Friday, April 26, 2013
What Ticks God Off?
God told Moses to choose 12 spies to scope out the Promised Land. You know how it ends. Badly. Ten spies give a BAD report. Here’s the gist of it:
“We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are . . . we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Num. 13:31,33)
Two spies disagree. But it won’t be enough to undo the damage that’s been done. The Israelites would have to wait 40 years to enter the Promised Land. Everyone ages 20 and older would die in the wilderness.
Well, not everyone. God makes two exceptions. Joshua and Caleb give a GOOD report. Especially Caleb. Let’s take a look at what Caleb did that earned him a spot in the Promised Land.
1) Caleb took a bold stand
“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Num. 13:30
Sometimes you will have to silence the crowd of naysayers around you. You will have to speak the truth of what God’s revealed to you. That takes boldness!
Recently, The 700 Club produced a story about a woman named Jacquie Hagler who gave a jewelry party for her friends. During the party, a burglar came in wearing a mask and carrying a gun. The group of ladies were shocked; some even thought it was a joke.
But Jacquie knew this was no joke. She immediately stood up, told the man to leave, and started calling out the name of Jesus. Emboldened by her courage, the other women joined in, stretching their hands toward the man and praying (Watch here). Slowly, the man backed out of the house and left.
Are you bold enough to take a stand when you’re facing the enemy?
2. God said of Caleb, “my servant Caleb has a different attitude . . . He has remained loyal to me.” (Numbers 14:24)
Do you have a “different attitude” or do you sound just like every other negative person in the room? Anyone can have a negative attitude . . . that’s natural. It’s our flesh talking. But, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we should sound “different.”
Caleb’s “different” attitude flowed from his loyalty to God. He was committed to his ongoing relationship with God and earnestly defended God’s honor when the people doubted.
3. Caleb saw the enemy for what it was—HELPLESS PREY.
“Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14:9)
Caleb & Joshua were so convinced of God’s power, they described the enemy as “helpless prey.” What is helpless prey? It’s something powerless, vulnerable, helpless or unable to resist attack. Putting it simply, Caleb & Joshua saw themselves as mighty lions and those so-called “people of great size” looked like weak little lambs.
Are you fully convinced of God’s power working in your life?
Whenever I feel weak or small against a situation I quote the verse (& sometimes sing the old chorus), “Greater is HE that is in ME than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4) Use God’s word to fill you with courage.
WHY DIDN’T THE PEOPLE SIDE WITH JOSHUA & CALEB?
The people didn’t believe God was able to take them into the Promised Land. Even after everything He had done for them, they still had no clue who God was.
And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? (Numbers 14:11)
The people didn’t believe God loved them. They actually thought God was deliberately taking them to die in battle so the enemy could carry off their children as slaves. (Numbers 14:1-3)
The people had no ongoing relationship with the Lord. No loyalty whatsoever.
We’re all quick to say, “Those Israelites! I would NEVER have listened to those 10 spies. I would’ve believed Joshua and Caleb.”
Let’s do a little self-examination to see if that’s really true.
When God asks you do something what is your response like?
Do you believe God?
Do you whine and cry and question God about your circumstances—even though you know you’re right in the center of God’s will?
Do you look back and think, “I’d be better off where I was. Maybe I should go back to . . .” ?
Do you stir up trouble for your godly leaders Do you plot to take them out? Do you despise the word of God in their mouth? (The Israelites were ready to stone Joshua and Caleb!)
So, if you haven't already figured out the answer to the title of this blog . . .
WHAT TICKS GOD OFF? UNBELIEF
The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land—the ones who incited rebellion against the Lord with their bad report— were struck dead with a plague before the Lord. Numbers 14:36,37
GOD is waiting for you to BELIEVE Him. Believe he loves you. Believe He’s good. Understand that yes, you WILL have to fight some battles if you go after your promised land. Maybe LOTS of battles. But HE goes before you. Jehovah, the ALMIGHTY MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE fights FOR you.
WHAT PLEASES GOD? FAITH
Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Next time you hear some bad news, I want you to consider the words of this song by Ron Kenoly (Watch Times Square Church sing here):
Whose report will you believe?
We shall believe the report of the Lord
His report says I am healed!
His report says I am filled!
His report says I am free!
His report says VICTORY!
And whatever you do, don’t tick God off. Believe!