Clear and Present Danger?

The Promised Land: Part 1 (Numbers 13:16-28)

There's probably no better illustration of the human tendency to doubt God and rely on ourselves to accomplish what we think is best than the story of the Israelites attempting to enter the Promised Land. What was supposed to be a 3 day trip turned into 40 years of wandering in the desert and the death of nearly everyone who escaped from Egypt. This is a story that has been on my heart quite a bit over the past few weeks, and as I read over Numbers 13-14, the Lord showed me a number of powerful things that I want to share with you as you examine not only the situations you encounter in the classroom, but things you are experiencing in your own spiritual walk.

It had been a difficult journey, but the Lord had safely brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. They had witnessed the power and presence of God continually, from the parting of the Red Sea to the provision of manna in the wilderness. They were at last approaching the Promised Land of Canaan and the Lord commanded Moses to send out men to bring back a report about the conditions to the people.

When the spies came back, verse 27 tells us, "This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!".

The spies had seen that the land was exactly the way God said it would be, but they were so focused on their fear that they completely missed the way the fulfillment of His promise. They let potential difficulties blind them to God's power to help and promise to guide.

Is there something that you know the Lord will take care of, yet you've let the appearance of the situation in it's present state prevent you from believing God? This has happened to me countless times over the years: Children whose behavior was so terrible I didn't think I could make it through another day; kids who faced retention if their reading level didn't increase by at least 2 years in time for the state standardized tests; administration and colleagues who repeatedly brought dissession and negativity to the workplace and made my desire to teach plummet... the situations for which there appear to be no solution can seem endless.

Or maybe, like the spies, you've projected your own fears onto a situation and created a problem where presently there is none? Many of us have a tendency to work things up in our own minds, spending inordinate amounts of time devising a plan of action for innumerable worse-case scenarios that never come to pass.

As I think back to how impossible many situations seemed while I was facing them, I realize that God had already worked the situation out in my favor, and all I had to do was to trust Him and step out of His way. Getting caught up in the earthly perspective and leaving God out of the equation resulted in fear and hopelessness, which slowed down the process of His work.

Remember that even when you can't see the big picture, God already has it worked out! What seems hopeless to you now is all a part of God's plan for your life to bring Him glory. Focus on His faithfulness to you in the past, and trust Him to work the unseen. There are many more miracles He wants to bring to pass in your life if you believe in His provision.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Angela,
Thank you so much and may God continue to bless you . Debra Hall

Brandi said...

Angela,
You have been an inspiration to the ministry of teaching and faith.
Brandi, Illinois