Eating Obstacles for Breakfast (No Fear)

Our No Fear study this week continues the story of Moses and the Isrealites, who saw the Lord fight for them, while they had only to be still. After crossing the Red Sea and experiencing the deliverance of the Lord, the Hebrews were ready to enter the land God promised Abraham generations before.

Standing at the brink of God’s promises, at the border of Canaan, the people decide to send 12 spies into the land, to prepare the nation for the battle ahead.

Ten spies return with terrible news:

They gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size… and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.  (Numbers 13: 32-33)

This report causes the people to despair. But there is a voice of hope. Two of the spies have an entirely different view of the land of promise.

Caleb and Joshua attempt to calm the people, assuring Moses that the people can indeed take the land as God has promised. As the people weep and wail, wishing they had died in Egypt, Joshua and Caleb beg the people to believe God’s promise.

This fascinates me: How can 12 people have the exact same experience and come to two entirely different conclusions?

The answer is perspective.

Ten spies see obstacles, barriers, giants. Their view of the obstacles is bigger than their view of God: And so they preach fear and fleeing.

Joshua and Caleb see the obstacles, but their view of God is bigger than anything they saw in the land. And so they preach faith. Hope. Trust.

Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;  and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.  If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:6-9)

Ten spies see giants. Joshua and Caleb see food, knowing that the obstacles we face by faith strengthen us.

Perspective is a choice.

What choice will we make? As we look to the unknown, to challenges, as we listen to the voices in our heads that cry “I CAN’T”, which is bigger? The challenge? The obstacle? The giants?

Or God?

Perspective is largely a function of focus. In photography, whatever is closest to the camera appears largest. I have a choice where I focus, and what I let be closest to me, as I picture challenges and things that make me afraid.

Is the challenge, the source of fear, standing between me and God?

Or am I looking at every challenge – like Joshua and Caleb – through the lens of a good God, who keeps His promises?

This is an important choice: It will lead us to be grasshoppers in our own eyes, or it will allow us to see obstacles as food for us. And if we’re leaders? It’s the difference between leading people to despair or encouraging them to faith. God WILL keep His promises. No fear.

 

Journaling Prompts:

What obstacles are you facing right now? What makes you feel like a grasshopper, and maybe like you’d be better off anywhere but here?

As a leader (in life, in your job, in your family), in what ways might you tend to focus on challenges and obstacles, letting them be bigger than God in your eyes and the eyes of those you lead? And how are you encouraged in your leadership by Caleb and Joshua’s example?

As you look to the future, things that make you feel fearful, what would it look like for you to see God as bigger than any obstacle or challenge?

Are you facing challenges that make you feel like a grasshopper? Look to Joshua and Caleb and learn to eat those obstacles for breakfast. (No Fear Devotional from reemeyer.com)

 

 

 

 


This post is the latest in the NO FEAR Devotional Series. If this resonated with you, check back every Tuesday, and read the previous posts in the series here.


Photo in cover images by Gouthaman Raveendran and Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash
Advertisements

When you’re feeling trapped and there’s no way out…look for the way through (No Fear)

But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today… The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

Our story today finds the Hebrew descendants of Abraham enslaved in Egypt, crying out under oppression. God heard their cry and raised up a deliverer in Moses. Moses famously demanded of Pharoah, “Let my people go”, and after the trauma and death of the plagues, Pharoah let the people go. And they went. They went all the way to the Red Sea, where they realized Pharoah had changed his mind about releasing the slave population that made life in Egypt possible.

So the Hebrews found themselves trapped, between Pharoah’s armies and the deeps of the sea.

As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. (Exodus 14:10)

Do you relate to that feeling?

Have you found yourself between a rock and a hard place? At the end of your rope? Between the devil and the deep blue sea?

Do you know what it feels like to be trapped?

Continue reading

Heard & Seen: A Message for the Ones Who Feel Invisible and Disposable (No Fear Devotional)

Throughout my childhood and early adulthood I battled feeling invisible in my family, in school, and in my first jobs.  My preferred method for dealing with hard things tends to be to handle them myself rather than speaking up, and I think it’s important to own my own participation in areas where I don’t have a voice. I have learned to speak up (to the point where now I’m told – by some people- that I can sometimes take up too much space. I’ve now grown a lot of shame around the idea of being too loud, too opinionated, too much.), but I still relate to the feeling of having no voice and being invisible.

And I hear the stories of women who feel invisible, weekly. In their families, in their marriages, in their jobs, in their friendships, women are under attack, and the lie being thrown at us is INVISIBLE. You’re not heard, you’re not seen, you don’t matter.

Make no mistake: Invisible is a LIE.

We have a God who sees, a God who hears.

I was so happy to be reminded of this truth in my search through the places in God’s Word where He says, “DO NO FEAR.” When I am afraid, the reminder that God sees me and hears my cries is balm to my soul. Continue reading