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.” – Numbers – 13:30
Despite fatigue following a draining and trying day…I was eager to go to Bible Study Fellowship. I’ve found in the past the more difficult the day…the more reasons I have to make an excuse not to go…it’s all the more reason I need to be there. God always rewards the effort to study His word by giving just the right word of encouragement, correction or guidance.
I mostly listened to the other ladies share this evening. I had answered all my questions and was prepared with an answer in case Sheryl called on me…but I needed to hear what God was saying to the other ladies.
This year we are studying the life of Moses. We are now in Numbers and the last two weeks have been particularly good studies. Some meaty and convicting chapters. Mostly about the Israelites grumbling against God in unbelief. About their failure to trust God or be grateful for what God had already done.
I took those lessons to heart. Being in a state of transition in very uncertain times…makes me more willing to endure circumstances and people that are less than desirable. As such…it can be very tempting to grumble and complain. Add the influence of people I encounter who have a habit of complaining…or being critical and condemning of others. With very little effort…I can be going down that road too.
It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit and some well timed conviction and early warning I’ve been able to rein in my tongue. Sometime more successfully than others.
Even though tonight’s lesson encompassed the Israelites complaining and grumbling…I found that my attention was drawn elsewhere. It was almost as if God drew my attention to Numbers 13:30. In the passage Caleb encouraged the Jews that indeed they should go in and take possession of the land. He knew that they could accomplish this feat because God Himself had promised He was going to give them the land.
That verse spoke volumes to me…and applied to so many areas of my life right now.
As the discussion continued…my thoughts were stirred. I realized that obedience is a today thing. When God requires us to trust Him, believe Him and act in faith…it is a now choice.
When I choose to shrink back in the face of giants…or tremble and not set foot on the path where God has called me to go…I have no way of knowing what cost will be extracted by my act of disobedience and unbelief.
Even the act of grumbling is not so small after all. That’s where the disobedience and unbelief started. It cast aspersions on God’s character and His faithfulness to do what He has promised and his ability to do so.
But obedience is the outworking of faith. It’s submitting my will to God’s will…even when I don’t fully understand it. Courage that stands in the face of giants is what God calls me to do. Obedience when all around me tells me to do otherwise…is what God rewards. It reflects trust and faith in the One who is more than able to do abundantly more than we ask or imagine.
The best part about it is…that God will strengthen and enable me to do that which He requires. But I need to ask in prayer.
If the Israelites had known what their disobedience would cost them…the 40 year wandering in the desert, that all but two of them would die and not enter the Promised Land, that their children would be impacted and suffer as a result of their unbelief…would they have chosen to obey?
But just like the Jews…I won’t necessarily know the consequences and ramification of my lack of faith and disobedience until after the fact. There’s no mulligan’s in the walk of obedience. Obedience is a today thing.
Because my God is merciful and compassionate…as long as He permits me another day to serve Him…I will have another opportunity to choose to obey Him and follow His will.
I won’t fully know the rewards and fruit of obedience until I get to the Promised Land of heaven. But down here on earth…in this one life…this is where I sew. It’s in heaven I will reap the eternal rewards.