January 24 I Friday
“If the LORD is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us….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.”
Faith requires action, not just belief. We express faith every time we sit in a chair, acting on the belief the chair will hold us up. This is a simple example, but the Bible is filled with stories where people put their faith in God to do the impossible.
Moses had faith God would rescue His people from Egypt, which He ultimately fulfilled when the Israelites passed through the Red Sea on dry ground. Yet if the Israelites’ time in the wilderness demonstrates anything, it is that we can easily place our confidence in our own abilities rather than trusting the God who has proven His faithfulness. When it was finally time for the Israelites to enter Canaan, the land God had promised their ancestors many years before, Moses sent twelve spies out to survey the land. As God had promised, the spies returned with excited reports of a land flowing with milk and honey, with rich soil and luscious vegetation, but they also warned that the inhabitants of Canaan had powerful armies and fortified cities.
This was enough to make ten of the twelve spies second guess Israel’s chances at taking the Promised Land. All they could remember was 400 years of slavery and their limited military training—poor resources to put one’s faith in. But two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, kept their faith in God. They remembered how God had done the impossible to get the Israelites out of Egypt, and this gave them that confidence God would do the impossible again. A vote was taken among the spies, and it was 10 to 2 in favour of not entering the land. For 38 more years, the Israelites wandered the wilderness because they did not combine what they knew about God with their faith in God.
We may scoff at the Israelites for refusing to take the Promised Land, thinking we would trust God wholeheartedly after seeing Him part seas for us, but sadly, we are often just as quick as the Israelites to focus on practicalities and forget His faithfulness. We might fear being ridiculed for sharing Christ with our friends or resist accepting a job we feel God is calling us to, because it will make providing for our families more difficult. These are exactly the moments we need faith the most, for only God can change hearts and provide the miraculous. As Paul reminds us, “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). God has proven Himself trustworthy time and time again in Scripture, and He remains able and willing to do the impossible in our lives if we will only trust Him.
Prayer: Faithful Father, You alone can do the impossible. Thank You for revealing Your faithfulness through Your Word, which demonstrates to me that I can trust You with everything.