Who's Grip Are You In?

Craig Peterson

Numbers 13:30 - 33  30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” 
Even though the Lord had clearly said that this is the land He was “giving” the Israelites. Even though Caleb, one of God’s appointed leaders led boldly in saying, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Even though the land was good in most every way, just as the Lord had promised. Even though they had been wandering in the desert eating manna for nearly forty years and the fruit of the land was right before them as a witness. The men who had gone up with them let their fears get the best of them. So much so that they made up stories and lied about the land. They spread rumors to share their fear rather than simply sharing the truth and sharing their faith as Caleb had. 
Our minds are wonderful, terrible things. In our little heads, God has given us the ability to reason; to calculate amazing and intricate details; to innovate and to invent; to reason; to trust; believe and to have faith. In those same little heads, God has given us the ability to think fearful thoughts; to conjure up scenarios that are not true just to justify our fears; to trust ourselves and our fears more than we trust the promises of our creator. This didn’t just happen to the Israelites. This happens all the time. It happens in our families when we fear that we won’t have enough to pay the bills. It happens in our marriages when we fear that our spouse just isn’t able to meet our needs like they used to. It happens in our friendships when we allow ourselves to think that our those closest to us are actually against us. It happens in our churches when we fear the direction the pastor is leading will not include the things we think we like the most. The simple fact is that fear will grip us if we let it. And if we let fear grip us, our wonderfully terrible minds will conjure up scenarios to justify our fears. When we allow this to happen we lie to ourselves and to those around us. We spread a bad report that is not accurate and does not honor God and His ability to work in and through us in all situations. We acknowledge the power of fear, which we are told in James is not of the Lord, and put it in a place that is more revered than our God. This is bad and it leads to bad things in our families, in our marriages, in our friendships and in our churches. We need to have the faith of Caleb, who chose to see the blessings and trust God at His word. Then we will have a positive testimony and a good report…not to mention a much healthier and blessed outcome.
Lord, give me the heart of Caleb. I want to see your blessings in every situation. I want to display the faith that you can and will come through, no matter what the odds are or what might seem obvious. Lord, make me a banner-bearer for your goodness and your might for those who trust you and are seeking to serve you in just the way you created them to. Thank you that you are always good and always faithful and that I can ALWAYS trust you! 

Devotions for February 23

Numbers 12,13
Psalms 90
Mark 2

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