There's probably no better illustration of our 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, as well.
The people of Israel had become extremely discouraged by the negative report they heard from the spies they had sent to check out the Promised Land. The land was filled with huge warriors that appeared ready to put up quite a fight if the Israelites tried to enter, and the people were ready to give up. But there was a differing opinion they had yet to consider:
"Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua and Caleb, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
Here were two men who trusted God and spoke words of faith and affirmation to the people. Their response?
“But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb.”
Have you ever been so firmly convinced that nothing good will come from your situation that you refused to believe anyone who tried to encourage you? Sometimes we get so caught up in our own drama, our own pity-parties, our own limited perceptions that we don’t want to hear what we KNOW to be true: God is in control!
The Lord had brought the Israelites through years of trials and made them witnesses to incredible miracles, yet they were unwilling to take that last step of faith and actually enter the Promised Land. Like us, the Israelites trusted God with the big picture but doubted His ability to pull through with their immediate concerns.
It can be easy to forget that we only see a small part of God’s vision for our lives, and that only He knows the big picture. We can continue to trust God by remembering all that He has done for us and recognizing that He has already forseen all the obstacles that we will come across, and has formulated a plan to overcome them!
As the school year comes to a close, don’t be afraid to take that last step of faith in whatever it is that God has set before you. These next few weeks can be very hectic, demanding, and unbearably long! But remember the One who has brought you through the entire journey thus far, and trust Him to lead you on to the end.
Be confident in this: that He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus (Phillipians 1:6).