4/12: Reality Vs. God

 

Sometimes reality doesn’t look so good. Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, serving up lemons, and overshadowing us with clouds. As the saying goes, “Reality bites.” That must have been how the children of Israel felt upon receiving the report of the spies who had gone ahead into the Promised Land. Those men had been tasked with the assignment of checking out the land of Canaan in advance of the people’s forthcoming and God-promised occupation. The report that came back wasn’t positive. The book of Numbers, chapters 13-14, details the incident.

  • Then they (most of the spies) told him (Moses), and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there… 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 of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw thegiants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:27-28, 31-33

Reality revealed three main problems: First, the people in the land were big and strong; second, the cities were fortified; and third, the land devoured the inhabitants. Those three problems caused a fourth within the people: they judged that they looked like grasshoppers in their own sight.

Upon hearing the negative report, Caleb and Joshua spoke God’s heart to the people.

  • Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30
  • But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 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.” Numbers 14:6-9

What were the people supposed to do? They needed to do the same thing we have to do when reality contradicts God: they needed to rely on God anyway. God didn’t send the spies into the land to evaluate it; He just sent them in to investigate it. We don’t ignore reality, but we are not supposed to be persuaded by it when it contradicts what God has told us.

So the next time reality bites, let’s remember to take a lesson from Caleb and Joshua. Let’s look at reality and say, “So what, the people may big and strong, the cities (jobs, relationships, careers, neighborhoods, etc.) may be fortified, and the land (competition) may devour its inhabitants. So what that I may look like a grasshopper – a weak and inexperienced individual – in my own eyes and even in theirs, but I have the God of the universe delighting in me on my side. I am well able to overcome all the obstacles reality is trying to throw in my way. Where God is taking me is exceedingly good. He is with me, so I will not fear anyone who is already where I want to go. Looks like this grasshopper will be living large in my Promised Land.”

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©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

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~ by sanewriter on April 12, 2013.

One Response to “4/12: Reality Vs. God”

  1. Excellent!!!

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