MOTIVATION BY ASHLEY THABA
A FRIEND of mine is considering marriage. Actually, more than considering, he has proposed to someone, and she has agreed to marry him. However, the thought of spending his life with someone is scary. What if it is hard? What if he is making a mistake? This is his life we are discussing. Here is an exciting truth that he has on his side. He feels the Lord has told him she is the one. Let me share a story that I believe helped him, and I hope it will help you with whatever you are struggling with today.
I am going to do a mixture of paraphrasing and quoting directly from Numbers 13 and 14. Let me set the scene. The Israelites had been in captivity for centuries in Egypt. In a miraculous move, God had brought them out of the land of Egypt. In his mercy and love, He wanted to take them to a new land flowing with milk and honey.
He wanted to take them to the Promised Land. However, a land that beautiful, lush and productive was already occupied. Therefore, when the Israelites arrived, they sent out 12 spies to go and scope out the Promised Land. What were they up against as they moved into enemy territory and claimed what God wanted to give them?
Numbers 13:17-20 reads: “When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said: “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? It is good or bad? What kinds of town do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Fertile or poor? Are there trees? Do your best to bring back some fruit of the land”….they went and gathered clusters of grapes, pomegranates and figs and brought them back to Moses.
Verse 27 states: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people are powerful and the cities are fortified and large….” One of them, Caleb, spoke up knowing God was guiding them saying We can do this! But the other men said: “We can’t attack those people. They are stronger than us.” Then the rest of the spies told everyone “The land we explored devours those living in it. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them because they are of great size.”
Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (4) And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
“Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Imagine. God is trying to give them a wonderful gift and they are scared to take it. My friend has been single for a while. Praying and asking God for a wife. Asking God to provide the partner for which he dreams. The Israelites sat in Egypt praying and asking God to take them out and bless them with a new home. Here is what the Israelites need to learn and what my friend needs to learn. Just because God is giving it doesn’t mean it will be easy. When the Israelites finally did enter the promised land, there were battles to fight to take over that land. But they won. Just because God is calling you to a marriage, a ministry, or a career doesn’t mean it will be without battles. The Israelites were so afraid of the battles that might ensue that they forgot God was on their side. The fear paralysed them, and they lost 40 years wandering in a desert just outside of the promised land! How sad that sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to experience “our promised land” because of fear. Yes! Life is tough! Yes, even to get your promised land, there might be battles! But you will win if this is what God is calling you to. The battles are a chance for you to see the power and might of God when you are weak. And let me tell you anyone who sticks around always testifies that God does exceedingly more than we can think or imagine.
What do you feel God is guiding you to do or where to go but your fear of what might go wrong or what battles you might have to face are preventing you from experiencing your promised land?
- Ashley Thaba is a life-coach, team-building facilitator and motivational speaker. She is also the author of Conquering the Giants and Dive In.