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Raising Giant Slayers With A Different Spirit Like Joshua And Caleb
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Have you ever felt you were about to be stoned by a group of people upset with your decisions? A group of complaining, grumblers were giving Moses and Aaron that same look. Let me tell you the story from scripture and more importantly what all this has to do with you and me...
THE COMMUNITY WEPT ALOUD
That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt or in the dessert! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a (new) leader and go back to Egypt.” —Numbers 14:1-4
After hearing their declaration, Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole assembly.
Out of the whole congregation, Joshua and Caleb who were among them tore their clothes and said, “The land we passed through is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into the land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord…”
WHEN WILL YOU CROSS OVER?
Many years ago in my life, the Spirit of the Lord came to me and asked me a similar question. I was born again and serving in the jail ministry in my early born again days but it’s like the Spirit of the Lord wanted me to go to another level in him. It was stronger than that. It was like he wanted me to enter in and go to whole new place, the Promised Land so to speak in my life.
For several days in my reading time and place where I would seek him, this scripture would come to me where Joshua was asking some of the Israelites that were still on the other side of the Jordan. He would say, “How long are you going to stay on this side of the Jordan; when will you cross over?”
Every time I read that scripture for several days. the Spirit of the Lord would fall all over me. I knew the Lord was speaking to me. In that season of my life, drastic changes came and with it came a mantle of ministry.
We must understand there is always a price to be paid for unbelief and fear. The Israelites were so bent on disobeying God they spoke about stoning Moses and Aaron. The Lord got so upset with the Israelites that he said, “Moses get out of the way; I will wipe them out with a plague and I will raise up a people from you.”
But Moses interceded for them and said, “Lord, if you destroy them what will the enemy say, you couldn’t handle your own people.” So the God of Israel stayed his hand.
But the Lord said to Moses, “I will deal with this rebellious people, since they don’t have faith to follow me and enter in. I will give them exactly what they have declared.”
Then he said to them, “You will all die in the dessert. And because you have said your children will be taken as slaves. They will enter in the Promised Land and Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, will go in as well, for they have a different spirit.”
Now, this is how rebellion responds after it sees itself. The Israelites got up the next day and said, “We see our sins, we will now enter in.”
Moses said to the people, “No, it’s too late, the opportunity has passed. God has made up his mind. If you go up now you will be defeated, for the Lord will not be with you.”
Nevertheless, in their presumption as a rebellious people, they went up anyway and were whipped all the way back in defeat.
LESSONS WORTH LEARNING
What are the lessons that we can learn from the Israelites and their rebellion:
- If you take up the grumbling and complaining spirit against God’s vision, you won’t enter into His promises. Keep a grateful and believing spirit even when we don't understand God's ways.
- In unbelief they began to oppose God, and it lead to their destruction and ultimately they did not enter in; they died in the wilderness.
- Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. Their faith in God’s vision and His ability to overcome every obstacle through them, opened the door wide for them to enter into the Promised Land.
- Joshua and Caleb both had to go through the testing and wait for the next season and opportunity to enter in with the following generation of Israelites.
- When the rebellious rebel, you stay in faith with a different spirit like Joshua and Caleb and receive the blessings of obedience.
The lesson I learned with this example of the Israelite’s rebellion, God will test you with His word and he will stand back and see what you will do with it.
TESTED TO KNOW WHAT'S IN YOUR HEART
The writer of Deuteronomy recorded God's instruction and what he said about the children of the grumbling, disobedient Israelites that died in the wilderness,
"All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. 2"You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3"He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.…"
Right before the wilderness journey, the word of God says that He declared He had tested them ten times. This said to me that God is patient with us. But it does show you that he has an end to that patience, as he did with the Israelites. So my recommendation is, when the Spirit of the Lord woos you to follow him. Be obedient and, “Do it!”
Following hard after the Lord,
Rev. Varn E Brown, Sr.
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