March 20, 2017

Numbers 13:33 “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

This incident is, in a sense, one of the most “human” in the whole Bible. It ranks right up there with worshiping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain talking with God. Despite all they had experienced in being delivered from Egypt, the majority of the people couldn’t bring themselves to trust God to take them all the way through to what He had promised them, and this one snippet of the report from the spies tells us why: they were looking at themselves instead of to God. The irony is incredible, and all the more so from the analogy they used. They called themselves locusts, forgetting the fact that even today a locust swarm is virtually unstoppable. Rather than focus on the individual, they should have believed that together they could conquer, just as Caleb had said in verse 30. Actually, this sort of thing happens all the time. We are given an opportunity by God, but rather than thank Him and move through the door He has opened, we look at ourselves and, recognizing that we can’t do it in our own strength, we decline to move. That’s as tragic now as it was back then. This is what faith is all about. Paul put it this way. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) As long as we depend on our senses and decide things by human reasoning, we won’t move into the fullness of what God has prepared for us.

I realize this applies directly to me and to this church right now, but I don’t know all it means. I am constantly telling people that being self-centered never leads to happiness, or anything else particularly good, but I haven’t taken that thought all the way to really seeing what God wants to do through us right now. Yesterday the Lord spoke strongly to me that He has no trouble doing what seems impossible to me, but today’s passage is a reminder that if I fail to trust Him, He may have to use the next generation to do it rather than me. I don’t want that! I want to participate fully in what He wants to do, not drawing back because I’m looking at myself or at physical circumstances. I am to move forward boldly, even if it looks like there’s a cliff face in front of me, knowing that God can and does move mountains for those who trust Him.

Father, once again I am shaken by what You are saying to me. Help me not only believe You, help me hear accurately what steps I am to take to move into what You intend. May my faith and trust not be passive, but rather active in obedience, rejoicing to speak and act as You direct so that Your kingdom may come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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