Daily Devotionals

Monsoon: Week 1 - Monday

The Lord now said to Moses, "Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes." Numbers 13:1-2

"I think you can," my college pastor told me years ago. With red cheeks and a furrowed brow, I thought, "this man does not know what he is talking about." Let me explain. My college pastor, twenty other college students, and I were on a mission trip in New York City. My college pastor had just told me that I was in charge of navigating the entire group of us throughout New York City for the whole day. Now, in order to fully understand this story, you must know that I am horrible with directions. I lived in Mississippi at the time and knew nothing about navigating through a big city, let alone New York City. So, when my college pastor chose me to navigate our group around New York City, fear set in, and I argued with him. In fact, I all but refused to comply with his request. Every time I argued with him, my college pastor looked me straight in the eye and said, "I think you can." I do not get angry often, but at this point, I was angry. He was asking me to do something that I was scared to do that seemed impossible for me. I did not want to be challenged to do something hard. However, the truth is that we will often be asked to do hard things that make us fearful, and many times God is the One calling us to do those things.

In Numbers 13, God gave a group of 12 men a hard task. God instructed Moses to tell the twelve leaders of Israel to go to the land of Canaan and explore it. This land, the people of Israel knew, was land that God had promised would one day be theirs. There was one problem with this, though: The people of Canaan currently occupied it. Further on in the book of Numbers, we find out that the people occupying the land of Canaan were great in size and number. Many of the people were giants. They were intimidating. Scouting out the land of Canaan, looking on the people of Canaan, who were large in scope and size, and considering conquering this land was undoubtedly a fearful, daunting task. To the average onlooker, to conquer the Canaanites and acquire their land would have seemed like a nearly impossible task. Yet, despite their fear and difficulty, this is precisely what God wanted these 12 leaders in Israel to do.

Sometimes God asks us to do hard things, and we have to decide how to respond. Have you ever wondered why God calls us to do hard, scary things? It's because He knows that we are capable of doing what He has asked us to do. We are not capable because of our own power, but because God is with us. If He spoke audibly to us, He, like my college pastor, would probably respond to us in the same way when we complain that what He has asked us to do is impossible. "I think you can," I think He would say.

Much to my surprise, my college pastor that day in New York was right! After much arguing, I agreed to lead the group around New York City for the day, and I did it successfully. Not only would God most likely respond to us by saying, "I think you can," He would probably add, "because I will be with you." You see, we have His power, and when He is with us, there is nothing that can stop us. Everything will work out according to God's plan.

Is there anything that you know God is calling you to do that seems scary or impossible? My friend, remember that with God, nothing is impossible. He will equip you to do what He has called you to do.

Laura Courtney
Sagebrush Staff Writer

Moving Toward Action

Take a few moments and ask yourself this question: "What is God asking me to do that seems impossible, and I am scared to do?" As you think about it, write that thing down and then tell someone else who can hold you accountable to being obedient to God. Determine today to live obediently to God and honor Him.

Going Deeper

Read Numbers 13:1-16 (NLT)

The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He sent out twelve men, all tribal leaders of Israel, from their camp in the wilderness of Paran. These were the tribes and the names of their leaders:

Tribe Leader
Reuben Shammua son of Zaccur
Simeon Shaphat son of Hori
Judah Caleb son of Jephunneh
Issachar Igal son of Joseph
Ephraim Hoshea son of Nun
Benjamin Palti son of Raphu
Zebulun Gaddiel son of Sodi
Manasseh son of Joseph Gaddi son of Susi
Dan Ammiel son of Gemalli
Asher Sethur son of Michael
Naphtali Nahbi son of Vophsi
Gad Geuel son of Maki

These are the names of the men Moses sent out to explore the land. (Moses called Hoshea son of Nun by the name Joshua.