“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
Numbers 13:30 (NIV)
If you look at the future with fear instead of faith, then you will underestimate the abilities God has given you. Seeing life with eyes of fear causes you to bury your talents.
When Moses sent spies to scope out the Promised Land, 10 of the 12 came back and said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (Numbers 13:31 NIV). Even though God had promised to be with them, they responded in fear rather than faith. Only Joshua and Caleb believed in God’s promise that they could take possession of the land.
People who always say, “I can’t” and the people who always say “I can” are both right. Why? Because fear creates self-fulfilling prophecies. This happened to Job when he said, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25 NIV).
A vision based on fear rather than faith is going to limit you for your entire life. You’re going to miss opportunities. You’re going to waste the talent that God gave you. And you’re going to set yourself up with self-defeating predictions.
The spies with fear-based vision saw themselves as inadequate. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size . . . We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13:32-33 NIV).
There really were giants in the Promised Land! They caused some of the Israelites to see themselves as tiny bugs sure to get squashed. That’s a defeating self-image. It didn’t affect just the spies’ confidence; it also caused them to project their fears on others. That’s the problem with a fear-based vision: The way you see yourself and life will rub off on the people around you.
If the spies had looked at the Promised Land with faith instead of fear, they would have seen the same thing Joshua and Caleb did: a land flowing with milk and honey. Even when they looked at the giants, Joshua and Caleb saw their potential through God’s eyes. They said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30 NIV).
Never underestimate what God can do through you when you obey him in faith. Whatever he has called you to do, you can certainly accomplish in his strength.