Summary: Far too many Christians are defeating themselves. And they’re doing it with words. This message looks at Numbers 13 and 14, a passage about the spies sent to verify what God said about the Promised Land.
The greatest struggle for most Christians is their declarations. Tonight, we’re going to talk about “Declarations That Defeat Us.” We’re going to look at a record that’s very familiar to us. But in it are a lot of salient points that the Lord makes about how important it is to believe what we say and to believe the one we say that we have faith and confidence in.
Turn to Numbers 13 and we’re going to begin with verse 1.
(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
(2) Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.
(3) And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
We see here in the first three verses that the Lord is sending representatives of Israel into the land of Canaan, the land He promised to Abraham back in Genesis 15. Here in Numbers, the record gives the image of God saying I have given you this land and I want you to take a look at it before you go in to possess it.
Turn to Deuteronomy 1. This is the record of Moses recounting for the children of Israel what the people had gone through since leaving Egypt. This is 40 years later. Look at verse 19.
(19) And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
(20) And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us.
(21) Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
So we see that when they get to the mountain of Horeb, Moses tell the people this is the land the Lord has given to you. Now go up and possess it. Is that not what he said? Now look at verse 22.
(22) And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
Now, I ask you, what was God’s original intent when they got to Mount Horeb? Go in. Possess the land. But the children said, “Wait a minute God. We know you promised our father Abraham this land. We understand this. It’s clear as mud. It’s been passed down all of these years and we are here. But before we go over into the Promised Land, let’s send in spies to make sure it’s EVERYTHING GOD SAID IT WOULD BE.” Do you see this?
When Moses said “Go up and possess the land” they said “Hold up, wait a minute. We want to go look at it first.” Do you know what they’re saying ladies and gentlemen? “We don’t believe what God said. We want to see it for ourselves.”
When God makes a promise to you, you don’t have to worry about it. All you have to do is pick up your feet and go where God tells you to go. Listen to me: God had already spied out the land for them! They didn’t need to send spies to the land.
You have an inheritance that God has already given you. And the reason most Christians are not walking in it – they want to search it out to see if its really true. But God says take My Word for it! And that’s what He wanted from the children of Israel.
Faith says “I can’t see but God says it true. I’m going to follow through and believe what God has said.” Unbelief says “If I can’t see it with my eyes, then it cannot be true.”
God simply wants us to listen and obey His Word. It’s really that simple. But we’re going to see what happens when Israel doesn’t immediately go in and possess the land.
Now turn back to Numbers 13. Remember in verse 3 it says “And Moses by the commandment of the Lord…” The Lord gave Moses permission to send out spies even though He had already “spied out” the land for the people. God says it’s not what I want but if that what you have made up your mind to do – go ahead.