Small Change, Big Difference!
Israel had two opportunities to enter the Promised Land –first under Moses, and forty years later, under Joshua. The first time they failed to enter; the second time they succeeded. What changed? Not God and not His purpose for them. God never changes, and His purpose for His people is forever established. Not the Canaanites. They were still far more numerous and stronger than Israel. If neither God, or the Canaanites changed, what did?Israel’s attitude! Israel’s faith!
The first time they received the opportunity to enter into Canaan and take possession of their inheritance, their attitude doomed them. They said, “The Canaanites are too strong for us, we are too small for them, and we are not able to enter.” The second time, however, their attitude was different. “The Canaanites are too strong for us, we are too small for them, and we are not able to enter. But we will trust God, nevertheless, and still enter, because even though we are not able, we know for sure our God is able to take us in.” A small change, it seems, but what a big difference it made in the outcome!
What caused the change in Israel? Forty years in the wilderness. The “wilderness” is a place of no resources, where you cannot help yourself or solve your own problems; where you must learn to depend completely on God’s grace and mercy to survive. It is intended to reveal to you that you cannot save yourself, that you have no strength to meet your own needs, and your success and your very survival depend completely on your willingness to look to God’s grace and mercy alone. When Israel learned this lesson, they released the unbelief that had kept them out of the Promised Land, which had been the result of being self-focused. They replaced it with faith, the fruit of knowing God never intended them to be spiritual giants, strong enough in themselves to defeat the Canaanites, and He wanted them simply to know that He was able to take them into the Promised Land. They had finally learned they did not need “to be able to enter” themselves in order to enter, anyhow!
What a valuable lesson for you to learn today! Your Promised Land is Jesus Christ and all the good things that are already provided for you in Him. Like Israel, you are not able to take possession of His fulness and abide in Him continually in your strength. The world, the flesh, and the devil are far too strong for you. You are too weak and your enemies too powerful. But like Israel, the second time, God wants you to go ahead, and without looking at yourself, take possession of His fulness by faith, anyhow. Like Israel, the second time, your attitude should be, “But I will trust God, nevertheless, and still enter, because even though I am not able, I know for sure my God is able to take me in.”
Child of God, do you need a change in your attitude? Do you know that taking possession of your inheritance, enjoying the fulness of Jesus Christ, does not depend upon your strengths? Have the wilderness experiences taught you yet that you are not to be looking at yourself at all? That your supposed strengths won’t qualify you, and your many weaknesses won’t disqualify you? That God Himself will take you in and He will do this, even though you are very weak? Israel learned this lesson in the wilderness, and it changed their experiences completely.
This is good news, indeed! You do not need to be able to enter into His fulness in order to enter. In spite of all the things in your life that make you unable to enter in by your own strength, like Israel, if you choose to believe in Him, you can still enter into fulness because of Jesus. And, Child of God, when you choose to enter His fulness by faith in His finished work, His fulness will enter your experiences, in fact. Small change. Big difference. Wow!