Only by faith, do we ever move forward!
It is incredibly easy to remain in our comfort zones but sometimes we need a challenge to grow and develop. Do you remember walking into a new school for the first time, starting your first job, learning to drive a car or ride a bike, etc.? In each of these milestones, we grew and developed by taking steps forwards.
It’s very similar with faith. We must get out of the comfort zones, and step forward in faith, knowing that God has a future planned for each of us.
The Israelites learned this lesson the hard way. After traveling with the tabernacle for about a year from the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Israelites arrived at the entrance of Canaan, the land that God had promised them. As they traveled through the Sinai desert, they had faced many hardships, including hunger, thirst and sickness. They had been quick to complain, but slow to ask for God’s help.
Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the land. 10 of the 12 returned to Moses and Aaron and said that the people in Canaan, now Israel, are huge and they can’t be defeated. Only Caleb and Joshua remembered God’s faithfulness, remarking “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30) and “do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:9).
God replies to the Israelites’ wickedness, grumbling and disobedience, “Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun” (Numbers 14:30). The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, to coincide with the 40 days that they explored the land. The whole generation dies out and the Israelites return to Canaan for a second time.
We pick up the story with the second generation in Deuteronomy 1:8 with God saying to them, “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers” You see, the land was theirs because of what God had promised, not their ability to defeat the enemies.
Let’s always remember that when God promises something, we can trust in Him, regardless of the circumstances or our perceived ability. Let’s rise up in faith in a God, who has already demonstrated His power and faithfulness in the past. And knowing the past, we can be absolutely confident in God’s ability to take us forward in the plan that He has for each of us!
We need to step forward in faith in a God, who is able, willing and waiting!