If God Is For Us....
"He who hesitates is lost" quipped by Marcus Porcius Cato, a Roman politician, 234 BC - 149 BC. is a idiom I wrestle with daily. You?
"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, NIV)
This past Saturday, I bumped into someone who struggles with indecision just like me. I was in a local tool store ready to spend some $$! I donned my mask and entered the candy store for tool buffs. I had a short mental list of things I would like to purchase. Of course, once inside the store, the diversity of tools threw my brain into a tizzy.
I walked to the aisle with screw drivers! Sounds exciting. Right? I noticed a man my age standing about half-way down the aisle, so I maintained social distance and looked in front of me and down the aisle as far as I could see. No joy....
I decided to wander about the establishment and maybe I would see something else to tickle my fancy. I perused the aisles of lights, hobby tools, and such. I meandered to the tape and glue section. A store associate asked, "Are you finding everything okay, Can I help you?" I mentioned I was looking for small screwdrivers suitable for eyeglass repair. She said, "Aisle 7 is your destination. I can show you." I said, "I have been there and didn't see anything I could use." That statement was only have truth, since I only looked at half the aisle.
I moved back toward aisle 7 with confidence there would be nobody there. I was wrong. Ten minutes had elapsed since my initial entrance to aisle 7. The man was in the same spot, now talking on a phone and looking curiously at the screwdrivers hanging in front of him. Being candid here and confessing my sins, I thought to myself, "Dude, they're screwdrivers. This isn't rocket science." Then I thought of my own frozen indecision that sometimes plagues me and decided to grant him some grace.
Okay, I'll just check out the power tools and zip tie selection. I burned another 10 minutes in various areas of the store and with resolve headed back to aisle 7. To my surprise, the man was still in aisle 7, same spot, same puzzled look on his face and now typing something on his phone. I glanced at the already viewed items and graciously moved toward him with intention of checking the entire aisle. I moved behind him as he stepped toward the display. I excused my closeness, checked the rest of the aisle and saw nothing of use. (Check-out time!) Much to do about nothing. Right?
As much as I wanted to be critical of the fellow, I knew deep down inside that we all struggle with decisions at times. We know we should move forward but are gripped by fear of failure. If I step forward and do this thing, what happens if someone disapproves or worse yet castigates me?
I suppose the 12 spies commissioned to scope out the Promised Land had indecision. Well, 10 of the 12 did. 12 people saw the same things, experienced the abundance that God was prepared to deliver to them, yet 10 of those men saw giants, obstacles, and failure. Go back and re-read the passage and see the underlined areas. Can you feel the indecision? Do you sense their fear? It's there. We can't do this!
They however missed the whole message of God. (Initial directive of God) "The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. " (Numbers 13:1-2, NIV) Don't we miss that promise while faced with indecision, fear, possible failure?
Perhaps, that is our greatest adversary. We fail to remember that God is our Champion and Redeemer. When we hear God tell us to move forward, we actually hear "Be careful, don't risk it, and whatever you do don't trust me." Today, God is speaking to you and me and telling us that He goes ahead of us and we should follow and be obedient. If God Is For Us.....
"A Musing Pastor"