What’s your normal, your comfort zone? Even if it’s not ideal, it’d be pretty easy to stay there for the rest of your life, especially when advancing any would mean facing some tough or even scary challenges.
That’s exactly how the people of Israel felt after God rescued them from captivity in Egypt. They had been in bondage for hundreds of years, but had been given a promise by God of an abundant land that would belong to them. But they weren’t expecting a report from that land about the strong and powerful people who were living there. In Numbers 14:2-3, the people began to complain: “…If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness! … Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”
The Israelites didn’t realize that God never said they wouldn’t have obstacles on their journey. They were far outside of what was familiar to them—this is a group of people who grew up in slavery. But even though they had seen God bring them out of that slavery, the people of Israel were still having trouble trusting Him to bring them into the promised land.
For them, it was easier to go back into captivity than to trust in what God had told them. But we don’t have to stay in our norm; we have the opportunity to live in what God has said. Each of us has a significant purpose, a plan that God has set out for our life specifically.
One of the people of Israel, Caleb, recognized that, so despite what everyone else was saying, he decided to trust what God had said over what he was seeing in front of him. Because of this, Caleb entered the promised land, while the rest of Israel spent 45 years wandering around in the desert. He had seen the same thing the others had seen, but was willing to put his faith in God anyway.
Jesus was also a risk-taker; He didn’t follow the established rules of His culture and was highly adventurous. When we follow Him with everything we have, there will be many unknowns in our lives, but we will also experience the greatest joy we could ever imagine.
We have the choice to live like most of Israel by staying where we are comfortable. Or we can live like Caleb, following God with radical faith, fully trusting that God will deliver on His promises.