December 20, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:33
The reply of ten of the spies sent in to spy out Canaan resembles the attitude and perspective that encompass the lives of so many believers today. Everything was as God had told them, but they saw everything from their finite human point of reference. They saw only the difficulties, the limitations of their own strength and forces of their enemies. In fact, they saw everything but God. He was not in the equation of their evaluation. Such is the result of unbelief and looking within for the strength we need from God.
In contrast, Joshua and Caleb saw God in everything they encountered and with fearless faith considered the whole task as "bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not" (Numbers 14:9). Joshua and Caleb's hearts were fixed with faith in God. He had promised them the land. They needed only to go in and possess what God had already conquered for them. Faith discounts the strength of the difficulty and focuses on the greatness of God. Their point of reference was not upon their strength, resources and abilities, but in the infinite resources of Almighty God.
Let me ask you: When faced with adversity, how great is your God? The answer rests in WHOM you place your faith. A.W.Tozer wrote this profound description of faith: "Faith hears the inaudible, sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible." Faith holds on to nothing and counts as reality what it cannot see. Our problem lies in that we "look within" for the source of our strength and wisdom rather than "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).
It's incredible to think that after God had miraculously set Israel free from 400 years of bondage, and had brought them to the brink of entering into Canaan that they balk in unbelief. However, this so often defines our spiritual ineptness. We must ask ourselves, "Do we really believe what God says?" I think so often we have to answer, "No, we do not." Our lack of faith to trust God for that which we cannot do only emphasizes that the difficulty is bigger in our eyes than our God. Oh, that we might abandon ourselves to faith and trust God for every encounter we face. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
Read the great chapter of faith in Hebrews 11. These believers were abandoned to faith. Notice just a few.
... "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family" (v. 7).
... "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (v. 8).
... "By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger, he persevered because he saw him who is invisible" (vs. 24-27).
... "By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned" (v. 29). The verses that follow recall the tremendous faith that embodied these people as they endured persecutions, torture, and even death because their faith was anchored without reservation in their great God.
How great is your God? He is no greater than the faith you exercise in Him. Dare to trust God even as Paul..."I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-20
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