God has made promises to us. He has the power to fulfill those promises. However, we have the power to dismiss our privilege of entering those promises. We can dismiss ourselves from the destiny God has for us, and miss the mark for which we’re called. We can replace our privilege with penalty. It is possible to screw this thing up, but likely not in the ways you’ve been fearful of.
The Israelites were destined for the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. They were set free from captivity and given victory over every battle they would fight along the way. However, just because they were already given victory, doesn’t mean they would show up for the battle. Sometimes we miss that God has gone before us and made a way, but we are responsible for taking the steps to get there. We can’t wallow and wait while assuming God is going to magically transport us to better days. Oh the victory is yours my sister, but you’re going to need to show up for fight the entire way there.
We know the Israelites got stuck in the desert on their way from Egypt to Canaan. We know here in the desert they began complaining and grew ungrateful for God’s miraculous provision of manna from Heaven. They would praise God when there were miracles, but curse God when those miracles were no longer to their liking. Their complaining halted their progress.
Complaining poisons our spirits to no longer see the things which God has made possible. It darkens our perspective, it contaminates our hope, and it weakens our resolve. So when the Israelites who had been doing nothing but complaining about their reality in the desert looked to move forward towards their Promised Land, they were already weakened. They were already downcast. They were already accepting defeat as their destiny and co-signed for their hopelessness.
There was a battle ahead. A battle to take the land which God had promised them. This land would have to be fought for. To scope out their enemies, they sent 12 spies for 40 days to size them up and create their battle plan. When the spies returned and gave their report, 10 spread absolute fear by telling how the people there were giants and they would surely all die in a battle against them. They declared it was impossible to move forward.
Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb gave a different report. They were fully focused on the promise of victory and would not be detoured by the hardship of battle. They urged the Israelites to move forward and posses what they came for, what had been promised to them. Caleb said in Numbers 13: 30 “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the people would not listen because of the report of the 10 other spies who spoke nothing but destined defeat.
Fear ran through the crowd and they backed down without ever facing the battle. Their complaining spirit grew to crippling fear, and they missed the victory God had already aligned for them. They forfeited their privilege to victory.
Can we miss the victory God has aligned for us? Absolutely! How, by not showing up for the battle.
We back down. We pull back. We play little. We assume our position of defeat without showing up and using what God has given us. We give our enemy entirely too much credit, make him bigger than what he is, and shrink back to a helpless victim under attack.
STOP THAT! Girl, you’re going to miss all God has for you on the other side of this battle if you sit here defeated. Get up and show up for the battle!
As you know, the Israelites forfeited their victory for 40 years of wandering in the desert. Their privilege of entering the promise was replaced with pitiful pilfering in an existence far short of their potential. God didn’t exchange their victory for defeat, they did.
They chose not to move forward. They chose to stop short of the promise. They chose to play out the scenarios of death and destruction, all while God had plans for life and prosperity. So, they missed it.
As a result, only the two spies who truly believed God would give them victory were allowed to survive the time in the desert and enter the land God had promised them after 40 years. Everyone else died there. Generations perished in a temporary hardship that became permanent because of their lack of gratitude and faith.
Lord, please don’t allow us to make a temporary hardship into a permanent destination that misses your purpose and promises. Help us to assess the battle ahead and declare WITH YOU, ALL THINGS ARE TRULY POSSIBLE. Let us not back down just because it won’t be easy.
You are capable of hard things. You are equipped with the Spirit of God, now move forward. Don’t allow the voices of fear in your head to dismiss you from the things God has promised you.
What a shame it would be to get to Heaven and see all God had planned for your life and realize you missed out on the majority of it because of your fear. Fear grows in the environment of ungratefulness. Gratitude fosters strength. It fortifies faith. It keeps us focused on what is possible instead of what is problematic.
I don’t want to miss a single thing God has planned for me. I want every victory he has gone before me and won. I want every promise to be my reality. However, to live in that, I must boldly move forward and not back down. I must be like the only 2 spies, Caleb and Joshua, who took a good look at the enemy and still believed in the victory.
You cannot stop here sister. You cannot let fear stall your progress, and therefore steal your promise.
Are you uncertain? Are you unsure? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel defeated? YOU ARE NOT. You are not defeated here. You will only be defeated if you stop. Don’t stop trying. Don’t stop believing (que some Journey up in here)! Do not dismiss yourself from the privilege of victory God has already given you.
What are the scenarios you play in your head? Are they of death and destruction, or will you focus on God’s plans for life and prosperity? This will make a world of difference and either strengthen you for the battle, or render you incapable of the next step, forfeiting the victory God already had planned for you.
You know what you should do … well in the words of Caleb who found great favor with the Lord because of his faith and attitude, “you should go up and take possession of the land, for you can certainly do it.”