Why can’t I stop this? I know the promises. I can recite some of them by memory. I am united in faith with those who believe as I do. I know my promised land is right there. I have spied it out. I am walking it out.
As I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Something happens and the chatter starts rearing its ugly head. Yet again. My mind becomes like a gerbil spinning on her wheel. Round and round and round I go thinking and thinking and thinking. Then I somehow forget all the promises I know and start to rehearse the giants over and over and over again.
Then I quickly get off the wheel and run to my Word. Yeah, right! Let’s just say I’m getting better at spending less time in that rat race.
Remember the story of Joshua and Caleb and the ten others sent by Moses on a spying expedition? Moses sent them to check out the Promised Land. The men came back from their trip and confirmed the land surely flowed with milk and honey. In fact, they brought back evidence of fruit. But ten of the men also came back talking about how big the giants were and how there was no way they could possibly take the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb saw things differently.
Imagine Joshua and Caleb’s conversation, amongst themselves, as they spied out the Promised Land.
Hey man, why you looking all crazy like that? Remember what we heard, man. This. is. our. Promised. Land. Don’t look at the giants. Yeah, they appear stronger than us. Don’t look at the circumstances. I know. I know. They make us look like grasshoppers to them BUT remember the message. This is our Promised Land! This is the Almighty’s promise to us! Let’s stay united in the faith, man. United in faith!
Remember God’s will and purpose for us, man!
Imagine as Joshua and Caleb take each step on their expedition that they are walking with absolute trust and confidence in God’s power, wisdom and goodness. Holding on to the promises. Not allowing the Word of God to be silenced but instead allowing it to be magnified over everything else seen and heard around them causing them to see things differently.
Imagine Joshua and Caleb bumping into one of the ten spies while on the expedition. The spy begins to talk about all that he sees and his view of the mission. Imagine Caleb whispering to the spy in the midst of the spies report out. It might go something like this: Hey, what is up with you man? Where is your head gear? You did bring it with you? Here. Take mine. Put on these. Now, do you see what I see? Yeah, these “lenses of faith” do wonders for your mind, huh? They change your perspective and even your outlook on things. I mean… You do know?… It is no secret. Faith changes the view.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which HE has called you, the riches of HIS glorious inheritance in HIS holy people, and HIS incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18 NIV
…but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in HIS power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). Hebrews 4:2b
Hi. My name is Squanto. A native New Englander belonging to the Patuxet Indian tribe. Back in the day, I was held captive by an English explorer and taken to England to live. For what seemed like a lifetime but really was about nine years I was held captive in England and their I learned English. I thought that was bad but after being brought back home to New England I was taken captive again and sold into slavery. I mean what are the chances! Eventually I was rescued and introduced to Christianity. Years later, I finally was able to return to New England. I was so excited. I was finally going back to my home land to be with my people once again. But when I returned home, my entire tribe had died from a plague. I was the only survivor. Sometime later the Pilgrims showed up and I was able to help them since I knew English.
I taught the Pilgrims life surviving skills. I developed such a heart of compassion for them. I even helped to secure a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the surrounding Indian tribes. About half of the Pilgrims survived their first winter in New England.
Looking back at my life, my journey was trying. Without a doubt. Sold into slavery. Taken to a foreign country. Forced into a life I never wanted or dreamed of. Yes, I could’ve become bitter as a result of all that happened to me but instead, I was determined to save lives just as my life was saved. William Bradford said I was a special instrument sent of God for the Pilgrims good beyond their expectation. Yes, I guess you could say my life was purposefully orchestrated.
The Pilgrims were so very thankful, and Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving. He invited me and the nearby Indians (my adopted tribe) to celebrate and give thanks to God with them. The Indian chief along with about ninety of his men came and boy did we feast. We had all kinds of foods. Not only did we feast but we competed in all types of games. The chief and his men had such a great time that they stayed for three days. This is how the American tradition of feasting at Thanksgiving began.
Even with all the food, fun, and fellowship, on that very first Thanksgiving, we never forgot the reason for the feast: Giving thanks to Almighty God and acknowledging our utter dependence on HIM. No matter what.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
That I may make the voice of thanksgiving heard and may tell of all YOUR wondrous works Psalm 26:7 AMP
We are and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [HIS] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP
And the Angel said to Zachariah do not be afraid. Your petition was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his name John (God is favorable). He will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord. He will be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit even in and from his mother's womb. He will turn back and cause to return many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. [Excerpts taken from Luke Chapter 1 verses 13 thru 16]
And Zachariah's response was how can I be sure? Zachariah is talking to an Angel of God and the first thing out of his mouth is doubt. He basically asks how will I know? Imagine that!
And because of this doubt Zachariah is pretty much told he is not going to be able to speak until the word of the Lord comes to pass. In other words, because of this unbelief he needed to be silenced. Basically, the Angel is saying I need to make sure that you don't speak your doubt to anyone else. I need to make sure the unbelief harbored in you stays just there.
And you know what I find amazing? The Angel still leaves Zachariah with words of encouragement. The Angel let's Zachariah know that this period of silence won't be a permanent condition but at the appointed and proper time he will speak again. The appointed and proper time was once the Word came to pass. And that was when they needed to give Zachariah and Elizabeth's newborn baby a name.
In closing, let's pray.
As we daily walk out our purpose continue to build our confidence in YOUR promises so we undoubtedly know that the vision YOU have for us will come to pass even when it looks impossible. Let us learn to stand boldly on the Word and believe each and every Word for our lives. Teach us to silence the doubt.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. Luke 1:37