(July 21, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes challenges the church:
‘If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us’ (Num.14:8).
These words of Caleb and Joshua, spoken on their return from spying out the Promised Land, are powerful and true. When ten of the twelve men chosen to investigate Canaan returned with a negative report, Caleb and Joshua demonstrated a different heart and mind.
They did not allow the difficulties in the land to cause them to despair, as the ten other spies did.
Another of Caleb’s God honouring statements was ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it‘ (Numbers 13:30).
These two men saw every reality; they recognised the giants, the terrain, the walled cities, the formidable armies. They knew what they faced but they also knew the Lord well. They were not deterred by the difficulties or the dangers ahead. Their faith was in God… they had the right spirit!
Walking ‘with’ God!
Caleb and Joshua recognised that the fundamental issue at hand was their relationship with God. They trusted that he would bless them and take all of Israel into Canaan if they walked before him in right relationship. They used the term, ‘If the Lord delights in us.’
I am convinced that in addition to our walk before God (our conduct); we must also walk ‘with’ God.
- We are called to obey his word and do his will.
- We are called to delight ourselves in the Lord.
This is what Joshua and Caleb were doing. They were bringing delight to the heart of God as they acted in obedience and faith.
God had already spoken to Moses, their leader, and said, ‘Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites’ (Num.13:2). These two men delighted God’s heart by their faith in his promise. They acted on the word of God and believed that he would take the Israelites into the land and give it to them, no matter what enemies or difficulties they might face.
2017 – a time to overcome and take ‘our’ possession
In this momentous time of God’s purpose for all people, he is sending his servants into the entire world because he desires to give them the nations! The peoples of all the world!
Because of his love, God intends that multiplied millions of people who are presently bound in other religious belief systems, or who are atheists or agnostics, will be set free to love and worship him. This is even greater than the possession of land for Israel. It is the greatest cause on earth. Men and women, boys and girls, people everywhere, who are loved by God and for whom Christ died.
I say with faith in God and certainty in regard to his will, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.’ Moses could not have done it alone, neither could Caleb and Joshua – the call was to all of Israel.
The call of God’s Spirit to the churches today is the same:
Let us go up at once and take possession! We can do it together if the Lord delights in us, if he is pleased with our obedience and our faith in his command.
Let this be the time of the greatest united effort by the church worldwide to take possession of the promised lands – all the nations – in his name and to his glory and delight!
Not to ‘possess’ by control and displacement, but to possess by bringing them to Jesus, the Saviour of the world. To, in reality, set them free to worship God and to serve him alone, for he is the rightful owner of all people.
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org