At my church last Sunday, the sermon was about Caleb. In the book of Exodus the story is told of how a group of men were sent into the land that God had promised the Israelites to see what the people, crops, land, etc., were like. They went to judge the quality and see if it was what God had promised. They came back with a report that the land was everything God had said it would be (literally, “flowing with milk and honey”) but that the people living there were “giants”. Basically, they were saying, “The land is incredible, but we aren’t strong enough to defeat the people living there. So there’s no way we can take it and make it ours.”
Except for Caleb. He says, “we should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30, NASB). What courage!!
So the sermon was about finding your “Promised Land”. Your life dream that God has placed in your heart. What is it? And more importantly, what is standing in the way of you getting there?
I thought this sermon was so profound that I have to share. Caleb understood that the people in the Promised Land literally looked like giants. He wasn’t unaware of that. But he knew what God had promised, and believed that obeying God without fear would result in success.
Fear. It is so common. We actually pretty much accept it in our society. But it is not of the Lord, and so we should not let it dictate our lives or keep us from living the way God intended. Here are some signs of fear that were shared at my church, see if you can identify any in your own life:
· Your momentum is stalled. You can’t seem to accomplish or do anything towards achieving your life goals. Stuck in “comfortable.” Get moving!!!
· You downplay your dreams. Ugh, friends! I think this must break God’s heart. He has given us each personal desires and unique strengths that come together to make our personal “Promised Land” possible! Believe that if you have a dream, it is from God and therefore attainable.
· You criticize risktakers. “Well, that’s brave of her I guess, but how is it going to work out in the end? Has she actually thought it through? How is she going to come up with the finances? She’s sort of shooting for the moon…” Most likely if you find yourself criticizing people taking risks it is because you are living a comfortable, risk-less life that is dull and lacking in faith. Just saying’.
· You make excuses. “Well, I just wouldn’t have the money…I don’t know, I just have a lot going on right now…That is probably something I’ll do later in life, when, you know, the timing is right…” I think excuses are just the biggest waste of the life that God has given us.
Do you see any of those in your life? I sure see them in mine.
I want to give you an example of someone who is embracing BOLD and not being owned by fear. As probably all of the 4 people who read my blog know, one of my best friends is moving out here and starting a brand new chapter of her life. And it is not just a “oh, i think it would be fun…” kind of decision. She felt God’s call, she had confirmation that He wants her to leave the life she’s known and start over in a brand new place. She could easily make excuses. Well, I just probably shouldn’t go without every detail figured out first. She could downplay her dreams. Well I could pursue a career in business anywhere, why not in my hometown? Her momentum could easily be stalled. Well, things could just be really easy if I stay here. And through her bravery, she has definitely heard criticism from many people all around her. Fearful people say, “But what is her plan? Does she have a job set up?” But she is trusting that God is leading her to her Promised Land, and she is not going to let fear keep her from reaching it.
Here is the deal. The person speaking at church said this, “You have a dream because God says so.” It is profound. And true. And you cannot waste your life making excuses, living in comfortable, and downplaying what He innately created you for simply because it is scary.
1 John 4:18 says that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out ALL FEAR.” Basically, if you find yourself full of fear, you need to reexamine your understanding of God’s love for you. “Fear makes us doubt God on the most basic level…if we have fear, we don’t comprehend God’s love for us.”
Believe and accept that He loves you. Acknowledge that He has a Promised Land for you, and will make a way for you to get there. Don’t be kept in the wilderness and away from your purpose just because of fear.
(and listen to this song, all of you…but especially you, my brave “friend with roots”.)