Are You Living by Faith or Fear?
Have you missed out on your Divine destiny and purpose because of misplaced fears? Have you lost time wandering in the wilderness of aimlessness because you let people influence you rather than let faith in God guide you?
Be Careful About Following the Crowd
The fears of ten men influenced a whole nation of people to waste 40 years in the wilderness. God promised His people a land flowing with milk and honey, yet fear kept them from entering it. The ten reported they couldn’t take the Promise Land because they were like grasshoppers compared to the inhabitants across the river. These ten men stirred up fear in the hearts of the Israelites and refused to take the land.
Two other men, Joshua and Caleb also spied the Promised Land and said, “And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” Numbers 14:9–10.
This proclamation of faith almost got Joshua and Caleb stoned. Unfortunately, the crowd followed the timid ten instead of the faithful few.
There’s always an inherent danger in following the crowd.
A Misplaced Faith
Let’s fast forward 40 years. Joshua and Caleb are in charge. They send two spies across the river, and they meet Rahab, a prostitute, who hides them from the king’s army. She tells them, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:9–11.
This is amazing! And ironic. Rahab reports that these “giants” in her land were terrified of God’s chosen people. They heard of the great signs God performed when delivering the Israelites out of Egypt. Their hearts melted, their courage vanished, they were terrified.
This is a lesson for us today.
These pagans had more faith in the One True God than His Chosen people did.
Israel put more faith in what they saw and heard than what God promised. They forgot everything He had done for them.
We Listen to the Wrong Voices
We do that, too, as Christians. We listen to the wrong voices instead of the One voice, the Holy Spirit. These voices get us off track, fill us with fear, and kill our divine purposes in the wilderness. We forget all He’s done for us; how He has delivered us, healed us, saved us. Let it not be!
As a believer in Jesus Christ, God has great plans for you. He knitted you uniquely to serve specific purposes that only you can do. There are people He wants to reach that only you can get to. When Jesus ascended and took His place at the right hand of the Father, He gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…to lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15–18.
When misguided fear causes our faith to fail, we don’t fulfill God’s plans for our lives.
We suffer, and everyone we could’ve impacted for God also suffers. Every adult Israelite who believed the report of the ten spies died in the wilderness over the next 40 years. The fate of the ten was worse. They died by plague immediately before the Lord.
The Lesson about Faith and Fear
The lesson here is twofold:
One, don’t let fear overtake your faith. Remember God’s goodness and faithfulness to you. Read the Bible and remind yourself of His faithfulness throughout the ages.
Two, don’t be a voice of fear that influences other people. Speak faith. Or remain quiet. The consequences are profound.
What voice are you listening to? Fear or faith?
What are you speaking? Fear or faith?