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Archive for April 8th, 2009

 Our Resting at the River’s Edge reading for Tuesday included Numbers 13 – the story of Moses sending out the thirteen leaders (note that they were the leaders of their tribes) to spy out the land God had promised to give them.

     Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
    But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
          Numbers 13:30-33

It seems to me that there will always be giants in the land the Lord has promised us. If there weren’t, there would be no need for us to conquer it.

As I read the passage, the Holy Spirit was whispering a question in my ear. I’d like to share it with you.

“What giants are in your life that you need to conquer?”

Sometimes the answer to that is obvious – you know you’re fighting giants and you’re calling out for God’s help. Other times, though, we get so caught up with life that we don’t recognize the giant that has his hand on our forehead holding us in place while we pump our arms and legs trying to run.

I immediately stopped writing and started journaling – listening to the Lord and praying, then writing what Giants I am allowing to keep me in place so that I am not entering the land the Lord has promised me. I confessed unbelief that I didn’t realize I had, and I expressed confidence in God’s ability to take me into the promised land.

Now it’s your turn. What giants are in your life that you need to conquer?

I concluded my journal with the following simple prayer:

“Lord, You are greater…Help me to walk with confidence into the land, knowing that You have gone before me and have paved the way….Lord, I want to be Joshua and Caleb, not all of the other ten…Lord help me to move to that place beyond faith where I know, despite what I see…”

Do you want to be like Joshua and Caleb or the other ten? I encourage you to take time today to ask God for the vision and courage to fight the giants He has allowed to inhabit your promised land.

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I attended a conference over the weekend during which Graham Cooke, the speaker, said the following: “There is something beyond faith. Beyond faith is knowing.” Wow! He’s so right. Faith is something you must activate or exercise. Faith is a choice – choosing to believe that God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. Knowing doesn’t require faith. I know God is good, so I don’t have to exercise faith to believe it. I know God forgives me, so I no longer have to use faith to walk in His forgiveness. There was a time when I didn’t know these things and I had to exercise faith to believe them.

I remember saying many years ago that one of the blessings of getting older in the Lord is that you develop a history with Him and a confidence in Him. You can walk in confidence in many areas where you might have once doubted. I was saying what Graham said so much better. At other times in my life, I’ve said that I was so glad some difficult event didn’t happen when I was younger in the faith because instead of worrying or doubting, I was able to have confidence in God and walk through the situation.

Knowing God gives us vision and energy to see His goodness in the midst of difficult circumstances. When I have to focus my energies simply on believing what He has said or promised, my vision is often closed off to His goodness in the situation. Growing up in God is a process of choosing to believe Him and walk confidently in that belief. At some point, He will give us experiences that solidify our belief transforming it into knowing. I know God my God will supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19) because He has provided for me every day of every year of my life. He has demonstrated and proven to me His promise to provide for me so much that I don’t doubt it. I know He will provide.

God in His graciousness and wisdom helps us to grow our faith by giving us ever-increasing challenges to conquer to transform our faith into knowing. What challenges are you facing right now that God has tailor-made to help you grow up in Christ? God has allowed them to help you know Him better. And knowing God is peace. Be blessed, friends, with knowing God.

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