Then 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 are.”
— Numbers 13:31
The story of the 12 spies going into Canaan has been one of my favorite stories for a long time. God had clearly told the people of Israel that they were to take possession of the land. Even better, God had told them he was giving it to them. That is a critical piece of information that should not be overlooked. He told them he was giving it to them. Yet, when the spies got back to give a report, they came to the conclusion that they were “not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”
The reality is that, while the spies were correct in their assessment that their enemies were stronger than them, their focus was critically misplaced. They were comparing their enemies to themselves when they should have been comparing their enemies to their God. When it was all said and done, they didn’t take hold of the good land that God had promised them because they had more faith in their enemies than they did their God.
I think of how many times I see this in my life and the lives of people I know. We know that God has given us instructions. He has told us to move. But, when we look in the direction we are supposed to go, its scary. There are problems, dangers, obstacles, risks, and even enemies. When we don’t do what God has called us to because we are afraid of our obstacles, we are placing more faith in our obstacles than we have in our God.
Let’s be real. When God calls us to do something, he is fully aware of the obstacles that we will encounter. I have never come up against a challenge in pursuit of a calling from God that took God by surprise. He is fully aware of the challenges, obstacles and struggles before I ever get there or, in fact, even before he asks me to go. And when he directs us, he can always be trusted to fight the battles on our behalf.
“God takes total responsibility for the life wholly devoted to him.”
— Charles Stanley