Devotional 8/28

They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. Psalm 112:7

Whose report will you believe?

The Bible makes sure that we know that we need to have a positive outlook on life, not because things are always good but because we have God throughout it all. God’s promises for us are Yes and Amen. Yet sometimes we can be like the 10 spies who came back to Moses with a negative report about the Promised land. God had told the Israelites while they were in the desert that He had a place ready for them, a place where the milk and honey flowed. A place where enemies would not stand against them, and the crops of the field yielded much fruit. Moses sent 12 spies to search the land, and to bring back a report. Joshua and Caleb, came back with a positive report but the other 10 came back with a negative report.

God had already spoken but some didn’t believe Him? Sometimes we can be like this in our own minds; we believe God on one aspect but doubt Him in another. We can tell from the Bible that this is expected to happen, because the Bible instructs us over and over again to walk by faith, not by sight or to be steadfast in our faith. I’ve observed my own mind, come up with self generated ideas and if I do not take hold of my thoughts I disempower myself. I find myself weak and at a loss of faith, simply because I didn’t take authority over the suggestions my mind generated.

I can also understand why the other 10 came back with a negative report… they were used to the negative, and believing may have taken more strength and determination than settling to wander in the wilderness. See in Egypt, the Israelites were slaves. As we know slaves are usually seen as the property, they were just like a piece of furniture- good enough to be used, but not significant. They were oppressed: beaten, humiliated and imprisoned against their own will. Once God freed them, God showed them they were valuable, by giving them the victory over the pharaoh and his army. The Land of Egypt was curse with plagues, and then swallowed up in the Red Sea, where God parted the waters long enough for Israel to pass and get away. In the wilderness, the Israelites rebelled against Moses authority, gossiped and committed sexual immorality. They like us are a very carnal people (driven by their senses). God spoke to them and gave them direction, gave them instructions to follow and made them promises, but the Israelites desired physical/ temporal things which they could see and touch. Eventually in their journey, they began to complain to God, it would have been better if you had left us in Egypt! You brought us out here to die, how could this be a good plan God? Given the circumstances, slavery seemed better than freedom. 

In the wilderness the Israelites, suffered hunger and thirst: but God fed them supernaturally. They went three days in the wilderness, and found no water; and when they did find water it was bitter!!!! God turned the water into drinkable water but then they were hungry. God sent Manna from the sky, for 6 days they ate and drank- then they got bored with the Manna. While God was consulting with Moses about His glorious plans with His people, they were in their flesh (and in their feelings). They wanted God to walk with them physically, a ‘god’ they could worship: something they can actually see and believe in- so they made a golden calf. God was with them in Spirit but they did not want that. It’s funny how carnal we can be, they had their own idea of how things should be.

Throughout the rest of the story we learn that a 3 day trip became a 40 year journey! God was with them and guided them in the day by a cloud of Glory (His Shekinah Glory: Holy Spirit) and in the night by fire. The people started asking for meat, because like I said the bread was boring! And God actually gave them what they asked for, but they were ungrateful (still complaining) and sexually immoral, so God sent a fire. Then Miriam, Moses own sister starts bad mouthing him (imagine your family or family in Christ bad mouthing you), and God cursed her with leprosy (skin disease)! In defiance, a group of men start challenging Moses’ authority, and at this point Moses is fed up! In a moment of exasperation, he complains to God that he would prefer to die! And then finally to top it off, Moses sends the 12 spies to check out the promised land and 10 came back with a negative perspective.

I truly believe that up until this point they could have avoided the 40 year process. The complaints, the greed, the sexual immorality, the gossip, the exhaustion- all of that could have been settled… but the last feather that broke the horse’s back was when Moses and the people received the negative perspective of the 10 spies.Joshua and Caleb, had a good report; they saw things is a good perspective, and I’m sure Moses believed them, because Moses believed God. Instead of taking God’s word over it the negativity spread and the people got stuck in the wilderness for 40 years. Negativity is usually more infectious than the positive, unless we fight back.

Declaration: I will have a great day today. I trust that everything will work out for my best. I don’t have to be afraid of the uncertain, or feel helpless. God is in control, and He knows I have the ability to manage stress and handle changes with grace. I declare I have joy as I continue to surrender to God’s will. I will enjoy my ride in the river of life, trusting that I won’t drown and neither will I faint. I’ve been through many fights and even though I may have scars and some wounds in the process of healing, I always win and I always overcome. It is well. This too is temporary; this too shall pass.

Let’s pray:

Lord God, I give you praise and glory because I know you are a good God. I thank you, for this word and the strength you give me on a daily basis. Your love and grace truly sustains me. I present to you each person struggling in faith right now, and those who have contradictions in their hearts- may you help them in their convictions. May they know that what you allow is not for our harm, for pain, or to punish us- but that you know the big picture from the small details. And even if we have gone through heart shattering things, they are not decisions you make along the way- you have a plan and it’s up to us to believe that it is a good plan. I pray for convictions to be changed, perceptions and paradigm to be shifted and hearts to be enlightened to believe in you. In Jesus name, Amen. 

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