Summary: We are called to trust God and walk by faith, and not by sight. Focus on the promise and not the problem. Feed your faith and not your fears.
Read Num 13:26-33 and Num 14:1-9.
What will you do when what you see doesn’t sync well with what God says, like the experience of most of these scouts?
• They didn’t expect to see fortified cities, let alone giants in the land. And so many of them, spreading over such a large area.
• Everything they see does not flow with what they expect from a God who says, “I will give you this land as a possession.”
There will be encounters and experiences in life that will cause us to question God and doubt what He says.
• We do not have the full picture and our understanding is finite.
• If the Lord says He’s giving us this land, how then can there be occupants in it.
The Israelites’ predicament is, Are we going to trust what we see, or trust what God has said (that which we cannot see)?
• Do we listen to man’s report or God’s Word? Do we go by what we see, or by what we cannot? Do we walk by sight or walk by faith?
We have the privilege of hindsight to know the answer.
• We know it has nothing to do with what they see but everything to do with what God says.
• We are walking by sight when we believe in everything we see. We are walking by faith when we believe in everything God says.
I want to share TWO PRINCIPLES that you can cling on to when you are faced with challenging circumstances that threatens to derail you from faith in God:
FOCUS ON THE PROMISE, Not the Problem
Hold on to what God has revealed. That’s the PROMISE of God.
• When you have conflicting reports, stick to what God has said, even when you do not fully understand.
A little girl asked her mother how the human race got started. The mother told her how God created Adam and Eve. She turned to Genesis and read to her.
Later the girl went to ask her dad the same question and he said, “We evolved from monkeys.”
She came back and asked why dad had a different story.
Mom said, “I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his side of the family”.
Stay with what God has revealed.
• What about things He did not say? He did not tell us there’d be giants in the land; it would be occupied, and we are supposed to fight our way in.
• Don’t worry about WHAT GOD DID NOT SAY. Stick to WHAT GOD DID SAY.
• Focus on what God has already promised us!
The problem is not the real problem. It is our REACTION to or our RESPONSE to the problem, that’s the problem.
• In Christ, all problem is surmountable and can be overcome. God has a reason for every trial and tribulation.
• Our task is to CLING on to His Word and trust Him without fail.
• This is the principle that I’ve been holding on to and that has brought me through again and again.
Trouble comes when we are FIXATED on the problem. We see nothing else except the problem. We see everything else through the lens of this problem.
• “It’s the end of the world! All of us is going to die by the sword and our wives and children will be taken as plunder.” (14:3)
• They painted mental pictures of all that could possibly happen (without God).
• So they ended up calling for an all-night prayer meeting? Wrong! They had an all-night weeping and wailing session! (14:1)
The problem is with their FOCUS. Man will fail if he cannot take his eyes OFF the problem and onto GOD.
• Joyce Meyer: “You cannot expect to live a POSITIVE life with a NEGATIVE mind.”
Joshua and Caleb saw everything – the same fortified cities, the same giants, the same problems.
• But their eyes were FOCUSED on something else, obviously. They were the only TWO confident ones. Their eyes were on the PROMISE of God.
• Num 14:7-9 “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
• Nothing about the Canaanites. Everything about the LORD.
How can the same group of scouts, seeing the same sights and hearing the same sounds, ending up worlds apart?
• Perspective. It’s all about perspective. What are you really looking at?