Summary: Before we have a mountain in our hands, we must first have it in our hearts.
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I enjoy journeys and going to new places. I have enjoyed following the Lord because that is where the faith, the fight, and the victory are. Never forget that. There is no victory without a battle. God has called His people to live on the mountaintop and to experience the blessings, possessions, and purposes of His design. If you are a believer and follower of the Lord, He has bigger and brighter things than you have ever imagined for your life.
In this passage of Scripture God had brought His people to Kadesh-barnea. Many of us are familiar with the story. Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land for forty days. When they returned, ten bore a negative report while only two were positive about God’s plan for possessing their new land. The people chose to believe the negative reports; only Joshua and Caleb believed the Israelites could possess the land and do what God had called them to do.
What made Caleb different from ten of the other eleven spies? What caused Caleb to have victory in his heart and believe the Israelites could possess their possessions and fulfill what God had planned for them?
Before we have a mountain in our hands, we must first have it in our hearts. We will never possess it physically until we possess it spiritually. Many of God’s people do not have a mountain in their hearts, only a wilderness. God wants each of us to have a mountain in our hearts and know how to make it happen.
WE MUST SURVEY OUR CHALLENGES
The first step in having a mountain in our hearts is to survey our challenges. Israel was facing a lot of challenges. There is nothing wrong with surveying the challenges. Jesus talked about counting the cost. Before we launch out, we must count the cost, understand what it will take, and be willing to pay the price. We need to survey our challenges. Israel’s challenges were fourfold.
1. The enemy was strong in pride. Three names were mentioned in verse 22. The reason the Word of God lists these three names is because of their meaning. Ahiman means “what I am,” Sheshai “who I am,” and Talmai “what I can do.” Nephilim was saying to the Israelites, “Come over here, and we will show you cannot defeat us.” They knew they were a strong and gifted people. They were strong in pride. The battle to which we are called is one of much difficulty. Many in the world know who they are and what they can accomplish. Understand it—the enemy of our soul is strong in pride.
2. The enemy was strong in position. The Bible says Nephilim had walled cities located on mountaintops. They had a very advantageous position of strength. They were saying to the nation of Israel, “We have leverage over you.” Today there are people in high positions who do not want the Bible or a spiritual awakening, but I remind you—nothing is too difficult for Almighty God.
3. The enemy was strong in population. The adversary was strong in pride, in position, and in population. The Bible says, “They devoured the land.” They were so numerous they filled the land. Even today there are more people who do not believe in Jesus than those who do. There are more in Satan’s kingdom than those who are in God’s. The battle for souls is the greatest battle of life—overcoming the obstacles of the enemy and winning people to Christ.
4. The enemy was strong in proportion. These were giants who were eight and nine feet tall. They were part of the Anakims, a race of giants. The Hebrew people were small in comparison. It does not matter how large the crowd, where they are, or even who they are—God plus one always equals a majority. God is calling us to a fresh challenge to see the land, possess it, and go where He wants us to go.
As we survey the challenges, we must keep our attitudes positive before God and others. Whatever is happening around us, we can always choose to have the right attitude. Some people seem to be mostly optimistic while others appear to be mostly pessimistic. What kind of attitude do you have? I heard a story about the parents of nine-year-old twins. One twin was very optimistic about most things that happened in life while the other was very negative. Naturally, these parents were concerned and turned to a psychologist who suggested the parents try to balance the children’s personalities. For Christmas they should give the best gifts to the negative child and the not-so-nice gifts to the positive one. He also suggested they go to the extreme and give a box of manure to the positive twin.