How Fear Robs Us of God's Best

When Joshua and the other spies returned from spying the Promised Land God was giving them, Joshua and Caleb returned to the Israelite community with an encouraging, yet realistic report. (Numbers 13:26-30) The land was as wonderful as promised, but, it was currently inhabited.


However, the account from other eight spies to the Israelites was a discouraging and frightening report (Numbers 13:31-33), emphasizing that the inhabitants were much stronger and bigger than they were. 

Unfortunately, between the two reports, the people believed the frightening report and they now dreaded taking the land God promised them. They were so terrified they were planning to return to Egypt, where they had spent years as slaves in harsh bondage. (Numbers 14:1-4)

Joshua and Caleb tried to encourage the now fear-filled community. (Numbers 14:6-9) They reminded the people how exceedingly good the land was, how God was giving them that land, and how they’d swallow up their enemies because God was with them. This was totally contrary to the bad report the Israelites had heard from the other eight spies. Though they all were on the same reconnaissance mission, from the two reports you would have thought that these reports were from two, completely different territories. It’s amazing what a powerful influence our words have on people.


Truth was, despite what the eight discouraging spies reported, it wasn’t the inhabitants that were stronger than Israelites. Weren’t they physically bigger and stronger looking? Yes, but because God was with the Israelites, it was really the inhabitants of the land that should have been afraid of the Israelites. However, the bad report blinded the Israelites from recognizing this truth that Joshua and Caleb had been telling them.

Regardless of how big the inhabitants were, God’s people would not be the ones swallowed up, they’d be the ones swallowing up anyone who stood in their way of taking the land He promised. The Israelites had absolutely no reason to fear, and every reason to take the land with the utmost confidence. However, because of the bad report the eight spies had given the people, the Israelites minds remained overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and “What if….?” scenarios.

Only one thing was holding the Israelite community from receiving all that God wanted to give them—and it wasn’t the inhabitants of the land. 

As long as the people believed taking the land would be a dreadful experience, not trusting in the promise, power, and provision of God, their fears would continue to hold them back from entering into all that God wanted to give them. Likewise, our fears keep us from taking the ground God has for us.

When the Lord is with us—empowering us to boldly receive that which He wants to bless us with, any reservations on our part will always be totally unwarranted. However, as long as we see our obstacles as something we must overcome in our limited abilities, we will miss out on all that God wants to give us. 

Whatever obstacles we may be facing today, we can place our full confidence in the Lord to equip and empower us to overtake any obstacle that is standing in our way from embracing God’s perfect will for our life. As we resolve to walk by faith, there’s no telling the incredible blessings God has in store for us!

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Last updated Friday June 19, 2020

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