In the previous post, I wrote about The Account of the 12 Spies. I believe that the people were excited at the thought of moving forward. But before they did, they had to address some critical things. One of these things was their fear.
All transitions are not easy. When we come to a crossroad, having made our plans, and having done our preparation, we look forward to all the positive things related to the planned change. Similarly, seeing the fruit of the land (Numbers 13:26, 27), and with the positive account, the congregation must have felt excited and motivated. But what transpired after confused the whole congregation.
In Number 13:28 there was a change, a shift in the thinking, and a reduction in the confidence level. The obstacles (‘the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great:’ Numbers 13:28 KJV) were identified and placed before the congregation.
During changes, though we have a positive vision of what could be, we are also faced with the real possibilities that what we hope for may not becoming a reality. During these times, with the threat of failure looming, the thought could arise, what if the critics are right? What if I don’t make it? This can be a turning point depending on how we deal with such questions and doubts.
As we embark on change, there are generally something(s) that we did not plan for and did not consider; and how we address these uncertainties is a critical point that can determine if we retreat in fear or move forward in faith.
I have looked at the saying ‘ride and whistle’ to explore some practical ways of how to address this phase – this turning point. Whistling can represent the process of getting all the facts – good and bad – favorable and unfavorable. So the noises (including the negative facts) in the environment could cause us to retreat in fear. But thankfully it does not have to be that way.
Instead of thinking ‘what if they are right?’ and we will not make it, we can think, what if they are wrong? Of course this does not mean that we go ahead carelessly without consideration for the dangers. But instead at these junctures, we can ask the Holy Spirit to infuse us with the voice of reason and we can ask the Holy Spirit to still our fearful minds and help us to use our energy and time constructively – really asking God to help us to do all that can be done to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Knowing the potential issues before hand reveals the challenges that we need to be aware of, so that the mitigating plans can be put in place; but they should not be a reason just to pack up and not even try at all. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing, so to overcome fear, we need to soak and immerse our minds in the Word of God. So with God our fears can be changed to faith that looks to God to help us through. So we can feed on God’s Word and be reminded that God has told us that He will never leave us, not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Then our response would not be based on presumptuous actions, but instead on seeking to move forward for God in whatever sphere of life we may be. This brings us to another obstacle that we will need to overcome to ensure that our faith in God grows; and that obstacle is how we see the world around us – the focus of the next blog post (Inflated Account of the External).