me are far apart from God’s mindset… Faith brings life and I am ‘well able’ to overcome anything that will test my faith in His plan…giants larger than life, walls higher than high, mean people, whatever -because He is the Enabler.
God doesn’t give me life and a plan to serve Him without making provisions. He always extends the necessary power and grace to overcome obstacles and to exceed expectations.
May I have the confidence and faith to say, “I am well able to overcome….”