Which Report Are You Listening To? (Part 2)
And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. Numbers 13:32
As I shared with you in last week’s blog, (click here to read) recent storm experience taught me some valuable life lessons. A few of these are:
Don’t live life controlled by a list.
Treasure the one moment that you have been given.
Don’t miss the beauty within the storm.
Be careful of quick assumptions.
The loudest report is not necessarily the correct report.
Listen for the voice of wisdom.
Don’t assume that the truth is what you think it is.
But the most profound for me was the caution of listening to the wrong report.
Due to the threatening weather reports, misinformation and lack of communication, we almost missed a beautiful week at the beach. The weather reports turned my heart to doubt and I mentally decided that we were not going on the trip. I paused my preparations and settled for Plan B. Instead of disappointment over the cancellation of my reservation, I was relieved because I felt safe with that decision. When I was unable to get an answer to any phone calls that I made to our condo, I assumed all plans were off. At the last minute everything was turned upside down and all of my thoughts and emotions quickly raveled. There was no way to make a wise decision in this state of mind.
Once our husbands made the wise decision to get going, my heart settled. As I drove toward our destination, the Spirit nudged me. In my inner being I heard, “Be careful whose report you listen to.” I had been tossed to and fro with all kinds of information, leading to confusion. Too many voices and too many opinions led to difficulty in finding the voice that really mattered and that was God’s voice within me.
It feels much like the world that we live in today. If we listen to the reports instead of the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves in a personal hurricane. Some reports appear as good warnings that will lead you to safety, while others lead you to believe you need to cancel all plans and just stay home. “Stay home and be safe” can be louder than the wonderful experience waiting for you.
A familiar story in the Bible comes to mind that brings light to this topic. You can read the entire story in Numbers 13 and 14. We find there the story of Moses sending out the twelve spies to search out the land the Lord had given them. It was theirs for the taking, but they were sent out to see what was ahead. Ten spies came back with a bad report, while Joshua and Caleb returned with a God report.
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:30-33
Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
The size of the people in the land shook the ten spies, convincing them to stay instead of go and conquer as the Lord had commanded. But there were two who believed God’s report. Lord, make us Joshua and Caleb’s who move by your leading, not the reports thundering around us.
Our encouragement today in the midst of many rivaling reports is to listen carefully for the voice of the Lord. Let’s not miss the wonder that He has for us because we are gripped by fear from the reports.
Lord, sharpen our ears so that we might know the voice of God. May the Voice of Truth be so much louder than the Voice of Fear. Give us faith to walk forward and “Go” where you send us. Guard us from being tossed to and fro by the winds that confuse us. In the middle of chaos You are constant and You are near to guide us in the path of truth.
“But the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 16:9