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Pointers along the way #11

How we miss out on God's best
- Jacob Ninan

It's a very simple mistake, and we don't usually realise what we are doing. But unless we understand and correct it, we can't help but miss what God wants to give us.

It is just what happened to the children of Israel, whom God brought out of Egypt with the promise of taking them to the land of milk and honey. But out of all that crowd, only two finally got in there! All the others missed out on it.

It says in the Bible very clearly why this happened. Disobedience and unbelief (He.3:18,19). Disobedience came from unbelief. They didn't trust God to do what He had promised. At every difficulty along the way, they murmured and grumbled in unbelief. Finally, just outside the borders of Canaan, the promised land, they decided that the giants in Canaan were too much for them, even though Joshua and Caleb, the ones who finally entered Canaan, reminded them that God was able to take them through. That was the last test and it sealed their fate. They perished in the desert, and only Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land.

How does this apply to us? Aren't we believers who have put our trust in Jesus? Who says we don't believe?

If we really believe, why is it we aren't getting all that the Bible promises us? For example, joy and peace under all circumstances? Let's say we are in a tight spot, and it looks as if there is no way out. What do we do then? Get worried? We remember God's words which tell us that He is in control, He is planning for our welfare, He won't allow things to go out of control, He won't leave us when we are in trouble, He will make all things to work for our good, etc. But our problems are real for us, and these words appear to be too unrealistic. We choose to believe what we 'see' and ignore what God has promised. Plain and simple unbelief! Then how do we expect to get the comfort, grace, guidance, wisdom, etc., which God was waiting to give us?

When we see difficulties ahead of us, we must choose to believe in God - at that point. If we don't do this, all the promises we have heard and understood will not do us any good. Faith is the conviction of things not seen. We can't 'see' God or His working behind the scenes. But if we decide to believe His word and accept it as being true in that situation, it gives us strength. Then God is able to give us what He has promised. Without faith, it is impossible to receive anything from the Lord (Jas.1:6,7).