Living a Life of PRAISE



FAITHLESSNESS

Up until a couple of days ago I would have never considered this to be much of a sin. It’s easy to think of the “big ones” like alcohol, drugs, and sex but FAITHLESSNESS grieves God just as much as anything else that comes between us and Him.

In Numbers 13:26-33 spies were sent out from the wilderness to explore the land before them. When they returned they said to the Israelites, “We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country-a land flowing with milk and honey…But the people there are powerful and their cities are fortified.” Fear sets in and the Israelites began to freak out saying, “We can’t go against them! They are stronger then we are!”. They even referred to these people as GIANTS. You would think by now these people would know that God is always going to call them to impossible situations so that His power may be seen. How often I lose sight of this in my own life. When the storms come in, its easier to focus on the darkness then the light that awaits.

But whats great about this story is the boldness that is seen in Caleb, one of the men who went to explore the land. Even when the complaining became so great that the people wanted to stone him and find a new leader, Caleb held tight to Gods FAITHFULNESS by encouraging others. He said, “Lets go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it!” Yes! Yes! Yes! This man was not backing down. He was not going to let an impossible situation deter Him from Gods FAITHFULNESS. He didn’t fall into others doubts. If anything he became more confident by saying, “They (the giants) have no protection, but the Lord is with us!” That was enough for Him-to know God was with him.

As the story continues the people are rebelling against God by refusing to LISTEN. Hes tired of performing miracle after miracle, only for them to whine and doubt. So He punishes the Israelites. They will all die in the wilderness, children younger than 20 will enter the land but wander because parents are dead, and the 10 spies who did not trust Him will die from a plague. “Punishing” is a nice word to describe all that. But the wonderful part is Gods words to describe Caleb. He says, “But my servant Caleb is different from the others. He has remained LOYAL to me, and I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will receive their full share of that land”. Not only is he allowed to live, but God blessed him for his FAITHFULNESS. And we see what happened to those who are FAITHLESS.

The reason this hits home for me is because we’re headed back to Wilmington by June 7th. Our house isn’t sold, we don’t have the finances to move or even know where we’ll stay, and we’ll still have to pay our mortgage. Talk about some “giants”. But God is FAITHFUL! If we know He has called us to Wilmington, then why wouldn’t we just go? Why wait? Why say to God, “When you sell the house THEN we’ll go?” Thats FAITHLESS. Why does everything have to be a give and take with God? Playing games with God is dangerous and the people in the bible who did that did not have a bright future. But those who “just go” like Simon and Andrew who came into contact with Jesus (Matthew 4:19) and His words, “Come with me” was all it took. They dropped EVERYTHING and followed. Simon later named Peter is what the church was built upon! His purpose was great but had he not FOLLOWED he would have missed out. And what about Abram? God just said to him, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Abram had NO IDEA where he was going but he FOLLOWED God. God later blessed him by making him father of a great nation. His purpose was fulfilled and others were blessed through it.

I love The Messages version of Matthew 16:24-26:
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to LET ME LEAD. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

What excites me more than seeing God do this in our life is Him doing it in the lives of those around us. One of my girlfriends here who just graduated college is moving to Wilmington. This plan has been in motion long before we moved here or even knew we were moving back to Wilmington. She doesn’t know exactly what shes going to be doing there but she knows its where God wants her so shes GOING. Shes leaving her family, friends, church, and SECURITY and all I can do is praise God! Praise God for teaching her what true faith looks like at a young age. Praise God for those who do not give into fear and simply step into the unknown terrified but at least taking a RISK. How sad to live this christian life SAFE. There is too much to see and do and grow from then to live in a comfortable place all our days.

My best friend back home and her husband are moving to Coasta Rica for a month and they’re leaving in 4 weeks! They need close to $4,000 and have none of it right now. She’s put her notice in at work and has NO IDEA what shes going to do when she returns-love it! Erwin McManus says this in Chasing Daylight, “It (divine moments) requires us to move from the isolation of our invisibility to the dangers of visibility if we are going to make the invisible visible.” I overflow with joy for her and her husband when I think what awaits. I know they will forever be changed and this will only flow into every part of their life. Once God calls you to step out and then meets you at each step (not before), its like your soul yearns for more and you’re not satisfied until He is seen in what doesn’t make sense.

I am honored to be surrounded by people who are facing giants head on. I am amazed by those who are walking through some tough stuff right now but are seeking God through every bit of it. I am anxious to see more lives changed and for people to live a radical life for Jesus. After all, thats why we’re here.

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Comments

  1. * Christy Crosby says:

    This is a great reminder, thanks for this!! We named our little man Caleb on a Sunday after Chad preached a sermon about Caleb and his faithfulness! I pray that he will be a man of faith! I hope to see you before you go back to NC… praying for the house to sell! CC

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 3 months ago
  2. * Holly says:

    Erin,
    you never cease to amaze me with your gift of words! I am speechless after this one!…..wow Holly

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 3 months ago


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