Up to now, we haven’t mentioned that there were two dissenters in the group. They went on the same trip, saw the same walled cities and the same giants, and they brought back a minority opinion. Joshua and Caleb listened patiently to all the worst-case scenarios and calmly said, “We can do this.”
As I’ve read this narrative over the years, I’ve always felt the difference between the ten and the two was that they used different yardsticks. The negative group measured the giants by their own stature, while Joshua and Caleb measured them by God’s stature. These two were the only ones who finally measured up to the privilege of entering the Promised Land. The others fell short.
What made the difference for Joshua and Caleb? The Scriptures state it clearly.
In Numbers 32:12 we read: “For they have wholly followed the LORD.” You’ll find the same message in Deuteronomy 1:36 and Joshua 14:9. Joshua and Caleb were simply different creatures from the rest. The Bible makes it clear that they were absolutely filled with the Spirit of God, and they walked with Him in every way. It caused them to think differently, act differently, decide differently. And when the time of crisis came—the time when we find out what people are made of—Joshua and Caleb were living proof of what it means to have godly courage. These two looked at a land that “devoured its inhabitants” and said, “This is God’s will for us. Let’s do it!”
Your fear level is ultimately a referendum on the closeness of your friendship with God. It’s a spiritual yardstick. Do you see things in human dimensions or godly ones? After you spend time with your Creator, you’re simply incapable of shrinking in fear at the appearance of every human anxiety. You’ve seen His power. You’ve seen His love and faithfulness. You’ve seen that His purposes are the best for us. If you have “the fear of God,” as we used to say, you won’t fear the things of this world. If you donhave the fear of God, then everything else is to be feared.
David Jeremiah, Slaying the Giants in Your Life (Nashville, TN: W Pub., 2001), 14–15.
This article excerpted from Slaying the Giants in Your Life.
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