The mighty hand of God had brought Israel from a life of slavery and poverty to independence and wealth; free from the ruthless hand of Pharaoh. More than 400 years of bitter oppression were over at last. They were on the threshold of great new beginnings.
God had directed Moses to send 12 men into the land of Canaan to search out its goodness. But unbelief prevented 10 of them from seeing from God's perspective. They could see only with the perception carried over from their past days of oppression in Egypt. Their inability to trust God's direction kept them weak.
When Moses sent forth the spies, he charged them to be of good courage. Yet when they returned, their words did not reflect courage at all. This was their report:
"...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 13:32-33).
This did not sound remotely like the land God had described. And their wicked report melted the hearts of those who heard it. Their courage and confidence in God disappeared. The 10 spies, and those they influenced, would never see the promise of God. They would die in a barren land, the plains of Moab, bitter and weary as the result of their own rebellion.
Only two of the 12 men who searched out the land would ever live there, and then only after their comrades had died. What made these two men different? How could they remain confident in the face of the same opposition that terrified the others?
Joshua and Caleb understood something about God that the others never seemed to grasp. Faith in God's Word releases power to destroy any enemy. Caleb stood before the people and said, "Let us go up at once, and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it" (v. 30). He knew he was able because he understood where his ability came from. Joshua and Caleb saw themselves strong in God. The others saw themselves as grasshoppers.
Joshua and Caleb did not mention the opposition or difficulties, only words of possibility, promise, and preservation. They refused to yield to the distractions. Their attention remained focused on God and His plan.
Our confidence is largely determined by how we perceive ourselves and the things confronting us. The thing we give our attention to controls the flow of God's light through our entire being. The reason one person can stand up to adversity and remain strong, while another folds up, is that the eye must be focused on the Mighty One. We can remain in confident rest when we know the power of God's Word is at work.
God said of Caleb, "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it" (Numbers 14:24).
Caleb had a different spirit. He followed God fully even when it was unpopular. No doubt he was considered a fanatic. For 45 years, he stood on the promise of God. He heard the grumbling of the others, and because of their stubbornness he had to endure the wilderness until they died. Yet, he never wavered from what he knew.
We can allow the same spirit of Caleb to arise within us. And as we acknowledge the Greater One within us, He will give us victory over all our enemies.
- Excerpt from the
You Can Conquer Life's Conflicts
God is calling us to be a mighty, conquering people that will not quit in the face of conflict but rise up strong in the spirit of might and take the land that God has promised us. Just as Joshua, through his cou... read more