God was Sufficient for Joshua and Caleb

God was Sufficient for Joshua and Caleb

I love looking at Old Testament examples of believers who trusted in God! 
So often God calls us to believe the impossible. So often He calls us to trust in what is beyond our own strength. 
We see this over and over in Old Testament saints.  These are men and women who accessed the resources and the power of God by faith.  We’ve been talking about the new covenant that Christ brought us.  Through the new covenant, we have full access by faith into the sufficient resources of God–the same power of God that the Old Testament believers walked in when they trusted God in their circumstances.  This is life-changing, because so often God calls us to have faith while facing impossible circumstances, doesn’t He?  So often, we are called to trust, when the situation is beyond our strength.  It is so encouraging to look at the Old Testament saints, and how they walked in faith through their impossible circumstances. 
From what we see in Scripture, God often calls His people to do and to believe things that are impossible and beyond our strength.
If we just stopped there, our case would be pretty hopeless.  What a blessing that we have a God who is with us!  He is looking for us to draw close to Him in relationship.  As we do this, we will find all the resources we need to press on in faith and have victory.
The truth of the matter is, that He is actually waiting for us to give Him the opportunity to do the work through and for us!
That was true for Abraham, for David, and for all the Old Testament saints as we look at their lives.  Today we’re going to look at two other men who understood this truth about God, contrasted with ten men who didn’t.

In Numbers 13-14 we see a tragic story play out. The children of Israel were delivered out of bondage, they received the Law from God Himself at Mt. Sinai, they had been protected and provided for through the desert, and now they are on the edge of the Promised Land. The Lord tells Moses to send out twelve spies to survey the land. This is the land that God promised to Abraham hundreds of years beforehand. All twelve spies knew God’s promises and all twelve spies had seen God’s power.  But listen to what the majority said: “‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report…(Numbers 13:31-32)” “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night (Numbers 14:1).”

In contrast, listen to what Caleb and Joshua (two of the spies) said:  “‘If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Number 14:8-9)

When God gives us perspective into the spiritual realm, we see amazing things! 

What a huge difference between these two perspectives! Here is God, ready to do a miraculous work!  Yet, ten of those spies assessed the situation from human understanding, according to the physical things before their eyes. They gave a report of fear, of defeat, and the people became afraid.

Joshua and Caleb totally believed God at His Word. 

They looked at the same physical circumstances through eyes of faith and received it almost as a present from God!  “Look at these clusters of grapes!  Look at this land of milk and honey!  God will give it to us!” We see some huge spiritual truths here. One is, that God doesn’t always speak through the majority.  In business, people often brainstorm together when they want to move forward and make decisions. As humans we habitually think in terms of the majority vote, or the majority opinion. Here we have a strong teaching of biblical wisdom: that it is not always God’s voice in the majority. It is not always God’s voice in what seems like the right way to go, or what seems to make human sense. A lot of times His voice comes through the minority. But whether it comes through the majority or the minority, we need to seek His voice. How is He leading? Then we need to be willing to walk in it and obey.

We have to trust that what He has said, He is able to perform. 

Another thing to glean from this passage is that God’s way isn’t always the most logical. The ten spies who didn’t want to go forward into the land, probably thought their way of thinking was pretty wise.  Here they were protecting their women and children, their elderly, and their sons who would be fighting. It didn’t make sense to just send their families into a slaughter. But the truth is that it was rebellion against God. God’s ways are not always what looks smart to us, or what looks like the best plan.
The important thing is relationship with Him, hearing His voice and taking Him at His word.
 
There is a ton that we can glean from when we are looking at our own life and circumstances. First of all, we see that the things God calls us to do don’t always make sense according to human thinking, or the world around us. God does not always work through the majority.  God’s opinion isn’t with the largest vote. Here, as in other cases in scripture, God often speaks through the minority.
Don’t doubt that you heard from God just because there are big obstacles. Don’t just follow the crowd because it sounds good.
Each of us need to seek the Lord for ourselves and be certain of what the Lord is saying. Joshua and Caleb had heard the voice of the Lord clearly and so they trusted Him to provide the resources. They weren’t trusting in themselves to conquer this land full of giants, but they were trusting in God’s strength and power. 

The prophet Isaiah put it this way:

“Even the youths shall faint and be wear, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).” 

Even at our best, the strength and power of man is limited.  But the good news is, God has provided another way. We can trust in the resources of God! 

God’s strength and power is limitless, and it is available for us to tap into through prayer and walking in a trusting relationship with Him.

When we need strength, we can cry out to the Lord for it.  When we need power, He will enable us as we seek Him, and we can press forward by faith into the impossible!