This is from my blog from the NHC student ministry site:
Why do so many people make resolutions for the new year?
Why do we have a desire to constantly push ourselves?
What is it that you can be fanatical about this year?
Is there something God has promised you that you are afraid to reach for?
Have you ever been one of the ten?
The Green Bay Packers have some of the greatest fans in all of sports. Every year thousands of fans brave the Wisconsin winter to cheer their team on, despite the insane weather they have up there. It’s always a blast watching the crowd shots at Green Bay home games, because you see what it means to be truly fanatical. I remember one year I saw an older guy with no shirt wearing a painted on jersey while it was snowing. Guys like that are a blast to be around. It’s easy to imagine his is the truck in the parking lot covered with Packers stickers, and his home is the one painted team colors. I bet he even has one of those cool cheese head hats!
Do you think anyone that knows him even has to ask if he is a Packers fan?
In Numbers 13 we catch up with the Israelites as they are in the desert on the outskirts of Canaan, the land that God has promised them. Twelve leaders representing the different tribes have been on a mission to scope out the land and to see what kind of condition it is in. They come back with a report that it is, in fact, the ‘land of milk and honey’ that God has promised. They even brought back a cluster of grapes to show everyone the fertility of the land.
The scene is easy to imagine. Forty years of wandering in the desert is coming to an end for an entire race of people. The home that they have been promised is right over the hill, and it is everything that they could imagine. Unfortunately, there is something holding these people back from taking what God has promised them. There is a problem with the Promised Land. You see, among other tribes, the descendants of Anak live there- and they are huge. Ten of the scouts start spreading word through the entire nation of Israel about the giants that live in the promised land in these fortified cities. They describe themselves as ‘grasshoppers’ in the midst of these giants.
And just like that the Promised Land is gone.
Fortunately that is not how the story ends. You see there were a couple of scouts that had a faith in God that could not be quelled by a few obstacles. One of these men, Caleb, silences the crowd of doubters and proclaims, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
You see while the rest of the Israelites are wondering if they would be better off as slaves back in Egypt, Caleb and his friend Joshua are crying out for the people to remember that they have the Lord on their side. Caleb is a dedicated ‘fanatic’ of the Lord. There is no doubt about his faith, or his determination. Can you imagine anyone getting a less than enthusiastic response when asking Caleb about the promised land?
It’s easy to sit back and look at an obstacle as insurmountable. How often are we one of the ten that look for reasons that things can’t be done? My encouragement this week is to be Caleb. Be the person that is so trusting in the Lord that the odds are always in your favor. Will you charge into the new year with your jersey ‘painted on’ cheering loud enough to eliminate all doubt as to which side you are on?
one love, one heart.