I don’t know what you think about when you think about the idea of a Promised Land, but I can tell you what I think about. I think about a place of hope. I think about the word destiny. I think about stepping into something new and embracing the opportunity to leave the old behind.
The Promised Land was, for the children of Israel, exactly as its name describes. It was told hundreds of years before that this land would belong to them. This was going to be a place of ownership. This was going to be a place of heritage. Their inheritance, blessings, and promise for a pleasant, abundant and happy life would be in this land.
After being freed from bondage, God was now ready for them to finally take hold of all that He had in store for them. So, He instructed Moses to gather a delegation of men to go and spy out the land. He specifically said in Numbers 14:2 “Send thou men, that they may search out the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel . . .”
God already had it made up in His mind that this land; this promise was theirs. “I’m giving it to them,” He said.
He’s telling them, “I have a place for you. I have a destiny for you to walk into; place where you belong.”
So, with great joy, I’m assuming, these men marched forward, chosen to be the first to view the promise of God. They would be the first to walk on its soil; the first to see the land; the first to see the people; and, the first to see the rewards of the fruit.
The Bible says they went up and searched the land and they returned from searching after 40 days and they brought back a little show and tell segment. They brought back proof of the promise.
They had evidence of their future blessing right in their hands and it was HUGE! A cluster, not many clusters, but a cluster (one cluster, one branch) that was so big it took two men to carry it on a staff between their shoulders. What God had in store for them was phenomenal.
So, when the Bible says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” oh, honey, you better believe it.
But, here’s the kicker. They had the evidence in their hands but still didn’t believe the promise was for them. The world says, “Seeing is believing.” Right here is proof that the world is lying to you. They saw and still didn’t believe. On the other hand the Bible says, “The just shall walk by faith and not by sight,” (2 Cor. 5:7) and here’s why because it is always better for you to believe in what God said than what you can see with you natural eyes.
With their natural eyes they could see the promise, but they could also see a problem. They said, “We came into the land and surely it flows with milk and honey and fruit,” (Num. 13:27). Surely means without a doubt it’s there. Without a doubt everything that God described it to be for us, it’s there.
How did they move from “surely” to “nevertheless?” Immediate doubt moved in. Doubt is a robber of dreams and a drainer of possibilities. Doubt causes you to be uncertain when God already said it is certain. Doubt causes you to hesitate when God already said to move forward. Doubt causes you to give up when God says you can do this.
Who are you going to listen to: doubt or God?
Unfortunately many of us are making the same mistake as the children of Israel and they listen to the voice of doubt; they listen to those who speak against their possibilities instead of God.
In verse 28, their doubt turned into excuses. It doesn’t take long for your doubt to convince you that it’s right and you have a legitimate excuse not to pursue that passion; that dream; that promise.
“The people” became their excuse to keep them from their possibilities. When push comes to shove, more often than not, it’s always more about “people” than it is about God. That’s why many of us don’t see the results of Promised Land living because of the “people.” Usually it’s their criticism or fear of rejection or dealing with their jealously that lets people get in the way.
For them, their excuse was they “are strong.” We see the land but we can’t have it because they are bigger than us; they are better than us; they are stronger than us; they are greater than us, and we can’t match up to that expectation.
Who told you to match up to man’s expectation when God who created you and gifted you and said, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light,” (1 Pet. 2:9). When God said at other times, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise,” (Is. 43:21).
But there was one who refused to get in line with that loser mentality; one who shunned the thought of being defeated by an enemy when he knew God was on their side. There was one who took a stand against this destructive thinking and said, “Let us go up at once!”
He stuck with the word “surely” and threw off the “nevertheless!” Get a Caleb mentality and refuse to let a bad report rob you of your destiny. Don’t let anybody speak a “nevertheless” into your situation. Don’t let anybody get away with putting “buts” and “what ifs” in your mind. Don’t let anybody speak negative about your promise. Take a Caleb stand and protect your possibilities.
He made his mouth match up with the message of God. He got into agreement with what God said and not man and said, “Let us go up at once!” And, not just “go up,” but when we get there we’re going to do something about it; we are going to “possess it!”
“For we are well able to overcome it!” Confidence begins first in getting into agreement with God (which Caleb did). Then, you have to believe in the gift He put in you. You have to have the confidence of Caleb and say, “we are well able.”
He could have just said, “we are able,” but he went a step further in his faith and declared, “we are well able.” Adding that word “well” to the equation means we’ve more than got this.
Doesn’t our Bible tells us that we are “more than conquerors?” (Ro. 8:37). What Caleb was saying is the destiny of reaching and claiming the Promised Land is for us.
Our promise is for us. It fits us. It looks good on us. “What God has for me it is for me!”
The problem is we need to take it out of the song and apply it to our lives. Start thinking like Caleb and refuse nothing less than your promise. Take a stand against negative people speaking about your possibilities!
After Caleb said, “We are well able,” here come the naysayers again, saying, “we be not able.”
They couldn’t see themselves overcoming. They couldn’t see themselves walking in victory. They didn’t mention anything about having faith in God or His ability to see them through. They just said, “No! It looks good but I’ll never have it.”
“I wish I may, I wish I might, but it’s not a wish I’ll have tonight.” They couldn’t see themselves in it. “Without a vision the people perish!” (Pro. 29:18).
There was one father in the Bible who had a vision to see his son made whole again. His son was demon-possessed and came to Jesus seeking deliverance, declaring, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24).
He knew if given the opportunity, his flesh would get in the way of seeing a great miracle happening for his family. “I see myself, Lord; I see my family; I see my son restored and walking in the promises of God.” “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”
He was not going to let a seed of doubt get planted into his spirit and erase his blessings because that’s what doubt does; it cancels out blessings.
But, the men in today’s text couldn’t see through the lens of belief. God can do it for this one and that one, but not for me.
They relied more on the flesh; more on their own strength, saying, “They are stronger than we,” than the God who brought them through thus far. Psalms 118:8 tells us, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
Man will fail you. Your own strength will fail you. Somebody said, “But God . . .”
Not only did they not see that God’s blessing was for them, but they brought themselves low with their speech. They talked about how “great” they are, and at the same time said they themselves were nothing.
“We were in our own sight as grasshoppers.” They didn’t say this is how the enemy saw them, but this is how they saw their own selves. The battle they fought before ever coming against anybody else was the battle in their mind: “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers.”
Listen, God doesn’t bring you to the edge of the promise just to turn you around and say, “Sike! I was just playing. Go back.” If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
God’s intention was for them to go in, take the land, and possess it. But, they lost the battle in their mind before they ever set foot in the land.
They didn’t give God a chance! This is only the same God, who delivered the 10 plagues; who divided the Red Sea; who did miracle after miracle. But, when it came to their promise they wouldn’t give Him a chance, for if they did they would have gotten in line with Caleb’s way of thinking and say, “we are well able.”
Too many of us feel too small for where God wants to take us. God has big plans but we don’t see ourselves as big enough. We feel outsized by what lies ahead. We can’t get past what others are speaking about our possibilities, and so, we close up the door of faith; we slam shut the way to victory never fully realizing the greatness of His promise for your life.
Yes, there are always going to be barriers (real or imagined). Yes, there will always be giants. But, you and I have to have enough faith not to be overwhelmed by what we see with our natural eyes. We have to have enough in us to look past how we view ourselves; how they view us, and see something bigger!
1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
The promise may seem too big for us, but it’s never too big for the God in you. “Greater is He that is in you!” God is never outsized by anything. God dwarfs to nobody, and He’s working in you!
Stop listening to the negativity about your promise. Stop paying attention to the naysayers. You are NOBODY’S GRASSHOPPER!
As a matter of fact, we need to say that to ourselves, “I AM NOBODY’S GRASSHOPPER!”
Therefore, stop listening when they speak against your possibilities.