By Tahren Terrell Brandon
My two-year-old daughter is a star. She is all smiles, all the time until I pull out the camera. I regularly plead with her to smile so I can get a picture and her response is to look stoically in any direction other than mine. As soon as I put down the phone, she’s back to her smiley, animated self. She did the same in utero, I would visit the doctor, excited to see a new picture of my growing bundle of joy and each time she would block her face with her hands like she knew we were trying to take her picture. Little did I know that her strong will would only intensify once she was born. These days, as I beg her to maintain her gorgeous smile for a split-second photo, I think of the three whole days I spent in labor and ask the age-old parental question that begins with, “After all I’ve done for you…” It's usually at that point, when I’m lost in thought and have put the camera down, that she will look at me, flash a billion-dollar smile and run off as if to say, “You should have been ready.”
Like any parent, God gets frustrated when we refuse to do what He asks. Ironically, everything God requires benefits us, yet we still give Him a hard time. God has been good to us, He exceedingly customizes blessings to fit our lives, we have every reason to take Him at His Word. God wanted to give the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey, all they had to do was trust Him and He would lead them straight through to the Promised Land (Ex. 3:8). Moses gave them a directive from God, “Go in and possess the land; do not fear or be discouraged.” That was not a question or a conversation; it was a given (Deut. 1:19-21). But they refused, instead wanted to send spies to survey the land. Obviously, Gods Word wasn't enough so He humored them, they wanted spies; He’d give them spies. He told Moses to choose one man from each of the twelve tribes to go into the land. Who would return with a report fueled by unbelief and whose faith would pass the test?
One tree was off limits for Adam and Eve, if they ate of it, they would die (Gen. 2:17). Eve knew Gods Word but it wasn’t good enough for her, she had to see for herself. Eve questioned the truth and believed a lie and it led to her demise. God promised that He would bring the Children of Israel into a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex. 3:8). They had been given this promise way back when they were in Egypt so they knew Gods Word, but Gods Word wasn’t good enough for them, they had to see for themselves. The spies returned from their mission to report to the people. Indeed, the land was flowing with milk and honey; nevertheless, it would be impossible to inhabit the land, the strength of the enemy was too great. In one word, ten of these men revealed their faithlessness to God. “Nevertheless,” meant that despite what they knew to be true, they still didn’t believe God. How unfortunate for them; they questioned the truth and believed a lie and it would lead to their demise.
Joshua and Caleb had a different report, they assured the people that they could take the land despite the circumstances. God had already given it to them, all they had to do was go and possess it. Still, after all God had done for them, the people resisted the truth and refused to go into the Promised Land; even wished they had died in Egypt. Knowing the truth makes you responsible for the truth, thus many prefer to believe a lie. When you exhibit your faith people will scoff at you, attack, even lie on you; nevertheless, God rewards faithfulness. Joshua and Caleb trusted God and stood up to a whole nation of naysayers, their faith had passed the test and they would see the Promised Land, those who rebelled against God would not. The Israelite's were at the threshold of the Promised Land and their rebellion sent them right back to the wilderness where they would die, just as they requested. Be careful what you wish for.
God is faithful and His Word is true. He has endless blessings for the faithful. His promises are for you but if you refuse them, someone else will be the recipient. Don't let your disobedience, self-reliance and faithlessness cause you to miss out on the promises of God. After all He’s done for you, don’t question the truth and believe a lie; let His Word be enough.