Numbers 11:1-5, Numbers 13:17-33 and Joshua 14:6-14
You can never truly understand or help others, even in your own family, unless you first look thoroughly into your own life and deal with your own sins without compromise, excuses, or evasion (Matthew 7:1-5). -John Broger
Nancy Drew books taught me how to examine clues and become a junior detective. Growing up I couldn’t read enough of her books and still enjoy a well written, hard to solve, mystery. It is so much fun to look closely at all the details and attempt to come to a solution before the last page of the book, reveals all.
But not all investigations are fun. God ask we look deeply into our own hearts, to uncover the true of who we are before Him. II Corinthians 13;5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.”. Be willing to ask yourself, “Am I genuinely saved?”. “How does my life prove I am God’s child? “ “Do I know about God yet don’t know Him?” I Corinthians 11:28 encourages Christians to “examine himself” before participating in the Lord’s Supper. Christians are called to pull out their magnifying glasses and see if there is sin hidden in their lives. Self-investigation can be difficult yet necessary to see clearly if our relationship with God is genuine and growing. Before we dig into this devotional, please pray and ask God to help you set your fears aside and allow the Holy Spirit to uncover the real you. That He will prepare your heart to not only see, but confess and allow change, where needed in your life.
Are you a complainer?
The Children of Israel had complaining down to an art. Numbers 11:1-5 says, “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.”
So they complained, God was “displeased” at their attitude and surrounds their camp with a wall of fire, that can easily consume them. They beg God to put out the flames, and he does. Surely they learned their lesson and their complaining turned to gratitude for all God had done for them. “NOPE !” “the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:” The food might have been free, but had they forgotten the cost of that food. Slavery ? There is nothing worse than a person who lacks gratitude.
When a person is not in a genuine relationship with Jesus, it becomes hard to fake a heart of thanksgiving. You cannot trust the hand of God in your life , if you have never placed your eternity in His hands. So, you complain about what you don’t understand and your will is constantly at odds with His will.
Satan loves to twist the heart of the believer and have them so self-centered that they fail to see the work of God in their lives. Like spoiled children they cry, whine and stomp their feet when they don’t get their way. God strives to teach his children to grow in their faith in Him. But some miss the true vision of the Red Seas God has parted in their lives, because they are too busy complaining about the sand.
Are you a Camper?
There is a kid’s song that goes, “12 men went to spy on Cana, 10 were bad and 2 were good.”. It’s one of those fun songs that you do faster and faster each time you sing it. Numbers chapter thirteen is the story of Joshua and Caleb ,the two good guys, who go to scout out Cana and bring back a report to the children of Israel. These two guys know God has given them the Promised Land and see the “giants” in the land as no big deal, with God on their side. They report on the land flowing with milk and honey and grape clusters so large it takes two men to carry one cluster with a pole. But then we have the “10 were bad” step into the scene. They ignore God’s promise, the milk, the honey and even the grapes. All they report on is the giants that will surely kill them all.
Can you imagine all that the Children of Israel have seen God do, yet when they finally get to the Promise Land, rather than crossing over, they are content to camp and only view the fulfilled promise from afar?
When God saves a sinner, he is not content to leave them where they are in their lives. He immediately steps in and begins working to change everything. Isaiah 61:3 says God brings, “ beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” God changes people because he can and because out of his deep love for us, he wants to change us. But some people are content to just camp and watch God work from afar. The fear of the giants of change, keeps them from personally knowing God’s promises. They ignore his Word the Holy Spirits nudging, and crawl deeper into their sleeping bags. They are afraid of what God might ask them to do.
Are you a Climber?
Caleb followed Moses through the wilderness even after the Children of Israel rejected his report on the Promise Land. When Moses and a generation passed away, God would allow Joshua to lead, and he and Caleb would see the unfolding of the promise for Israel to claim the land . It began with the parting of the Jordan, continued through the walls of Jericho and through battle after battle. God was faithful . In Joshua 14:6-14 85-year-old Caleb goes to Joshua not to retire, but to step out once more in faith. “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.”. Ahead of the aging Caleb was a section of land controlled by the Anakims. Fully trusting in the Almighty God and His promises, Caleb asks one favor. “GIVE ME THAT MOUNTAIN.” “I will claim that mountain for God. “ Caleb didn’t live in fear, his courage came from a lifetime of seeing God keep His promises. Caleb was a climber.
Are you a climber? Do you see the impossible as possible in the hands of an Almighty Father? Or do you sit at your campsite watching God use the lives of others? Are you so concerned about yourself that you don’t see God at all, so you sit complaining about your life? Don’t be afraid to look closely at your heart. The mystery you solve can be life transforming, in the hands of God.