"This was their report to Moses: "We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!" Numbers 13:27-28 A few years ago, I sat watching the television show called "The Voice." Now, if you are not familiar with this show, it is a singing competition where celebrities come together to coach singers and musicians who hope to make it in the music business one day. The year I was watching, Jennifer Hudson was one of the coaches, and one of the contestants, Shi'Ann, was very shy. She lived up to her name. As Jennifer coached her, she looked at Shi'Ann and said, "You have to let your passion be greater than your fear." You see, Shi'Ann was passionate about singing, but she was also fearful of singing in front of a crowd and messing up. With this reminder, Jennifer Hudson was challenging Shi'Ann to keep her fear in check and be sure that, even though she felt fear, she let her passion be stronger. When Jennifer Hudson said those words: "Let your passion be greater than your fear," I knew that the advice was for me, too. Sometimes I let fear overtake me in such a way that it keeps me from living my passion, following and obeying God.
There was a group of leaders in Israel who we can read about in the book of Numbers who can relate to letting fear take over and cause them to lose sight of their call from God. Throughout the book of Numbers, the people of Israel were traveling to a land that God had promised them, often called the Promised Land. They had previously been slaves in Egypt, but God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and promised that He would lead them to this Promised Land. In Numbers 13, the Israelites arrived at the border of the Promised Land. God told 12 of the leaders in Israel to go into this new land to see how they might capture it. When they got to the new land, they saw that it was beautiful. It produced great fruit and would be an excellent place for them all to live. This, however, is not everything that they saw. They also saw that the town was fortified. There were many strong people living in the land, including giants. Because of this, 10 out of 12 men decided that they should not take over the land. They were so fearful that they lost sight that God had already promised them this land. At this time, they thought that the giants they saw were bigger than their God. They forgot that their God was the one who created the giants and had all power over them.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt that God was leading you to do something, but that thing seems like a giant to you, and you wondered if that giant was bigger than your God? Maybe you feel like you are facing a giant. My friend, let me encourage you that God is bigger than any giant you may face. He is with you and working in ways you may not even see right now.
During this time, many of us are fighting fear. What giant are you facing right now? Is there something God is calling you to do that seems impossible? Sometimes we need a reminder that God is bigger than our giants. He created the world and everything in it (Acts 17:24). Take a few moments to journal. If you completed yesterday's devotion, you hopefully wrote that thing down that God is calling you to do that seems like a giant. If you have not done that yet, do it now. Next, write down ways that God is bigger. I promise you, my friend, God is bigger than any giant you are currently facing or ever will face in the future.
Read Numbers 13:17-29 (NLT)
Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)
So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. Going north, they passed through the Negev and arrived at Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai—all descendants of Anak—lived. (The ancient town of Hebron was founded seven years before the Egyptian city of Zoan.) When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs. That place was called the valley of Eshcol (which means “cluster”), because of the cluster of grapes the Israelite men cut there.
After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
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