Spinning the story without God can be catastrophic
I recently revisited the story of the twelve spies that Moses sent into the promised land. (Read the whole story in Numbers 13-14.) It takes place immediately after God delivered his people from Egypt, complete with the mighty plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments carved in stone.
With all that as the background, Moses commissions twelve spies to go and see what the promised land was like. They observe a land flowing with “milk and honey.” A land of fruitful abundance. Pretty much what God had promised. But there were some problems to overcome, namely the people occupying the land.
So despite God’s promises to deliver them into the land, the spies gave a bad report. Today we would call it spin. The saw all the abundance and fruitfulness, and their report was basically this: We can’t go there, because there are giants in the land, and we are like grasshoppers in their sight.
Here’s the key. God called them to this challenge. He promised to provide. He had a phenomenal track record of doing exactly that. But instead of stepping out in faith, they spun the story with fear, almost as though God wasn’t part of the solution! And they started to act like grasshoppers.
“We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there… We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:31-33)
The consequences were enormous. They completely missed out on the opportunity to enter the land God had for them. They went to their graves wondering what it might have been like.
God calls us to challenges. You may be facing one this week. He promises to provide. He has a phenomenal track record of doing exactly that. We often get a chance to see the abundant and fruitful life that he offers us. But how many times do we choose fear instead of faith? How easy is it for us to think that God isn’t part of the solution, and to act like grasshoppers? And the consequences can be huge. We can live for years, or even decades wondering, “what would it have been like if I had listened to God and stepped out in faith?”
Whatever your challenge is, whatever God is calling you to do in faith, you have a choice. You can spin the story with fear and become a grasshopper, or you can courageously step out in faith and follow where God is leading you.
How will you respond??