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Numbers 13:1-3 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel."
Numbers 13:17-21 "And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwells therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes. So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob."
Numbers 13:25-29 "And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land which you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people are strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
Numbers 13:30-33 "And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
This is the story of the twelve spies that were sent out to search the promised land. God had already provided the promise land to the people of Israel. He brought them out of the land of Egypt with mighty miracles and signs. God lead them to entrance to the promised land and Moses sent out twelve leaders to spy out the land. Ten of these leaders returned with a negative and evil report saying that they could not posses the land that God had promised them and given to them because of giants living there.
Only two came back saying that through God they could conquer and posses the land. They also saw the giants but knew that these giants were just grasshoppers in comparison to God's great power and resources. The evil report discouraged the people and produced a rebellion that prevented that generation from taking possession of Canaan. Their confidence in God's assistance was utterly shaken, and their unbelief prevented any such attempt to take possession of the land, as would otherwise have been made with complete success. The bringing up of the evil report, by those who were sent out to search, and their failing to encourage and lead forward the people, were the means of that generation being turned back, and utterly wasted in the wilderness. God was so incensed against them for their lack of confidence in His help, and of His ability, and willingness to give them possession, that He "swore in his wrath, that they should not enter into his rest."
The people then had to choose between these two reports. Instead of believing in the power of God, they were filled with unbelief and discouragement because they believed the ten spies that gave the evil report. God had promised them the land and had provided everything possible for them to enter in and to enjoy all His provision. They refused to believe God and died in disobedience.
This example shows that the majority is not always right and that leaders can give an evil report. There are many leaders today teaching that it is impossible for a Christian to live without sin. They tell you all about the giants and why you will fail. If you chose to believe them, you will die in your sins. Why not instead listen to truth about God's great power over sin and how through His strength these giants become as small grasshoppers easily stepped on?
They could not enter into Canaan, ( what God had promised them ) because of unbelief. They went up and searched the land, and returned bringing some of the fruits of the land, and represented to the children of Israel, that it was an exceeding good land, but that it was impossible for them to take possession of it. They said that the towns and cities were walled up to heaven and that the country was inhabited by giants. They ended their evil report by saying that they were utterly unable to take possession of the land.
Many in the churches today are discouraged by the misrepresentations of leaders. It is a painful and really an alarming consideration, that so many of those who are leaders in the church, represent that we are unable to go up and possess the land that God provided. Only two had any faith in the promise of God, but all the rest united in their testimony that they were unable to possess the land. Many church leaders today say that victory over sin is unattainable in this life. These leaders are the ones who should be leading the church into the promises but not only deny these promises but also the deny the power of God. These leaders do not inspire any confidence of faith and encourage any person into the promises of God, that the land may be possessed. They instead, bring up an evil report, that discourages the hearts of the people of God. They maintain that the grace of God does not have sufficient provisions for their taking possession of the land of holiness in this life, that the world, the flesh and the devil are so mighty, that to overcome them is utterly out of the question. They claim and that there is absolutely no hope of ever being free from sin in this life.
Do not be deceived by these leaders and fail to enter into all that Christ died for you to experience. Do not allow any unbelief keep you out of God's provision for you. Do not waste away and die without ever enjoying what God truly has already truly provided you. Do not die in your wilderness because of your unbelief. Do not allow these leaders with their evil report discourage your heart. These evil reports only confirm the unbelief of the people, and effectually prevent their taking possession of that rest and victory which remains for the people of God!
Their sin was, they believed the evil report rather then God's word. Now you have this choice to believe God's word to be free from sin or believe an evil report that sin is much to powerful for you to ever overcome or conquer. Do you see yourself as a grasshopper when you see the giant of sin? Or do you see God's word that tells you, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?
Have you refused to believe God because you have believed a lie from some preacher or minister? How many of you are now in the sin of unbelief because you were told this lie, that it is impossible to live without sin and be totally holy like God demands? Or the lie, that it is impossible to fully obey God. Say now "I believe God, I am well able to overcome sin through Christ who strengthens me." Be like Caleb and Joshua and say "I am well able." Let your fearless faith get its energy and strength from God and His promises to you.
Do you need heart purity? Then possess your possessions: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Do you need power? "You shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8). Faith and obedience will cause your possessions in Christ to become actual and real, so that holiness and power will characterize every part of your being - body, soul and spirit.