Joshua and Caleb.
They are my two favorite Bible characters (no joke, I even named my children after them). My ears perk up and I sit up a little taller in my pew when their names are mentioned…I’m like a proud mama. Joshua’s leadership, Caleb’s feisty spirit. Put them together, they define courage.
You’ve probably heard their story. It’s found in Numbers 13 and 14.
A little after the Red Sea parted, Moses sent twelve spies to explore the land of Canaan, the land God promised the Israelites.
Ten of the spies reported, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are..the land will devour anyone who goes to live there…We even saw the giants, the descendants of Anak. Next to them, we felt like grasshoppers.”
Joshua and Caleb walked down the same streets, saw the same land and the same giants.
But they had a different report.
“The land we traveled through is a wonderful land. And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us safely through….Don’t be afraid of the people of the land…they have no protection, but the Lord is with us.”
Unfortunately, all of Joshua and Caleb’s faith and optimism did not change the mindset of the community of Israel. They believed the land was unattainable. End of story.
Okay…maybe that wasn’t the end of the story….the Israelites also wanted to stone anyone who disagreed with them. (A little dramatic, don’t you think?)
Fast forward about forty years.
Joshua and Caleb are the only two people of the approximately one million Israelites who actually made it to their intended destination, the Promise Land.
What made them different?
Joshua and Caleb didn’t deny the problem. Trust me, the giants were hard to miss. But they compared the problem to their God. The other ten compared the problem to themselves.
So, where is your Canaan? What is your Promise Land?
In writing this post, I actually asked this question to several of my co-workers while I was at work.
No one had an exact answer. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t either.
Maybe it’s when that dream of yours is finally fulfilled or maybe it’s when, as Max Lucado puts it, “you stand at the intersection of of your skill and God’s call.”
In his book, Glory Days, Max writes “Canaan is a life in which we win more often than we lose, forgive as quickly as we are offended, and give as abundantly as we receive. We serve out of our giftedness and delight in our assignments.”
So whatever that Promise Land is to you, expect naysayers, but don’t let their negative words stop you from starting. “People have a right to say what they want. And you have a right to ignore them.” (Lucado)
Joshua and Caleb stood their ground and God took note of it. They were 2 in a million.
Stand your ground and enter in.