If God has called you to make a move hundreds of miles away or just down the street, to a new church or into a new relationship, to a new job or a next phase in your life, let me give you a word of warning about the challenges you may face both as you prepare for the move and once you arrive at your new destination. How you look at the challenges you face and your attitude about them may well determine whether your new venture is a total success or flat out failure.
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When Moses sent a bunch of men into the Promised Land to check out (or spy out) the destination where God had called him to lead the children of Israel after delivering them out of bondage in Egypt, all but Joshua and Caleb came back with an “evil report” of what they had seen. Notice that they ALL saw the wonderful blessings awaiting them. And they ALL saw the challenges facing them – specifically the giants in the land that would threaten their very ability to occupy and enjoy the new land promised them. If they ALL saw the incredible potential, and if they ALL saw the unbelievable challenges, then why were Joshua and Caleb the only ones who were ultimately sent to the Promised Land while the others were killed as a result of providing an “evil report”? Here is why. The men with the evil report saw themselves as tiny, weak, insignificant, destined-for-failure grasshoppers when compared with the giants in the land. Joshua and Caleb did not look to themselves at all. They looked to the Lord. They had full confidence they could occupy and enjoy the blessings of the Promised Land because they put their trust in the Lord!
With their physical eyes, every man sent to check out the Promised Land saw the same blessings and the same challenges. But where the men with the evil report realized their own strength would be insufficient in overcoming their challenges, Joshua and Caleb did not consider their own strength. They put their confidence in the strength of the Lord. Joshua knew that if God wanted to bless them in the Promised Land, God would help them to overcome their challenges.
If you are considering the possibility of making a big move in your life, if you are right on the verge of making one, or if you have made a big move and are now facing a bunch of challenges, here are some suggestions:
1. Make sure the move is of God. Pray. Seek His face. Dig deep into the Bible for answers. Listen to Him speak into your heart. If you believe you have heard from Him, make sure by searching the Bible. God will never speak against His own Word.
2. If you have already made a big move and realize in retrospect it was not God’s will, repent. Confess your wrongdoing to Him, seek and receive His forgiveness, and ask Him what to do now that you have realized your mistake. Listen and obey.
3. If you need help discerning God’s will with the move you are about to make or the one you already made, seek the counsel of strong followers of Jesus Christ who are deeply entrenched in studying the Bible and who would be willing to pray for you, encourage you, and help you to hear from God. Make sure whatever counsel you receive from brothers and sisters in Christ can be backed up by the Bible. Again, God will never speak against His own Word.
4. If you are clear the move is God’s will, make certain you are not facing your challenges in your own strength. If God has called you to make this move, He will provide what you need to do His will and to accomplish what He has sent you there for. If you have been placing your trust and confidence about the move in yourself or any other people, repent. Turn to the Lord and place your hope in Him.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if I can be of any help with your move. If you are not yet a believer in, and follower of, Jesus Christ, this is the place to begin. If you are a believer but not yet a follower because you have not made the commitment to study the Bible and to apply it to your life, this is the next step. If you are already a believer in, and follower of, Jesus Christ, please open your heart, open your mouth, hold out your hand, and share the Gospel with someone who does not yet know the Lord. No matter the blessings and challenges of making a move in our lives, there is no greater move than this one.
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10 NASB To read my personal story and learn how to become a believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ, please CLICK HERE.My number is 843-338-2219, and my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
NUMBERS 13, ESV – BOLD ADDED
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.” 3So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the LORD, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel. 4And these were their names: From the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur; 5from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori; 6from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 7from the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph; 8from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun; 9from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu;10from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi; 11from the tribe of Joseph (that is, from the tribe of Manasseh), Gaddi the son of Susi; 12from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli; 13from the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael; 14from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi; 15from the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. 16These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua.
17Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, 18and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, 19and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, 20and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
21So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. 22They went up into the Negeb and came to Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23And they came to the Valley of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them; they also brought some pomegranates and figs. 24That place was called the Valley of Eshcol,a because of the cluster that the people of Israel cut down from there.
Report of the Spies
25At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land.26And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.”
30But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”31Then 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.” 32So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.33And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
NUMBERS 14 ESV – BOLD ADDED
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. 6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” 10Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.
11And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
Moses Intercedes for the People
13But Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them, 14and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O LORD, are in the midst of this people. For you, O LORD, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, 16‘It is because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’ 17And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 18‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’19Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”
God Promises Judgment
20Then the LORD said, “I have pardoned, according to your word. 21But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, 22none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”
26And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27“How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the LORD, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.31But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. 32But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. 34According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ 35I, the LORD, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”
36And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land— 37the men who brought up a bad report of the land—died by plague before the LORD. 38Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive…
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