More often than not, I have a hard time following God’s direction if I think I will be unsuccessful–especially if God is telling me to speak up. Panic will grip at my insides as I look into the faces of those sitting around me. Then suddenly my tongue will feel as if it’s glued to the back of my teeth preventing me from speaking the words that so desperately needed to be said.
I know God is nudging me to speak up and proclaim the truth, but my mouth won’t work and mind is flooded with worry. What if they tell me I’m wrong? What if they all get up and leave? In the end, my fear causes me to shrink back in silence. And I’m left feeling as if I have let God down.
I don’t want to be controlled by my fears. I want to be a woman who answers God’s call no matter what I’m up against. Maybe you want this too?
Let’s take a look at a couple of guys in the Bible who didn’t let the fear of what others thought to stand in the way of doing what God had called them to do.
In the Book of Numbers, Chapter 13 we find that God instructed Moses to send in a group of men to explore the land of Canaan because He is going to give it to the Israelites. Moses did just as God commanded. He rounded up a group of men and sent them on their way to find out all they could about the land. When the men returned home they gave this report, “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.” (Numbers 13:27-28) NIV.
Boldly Speak the Truth
This news got the people excited because, Caleb, one of the men who went to Canaan speaks up and says, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30) NIV. You would think his bold and confident declaration would have encouraged the people or at least have hushed the naysayers. It didn’t. The men who had gone with Caleb began to spew even more negative chatter causing panic to spread amongst the people.
As we read further into the book of Numbers 14, we find the people crying and complaining. Overcome by their fear and grief, they suggest finding a new leader to replace Moses. Fear can make people act a little irrational, can’t it?
Faithfully Stand Firm When Faced with Adversity
Thankfully, Joshua and Caleb boldly spoke up and said to the Israelites, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If 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. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:7-9) NIV.
These two men displayed great courage when they spoke up and reminded the people of God’s truth and promises. They weren’t worried about what the people might say or do. They certainly didn’t care if their words or actions impressed others because they refused to back down when the people threatened to stone them (Numbers 14:10). Now that’s the kind of faith I want!
Even though they were standing in the face of adversity, Caleb and Joshua were determined to act on the directions God gave them no matter the cost. They believed God would be with them every step of the way and wholeheartedly put their trust in him. And because of their faithfulness, God would allow them to (eventually) go into the promised land (Num. 14:24-35).
Wholeheartedly Trust in God’s Promises
Joshua and Caleb’s story encourages us to hold on to God’s promises, stand firm in our faith and never back down. We don’t need to worry about what others think or fear the unknown. God is with us, and He has already worked out all of the details. All we need to do is put our trust in Him.
Let’s take a look at the promise God gave Joshua when it was time to enter the promised land.
Read Joshua 1:1-9 As you read this passage try to answer these questions:
What promises did the Lord make to Joshua? In verse six, what did the Lord tell Joshua he was going to do?
For Joshua to be victorious, he was going to have to follow Gods instructions. What were those instructions? How can we apply them to our lives today?
God isn’t looking for perfect; he’s looking for willing.—tweet this!
These encouraging words the Lord spoke to Joshua are still relevant to us today. If God calls us to do something, we can trust that he’ll be right beside us. We don’t have to be afraid. We don’t have to back down. All we have to do is show up and be willing to follow him. He will provide us with everything we need.
Thank you for joining me for part one of When The Answer Is To Fail. I hope and pray these words will fill you with the hope and encouragement you need to follow God’s directions.
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