Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, August 11, 2015
“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. 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.” (Deuteronomy 1:21-22).
The land of promise was before them. God’s people had endured many years of toil and distress. The journey from Egypt that may have taken a short time was extended by years due to their lack of faith. Instead of receiving the power and determination that comes through trust in God, these wanderers chose the weakness that came from second-guessing the way that the Lord chose to lead them.
The Lord made the way clear. His words to the children of Israel were, the land that He promised was set before them, and all they needed to do was move forward in faith to posses it. His will and intentions for them could not have been made any clearer. The promise was theirs for the taking. Why then did they need spies? Although Jesus had led them in a pillar of cloud and flame of fire in order to protect them throughout their journey, they found occasions to doubt. They often chose to contrive ways to distrust Him. It was almost like they were looking for a reason to lose faith and hope. The many miracles of the exodus, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, and the other tokens of God’s care seemed not to impress the majority of His people.
The land was before them. Instead of simply moving forward as their children did later, when they took Jericho, they decided to send spies, who came back with a faithless report. All, with exception of Joshua and Caleb gave a false testimony. They all proclaimed God a liar. They said that what God promised to them was impossible. They said that there were giants in the land and there was no way that they could posses it. As a result, the adults who were freed from Egyptian slavery in order to worship the Lord, failed to receive the promise. All, with the exception of faithful Joshua and Caleb, died along the way because they did not trust God to deliver them.
The Lord has proclaimed and demonstrated His ability to keep us faithful despite any temptation to do evil. Oftentimes, we see the giants of peer pressure, unholy entertainment, and ungodly relationships as insurmountable. Even though He said that He is able to keep us from falling, we often choose to be defeated and fail to fully enter the rest of God. The wilderness of sin encloses many and they do not receive the promise. We do not need the false testimony from the spies of faithlessness and discouragement. We must press on.
God has promised eternal life and immortality to those who diligently seek and love Him with their entire being. Let us all learn a lesson from Joshua and Caleb who said that if the Lord was with them, they could easily posses the Promised Land. We are on our way to heavenly Canaan. Let nothing obstruct our way. Let the lying witnesses of self-trust and faithlessness die in this earthly wilderness, while we move forward to the heavenly Promised Land.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please help us to believe you when you assure our victories. Give us the faith to do our part and get out of your way. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.