Numbers 13 and 14
Have you ever had a dream that seems impossible and felt it's never going to happen, or faced a task that seems too big for you?
It may be personal, it may be 'I can never give up smoking', 'I just can't cope with people.' or 'I can't end this relationship even though its going nowhere and destroying me.'
It may be something bigger than just your life like 'I could never speak in front of that many people', 'I could never do that job' or "What me run a cell group?'. Or maybe you are at the place where you need to do something outrageous. 'You sure you've got the right guy to set up an orphanage?', 'You want me to become a missionary to Indonesia?' or 'What God you want me to step back and let someone else take over?'.
We tend to find we get caught up in a position where we look at the problems, and they seem like giants to us, something we can't overcome. We look at it and we just can't see past it. Then what happens is that we start to look back in on ourselves and we start to imagine how poorly everyone else looks at us, we become aware of the size of the giant, and our own inadequacies and we start to believe we can never achieve our dream or overcome the task.
We see that process working in the spies who reported back on the land in Numbers 13: 31-33, and it is the world view of failure, of stalling, of 'bottling it'. This position failed because of certain things,
It kept God out of the equation
The spies report didn't mention God at all, it was a secular, human and worldly view. If we don't have God in the equation we lose the most positive force in the world.
It ignored their recent history
It's not apparent form the text but these spies were people who had seen the 10 plagues in Egypt, had walked through the dry ground on the Red Sea, seen Moses come down from the mountain with his face shining, followed the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night and been fed on quail and manna daily. Why on earth did they think God couldn't deal with this problem?
It allows problems to overshadow the facts
Like many people in the world the spies didn't let the facts get in the way of them doing a good bit of worrying and moaning. If you read into the book of Joshua the people of Canaan were petrified of the Israelites. Also if you read the book of Numbers and do some sums there were a lot of Israelites. Taking the land was not going to be as difficult as they felt at that moment.
They had a dodgy self image
'We look like grasshoppers to our own eyes.' This is perhaps the key verse in the whole report back. It was because the spies felt so small and insignificant in face of the problem that they allowed these other things to overcome them.
Therefore if we want to live the impossible dream, overcome the giants in our lives I suggest taking four opposite steps.
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