When I was seven years old, my grandparents threw a big party in celebration of my Aunt’s 16th Birthday. All the preparations were made: invitations, cleaning, decorations, good food and lots of rock-n-roll records. Finally, the day arrived and my aunt looked beautiful in her new dress. Every detail was perfect. The hours ticked by slowly as she waited and waited for the other kids to show up. Only one person came to her party that day and his uncomfortable stay was short. Sorrow and disappointment spread through the house and to me and my family gathered in the kitchen.
What was supposed to be a day of celebration turned out to be one my Aunt’s saddest days of her youth. Could it be that one of the popular kids at school said they weren’t going and influenced all the others not to go?
In answer to the prayers of the children of Israel, God had made some magnificent plans for their deliverance and for their future. God also had a commitment to fulfill the promise He swore to their forefathers that the children would inhabit the good land of Canaan. God planned to have close fellowship with His children as He would be their God and their King.
Can you imagine the sorrow and disappointment that our loving Father experienced as His goodness would have to be postponed to the next generation? Kind of like preparing for a party and having only one person show up.
My aunt suffered rejection from her friends, but God’s rejection was considerably worse. He saw His children turn away from Him to put their trust in the words of ten evil-hearted men. As the fear of imminent death expanded and spread throughout the camp, accusations climaxed into cries of terror that God’s only plans of deliverance were to bring them into the wilderness to kill them all. What a terrible, terrible lie! The exact opposite was true! All things were already prepared and ready for their wonderful future.
God’s Sovereign Will: Man has the divine right to choose!
Good Report—Bad Report
Who would you have followed?
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.’
Forty days later, the twelve leaders of each tribe returned with their reports:
"We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.
“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.
“But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.
“And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
"There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:27-33
The Power of Projecting a Poor Self Image
And so the opinion of the ten leaders brought the entire nation into fear and chaos demanding that Moses, God’s chosen leader, be replaced and that they return back to Egypt. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire assembly. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and said:
"The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey.
“Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.
“And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.” Numbers 14:7-10
Unbelief can be vicious. After all, it did put Jesus on the cross. In our day it is called persecution and this is one reason why our intercession for the lost in our cities is so very important.
Ten of the leaders saw themselves fighting the giants on their own ability. They did not allow God’s plan to transform their self image. As a man thinketh, so is he.
UNBELIEF REVEALED: The Soul of the Natural Man
Unbelief separates people from God’s provision.
Unbelief boldly declares: “I don’t believe that.”
It is a mindset that is:
Definition of Autonomous: not controlled by other outside forces; independent of the laws of another; self-governed; self-ruled and self-determined; self-liberation; self-sufficient and independent of God.
The sin of the world is rebellion and is defiantly self-satisfied without God. The building of the Tower of Babel is an example of that same worldly system.
See Genesis 11:1-9
Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb did not agree because they did not think the same way. They had the spirit of faith and out of the abundance of their heart they spoke words of faith. See Matthew 12:34-35 and 2 Corinthians 4:13
They knew they were not like other nations. They believed in God’s love and faithfulness. They knew God was with them and He was well able to accomplish what He had planned.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
“But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’
“But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
Romans 8:5-8 reveals:
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Choosing Godly Leadership to Follow
“And He Himself gave some to be: apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers…”
“for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16
The five-fold ministers that you and I listen to have a great influence in our lives and walk of faith. The only way we can determine if they are speaking the truth is to know God’s Word. Always put the study of God’s Word first place in your life.
Don’t expect to live by faith without God’s Word. His word is the seed that germinates in your heart to produce faith. No word…No faith.
Words of faith are words of destiny!
Read 1 John 5:18-21.
Good Report—Bad Report. What are you following?
God never meant for Israel to take the land of Canaan alone, just like He doesn’t expect you and I to handle our assignments on our own ability. Jesus is Head of His Church and He is directly involved with our success as we hear and obey. Depend on God!
The walk of faith is founded within a close relationship with our Father and the Lord Jesus. His Holy Spirit is in us for the purpose of helping us in every situation.
The Word of God has been given to us as a more sure foundation than anything else for “He is upholding all things with the word of His power.”
We are in the world but we are not of this world, nor are we to be conformed to how this world thinks. We have been sent to change the world! Be very choosy who you allow to lead you in spiritual matters. Not all are of purity and faith.
Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Follow Him in the written word and live by faith...in God.
PRAY FOR YOUR STATE
The Church—The Lost—Elected Leaders
Our prayers are very effective. Your words will not fall to the ground!