If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring
us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for
they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with
us: fear them not.’ Numbers 14:8-9
The difference of living
by faith and living by sight is all to apparent in these chapters. The spies
had observed the Promised Land, and they had come back laden with fruit but
also with two very different tales.
On the one hand, all they could see were impossibilities, with giants barring
their way, but, viewed by others the land was splendid indeed. The lack of
trust and the spiritual blindness of the majority left the whole camp
wandering needlessly in the wilderness for many a long year.
Not until all who had complained had perished by the wayside did they
eventually cross the border. They had been so close, but God tells them to
turn away and start trekking towards the Red Sea.
God is not mocked!
Those who decided to take things into their own hands perished at the hands of
the Amalekites and Canaanites.
God's way is always best.
A new start, a new job, a new school, a new home - can be a daunting challenge
to us. Many take comfort in the security of 'much of the same' from day to
day. It is not until our lives are shaken by the unexpected that we quickly
realize that the faith we profess has to be put into action.
Change is always difficult, partly because we find a comfort and a defence in
what we are used to. In other words, we know how to cope in an environment
that is our norm, but, when we are faced with the challenge of a change of
direction, then all sorts of fears and horrors seem to come into our minds. If
we cannot actually see the giants, then we will make them up!
Many, having followed the Lord's command to go forward into some new field of
service find that no sooner have they taken that step of faith to cut asunder
all ties with the past then they are assaulted from all directions by the evil
one and his suggestions. If we live an inactive spiritual life then Satan need
not bother troubling us, as our life poses him no threat whatsoever. When
however we stand to the challenge and face the enemy head on, then be assured
that difficulties will be strewn across our path.
The last thing Satan wants is yet another 'Christ-like' warrior heading
towards the battlefield.
He will do all in his power to make us think that we have made the wrong
decision. He will try his very best to persuade us to turn back and to enjoy
the pleasures we once enjoyed in our "Egypt." The tasty morsels seem ever so
sweet when we have parted company from them!
Let us not fear, even though giants may appear on our horizon. Many of them
are our own making. Shall our Commanding Officer lead us forth into battle on
our own? It cannot be. No, such is His love for us that not only will He lead
us, but He will guide us and protect us at all times. We have nothing,
absolutely nothing to fear.
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?
The Christian lives for the day of his death. The final parting, when
contemplated seems horrendous, but it is our final enemy.
Already this week, two of my friends have been called Home. Their warfare is
accomplished, while we still have work that needs doing. The next time we
meet, we shall be facing the King in all His glory, time without end.
No more assaults can then come our way. No more will sin deprive us of
fellowship with the One in whom our souls delight. No more will we sit in
darkness, cowering in fear. Never again will we let our Best Friend down and
never again will we regret days lost in worldly pursuits.
How long will this blessedness last? There shall be no end.
Immanuel's Land beckons for each one of us. In the meantime let us be spent
for the One who was spent for us outside the walls of Jerusalem. Let us go
forward today in the full persuasion that 'the Lord is with us!'