Faith In The Promise of God
A few days ago, I was interviewed on zoom by a church leader in London. I have been there many times over the years and feel very much at home with them. He recorded the interview to share with the congregation, now that they are meeting again.
One of the questions he asked was about Joshua and Caleb; two of the twelve spies that God sent to the promised land after he brought the Israelites out of Egypt.
Why was it only Caleb and Joshua that were allowed to go into the land?
The obvious reason is that they were the only spies out of the twelve that gave a positive report saying; "we should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." Numbers 13:30 NIV
The other ten spies saw the same land and agreed that it was everything God had promised. However, they couldn’t get past the obstacles, giants, fortified cities, and strong warriors.
Why were Caleb and Joshua so convinced that the Israelis could do it while the others were not?
Numbers 14: 24 tells us that God saw Caleb as a man with a different spirit that followed Him fully.
Other translations call it a different attitude. Attitude has to do with how you see things, how you feel about them, and your disposition toward them.
I've heard it said that the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity is your attitude.
Did Caleb and Joshua see possibilities and opportunities where the other spies saw obstacles?
Characteristics of people with a different spirit or attitude
Nelson Mandela faced overwhelming obstacles defeating apartheid in South Africa. He was a man of great courage that seemed almost fearless. He had this to say about courage:
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."
A POSITIVE “CAN-DO” ATTITUDE
Instead of focusing on the obstacles, Caleb and Joshua saw the opportunities that were ahead of them. They knew that with God's help, they could face opposition and overcome it. They were not distracted or paralyzed by the obstacles life throws their way.
AWARENESS OF GODS PRESENCE
After the spies returned, ten of them had a negative report. Caleb and Joshua encouraged the Israelites saying; "the Lord is with us do not be afraid."
After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader. God's promise to him was: "I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous..."
Jesus made the same promise to us in Matthew 28:20 "...and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age...but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them."
CONFIDENCE IN GODS PROMISE
They had complete trust in God to help them succeed. They believed God would do as He promised. This different spirit or attitude was a spirit of faith.
Faith doesn’t deny circumstances or pretend it doesn’t exist. It looks beyond the circumstances and sees another reality.
The confidence of faith is in the promises of God.