Monday, September 10, 2012

Standing on the Narrow Road

I remember the first time I was heart broken over how blind the world is.  I was in a high school biology class.  We had been discussing ethics like stem cell research, cloning, etc.  For each topic, we had to raise our hands to show which side we were on.  It was fun.  Until the teacher asked us how we felt about helping the poor in third world countries.  He basically gave a statement saying that we should keep our own resources and let nature take its course in those environments.  Then posed the question - who all thinks we should stop aiding these people, these countries?  A lot of hands went up.  It was a sad moment.  Then he asked the opposite side:  Who thinks we should continue to help them?  My hand was the only hand raised.  I slowly looked around the room, letting my eyes rest on a boy I went to church with.  He just looked away.  My heart broke.  After class, the teacher gave me props to sticking to what I believed in.  But as I told my parents what happened that night, there were tears in my eyes.  Not for being singled out, but for realizing how much people didn't care.  I knew what God wanted, so I stuck to this day, I'm glad I did.

Joshua 14:7-8 - 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart.  8 Nevertheless my brethern who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully.

If you don't know the original story, it can be found in Numbers 13 and 14.  But here is a brief run down: Moses sent a man from each tribe to spy out the promised land.  When they returned, all but two of the spies were severely pessimistic saying that the men of the land were too strong, of great size - we became like grasshoppers in our own sight...they talked of how the city was fortified and very large.  Basically, they reported back that it was impossible to take over the land and suggested that they shouldn't even try.  Meanwhile, Caleb and Joshua tried their best to convince the people otherwise.  Caleb says outright, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it" (Numbers 13:30).  

Caleb is the one speaking again in Joshua 14:7-8.  Can you imagine going to spy the land you are about to take over and seeing giants?  Real, live giants??  The thought instantly gives me butterflies.  I'm sure that Caleb was at least a little scared.  But he didn't let that fear persuade him.  And he didn't let the pessimism of those around him persuade him either: "Neither fear nor favour influenced him on the occasion; he told what he believed to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" (Wesley).  "From a full conviction of the truth of what he said and a firm belief of the divine promise," Caleb told Moses what he knew in his heart to be true (Henry)!  He stood firm in his convictions and took the narrow road.

How easy is it for us to let go of our convictions because of the people around us?  Or what about our own fear consuming us to the point that we forget the PROMISE of God!?!  We must know and believe what is in our hearts so that neither man nor fear can influence us.

Are you doubting a promise of God because of your fear today?

Have you let your convictions fall to the wayside because of the influences of other people?

Examine your actions and thoughts today.  Then stand up for what you know is true!  God doesn't back down from a promise!  And we shouldn't back down from what we know to be true!  

Here's to standing on the rock!

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