Do you evaluate your options simply by looking at data or is there another reality at work behind the data?
Richard Foster said,
The principal task of study is a perception into the reality of a given situation, encounter, book, etc. We can go through a major crisis, for example, without any perception of the real nature of the tragic situation. But if we carefully observe and reflect upon what occurred, we can learn a great deal.
After the nation of Israel heard the details from the spies, they were anguished by the majority report. They focused on the giants and the walled cities. Their tribal leaders were mostly afraid of the challenge. The people complained in their fear and started talking about finding a new leader to take them back to the relative safety of Egypt.
When you study the place that God wants to take you, you will have to choose which path you take. Will you follow the trail that fear leads you to, or take the less-travelled route of faith in God?
Joshua and Caleb were the two of twelve who knew that God was giving direction and tore their clothes in grief. With a loud voice they cried out.
Isn’t that the challenge that each of us must face to become free? Will we hold back in fear or trust God and move forward? There was nothing lasting and good about the wilderness they had been in, other than the journey to get to this place. To return to Egypt was certainly foolhardy, and yet also appealing. Everything behind them was a ruin compared to where they must now choose to go. But you can’t go forward without trusting God.
This same choice will face each of us many times in life. Will be study the map and move forward? Unless we trust the Guide, we will settle for the easy path of retreat. May God help us to discern the steps that will lead us into the fullness of God’s Kingdom.