Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” Numbers 14:6-9
I’m sitting in a hospital surgical waiting room, waiting on my Dad to come out of surgery. He fell and broke his ankle during the bitter winter this year. He is 86 years old and is in great shape for his age. I come from a family that lives long lives. I try not to let worry or fear incapacitate me and keep me from God’s best for my life. We all face giants, mountains, and giant mountains in our lives; you are not on God’s path if it’s smooth sailing all the time. I wish can say life is easy, but if we think about it, do we really desire easy? It’s nice to have a break occasionally. Discomfort builds character and sometimes God can amaze us as we realize the capacity of what we are able to do when we overcome giants and mountains.
I have blogged a lot on the subject of courage, but I have not blogged on fear as much. Fear is the opposite of courage of course, but fear has a way of making courage happen. Fear is the evil cousin to courage, seven times removed. If used properly it can propel us into acts of courage that we never knew we had. It can be a great influence in our lives, or suck the energy out of you. It all depends on how you respond to fear and your choices. In numbers Joshua and Caleb were faced with a dilemma, they saw Jericho as something that God could overcome, not something they themselves could overcome. In most cases, the consensus is not always the right way to go. Moses sent 12 spy’s out to look at what was to be faced. 10 returned with a scary negative report, Caleb and Joshua came back with a faith filled report. They were not being just positive; God backed up their positivity. Fear in control is courage. I think we focus a lot on how to overcome fear, we don’t focus on how to use fear to bring us to courage.
The consensus of Israel were self-conscious therefore, they were incapacitated in their fear. They were looking from a human perspective on what could be done, not a God perspective. Joshua and Caleb were looking from a God-conscious and so they had control over their fear. The first part of a leap of faith is to realize that God gives us the life. He gives us the strength to use fear as a source for momentum. A positive life-giving attitude is the most amazing way to live. It puts fear in the correct perspective.
The next part of the leap is lift. God-consciousness gives us the lift we need in the faithful leap. The momentum we have is lasting to get us over the leap. Joshua and Caleb were looking back at what God had done for them and how God saved Israel. How quickly their faith was interrupted by unhealthy fear. Faith gives us the momentum to maintain the leap. When we are self-conscious, we have no wind in our sails. Taking our focus off the source of our momentum will have us sinking like Peter.
God gives us the life. He gives us the lift. The last part of God-conscious is love. Love from God and love back to God. Gratitude and thanksgiving that overflows into others’ lives. Unconditional love will get you to the finish line of faith. I’m sure this is a different way for me to share this awesome truth, but for some reason this type of teaching is sticking with me this year. Faith is my word for this year, so you will see many faith posts from me. Right now Dad has been in surgery for two hours, I am not going to allow fear to incapacitate me, I know God has an awesome plan and that He will come through as He always does.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.