Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I opened the letter and read words of rejection. Thanks, but no thanks.
Several months prior, I had sent my first book proposal off to a publisher. It was a step of faith walking to that mailbox and dropping it in the slot. However, I knew this was what God was calling me to do. Then the rejection letter came. “We like your writing, but nobody knows who you are. It will never sell. It does not meet our needs at this time.”
I wondered: Did I hear God wrong?
Why is it that most, including me, tend to think we’ve heard God wrong when we come face-to-face with opposition or difficulty? That certainly isn’t what we see in the Bible, is it?
Just think about the Israelites. God had great dreams for the children of Israel. He chose them from all the other nations to be His treasured possession. He freed them from slavery, led them out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea for them to cross on dry land, swallowed up their enemies with the returning tide, fed them with manna from the sky, provided water from a rock, guided them with a fire by night, and sheltered them with a cloud by day.
But when Moses sent in twelve spies to check out the produce of the Promised Land, and they came back with a report of what they considered an obstacle, they wanted to quit. (Read Numbers 13:27-33)
It was as if they were saying, “Ah, this isn’t what we were expecting. We should have never left Egypt in the first place. We should go back” (Numbers 14:3). A little opposition and they were ready to throw in the towel.
While ten of the twelve spies gave what the Bible calls an “evil report,” the other two spies, Caleb and Joshua gave a faith-filled report.
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it,” they said. “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land…and give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 13:30, 14:8-9).
Guess who the people believed. They believed the ten who didn’t trust God rather than the two who did. The people thought, we heard God wrong. But because the assembly listened to the “evil report” and gave up when they met opposition, they missed receiving what God had already promised to give.
That entire generation spent the rest of their lives wandering in the desert and finally died there. But when the next generation rose up and believed God, Joshua and Caleb led them into the Promised Land their parents were never allowed to see.
Have you ever given up on what you felt God called you to do because you’ve hit a rough spot? Have you ever quit trying because someone whose opinion you valued discouraged you? Girlfriend, you are no grasshopper.
Here are some modern-day versions similar to that “evil report” the Israelites listened to.
- It’s never been done.
- It’s never been done that way before.
- You don’t have the talent.
- You don’t have the money.
- You aren’t smart enough.
- That will never work.
- But we’ve always done it this way.
I kept that rejection letter, but I didn’t stop trying. Twenty-five published books later, I often look at it and smile.
What is God calling you to keep pressing forward with today? Click comment and let’s share.
Lord, I’ll admit, I tend to think I heard you wrong when my faith-steps don’t go as smoothly as I imagined they would. Help me to remember that hurdles are not stop signs as I run the race of life. Today, I will keep moving forward to do what You have called me to do.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one thing that you did not give up on when you hit a roadblock? What was the outcome?
Paul wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV). What is your harvest you are tending right now?
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was adapted from Sharon’s book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Join her as she shows you how to take hold of all that Jesus has done for you and placed in you. Don’t settle for a mediocre faith that’s less than what God intends. Grab hold of that mountain-moving faith you’ve always longed for! This book also includes a Bible study guide.
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Prayer request to keep going have faith and preservers
Sharon, Thank you, for this inspirational writing this morning!
Wow, this devotion really hits home.
The list you gave of the modern day “evil report” was pretty close to the list I believed as young woman, and lead me away from God for a very long time. It’s sad, isn’t it? We believe the people of little faith, rather than us knowing in our spirit, “all things are possible through Christ Jesus”.
Today, I may not be the lead shepherd, but I’m trying my best to live by a couple of verses: Gal.6:2 “Carry the burdens of others, and by doing this, you will fulfill the law of Christ” and Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s handiwork; created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We, as believers are really made for such a time as this. The world needs the light bearers; we need to bring Jesus into the smallest of kind gestures, to those that feel all of the darkness.
Bless you for not believing that rejection letter! You, have given me an up-lift this am!
God is calling me to not give up on my alcoholic and emotionally abusive husband.
Sharon, I cannot even begin to tell you how impactful this reading has been. I was chuckling reading it because I am currently reading Number 15, and boom I come across your writing. It was like God wanted me to read it and gain further insight and understanding. Thank you…..
I recently launched a ministry (God & Flow) and this morning I wanted to give up. Despite my preparation for this faith walk, internally, I’ve been feeling like an imposter. Unqualified, not skilled, and not well connected enough to make any of this matter. I’ve been measuring myself to the standard of the world and a few rejections later, I’ve felt like throwing in the towel. Until this morning. In my prayer time with God I was reminded of II Corinthians 12:10 NIV “…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” And coincidentally, this happened to be the same scripture I recently shared with my class. Throughout this process I’ve realized several things: 1) I must come to the end of myself for the beginning of God. 2) A hardship is not a valid opportunity to quit -Thank you for reminding me of this today Girlfriends in God. and 3) God will make the way, even if I don’t know, see, or understand the way. Ministry is not easy. And what I am doing, I thought it was for others, but it has actually ministered to me in return. I’m grateful for my Yes. Now, I just have to walk confidently in my Yes. Thank you again for today’s reading, it truly settled my emotions.
I am so thankful that you did not believe the lies of discouragement. Thank you for bypassing the door of discouragement and entering the door of perserverance. You are blessed with a God given gift for writing devotionals. I am currently reading your Power of a Woman’s Words book and find it to be a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. Thank you for your honesty in your writings.
Great sharing. I am glad you did not give up. I have had so many ideas and dreams and when i decide to go after them, I hear the modern day evil report and i stop in my tracks.
I will start and will not give up. Thank you
You go girl!
Hands down, my favorite line of the whole devotional: “Girlfriend, you are no grasshopper.” ;P
You’re not, girlfriend!
About a year ago, God spoke so strongly and quietly to my heart that He’s going to restore and reunite my family — both immediate and extended. We used to be so close, and then deaths happened, squabbles occurred, and we broke apart. It’s like I can see the restoration on the horizon. It’s hard to explain. I’m starting to see it come true over the past 1-2 years, and I believe that there is so much more restorative work God has planned.
I’m so happy for you!
Thank you for your powerful words. This is the message I needed to hear this morning as I press through with a business endeavor that God put upon my heart in December. With much prayer, I have traded in my career with corporate America to persue this business. So often I feel like an imposter: with the wrong skill set, unequipped, inadequate, without enough capital to invest. I’ve often thought of giving up – that working a regular job would be so much easier than entrepreneurship. But the easy way wasn’t the direction I’ve been given from God. I am pushing through with the belief that I heard God’s instruction to me correctly and that he will continue to guide me.
Hola, Sharon. Justo a tiempo .
After walking away from my marriage after learning my husband is living with another woman. GOD wants me to walk through the pain and walk away from the thought that no one will ever love me again. Sabrina
Thank you for your wise words. Many years ago I felt called to a teaching and writing ministry to women and was praying and quietly taking steps toward it when a dear friend whose opinion I valued greatly told me in front of other close friends that she really didn’t think teaching was my calling. I believe she saw my hurt and embarrassment because she apologized sincerely, said she wrong and begged for forgiveness. I forgave her, of course, but the damage was done. I dropped the pursuit and never picked it up again. Fast forward 10 plus years later and I’m still aching for purpose and wondering if God will honor me going back to that perceived calling and trying again or if I even should. Also, I’m not even sure where to begin anymore since I’ve been away so long.
The perfect reminder to keep keeping on both my husband and I need right now. We moved to a new city about 6 months ago. We knew this was coming and began praying for a new church home over 2 years ago. We have been to church after church looking, listening and praying for God’s leading. We know God wants us in a local Christ based church but discouragement has set in and the need for Christian friendships is weighing heavy on our hearts. It was good to be reminded that we need to just keep getting out there and trust God’s faithfulness to plant us in just the right group for us where we can be fed and serve. Thank you for not giving up – your writings have hit the mark for me so many times.
I’m a bit behind on my devotionals, but God also knew I would need this one for today. I feel like God put on my heart/is calling me to include Him in my small business. I mean yes, I include Him by praying for it and giving it to Him…but I feel He wants to proclaim His name….do live devotionals, talk about Him as I work doing a tutorial. I’ve tried every excuse even down to “Lord, I’m like Moses…I’m not eloquent in speech and I don’t have the words” and He 1. reminded me how He gave Moses the words and was with Him every step of the way and 2. He put Ester on my heart…I was created for such a time as this. I clearly saw myself while worshiping in church sitting in front of a camera and speaking to people…that is when He spoke Ester to my heart. I’ve prayed for so long for God to use me and know that He has called me and now I’m hiding…the calling is not as loud as it was a few months ago and I’ve allowed myself to believe and feel I made it all up in my head. I need prayer that if this is what God is wanting me to do that He will put a fire in me impress that calling like never before…then give me courage and boldness and show me what I need to do.
I am struggling today with a relationship I know God has brought together but the kids involved are very resistant to the idea of a blended family. It does not look good right now. One son is refusing to accept our relationship and it does not look good. I am not sure what God is doing but it is easy to believe the bad report developing right now. We love each other very much and we know God has brought us together so we were not expecting this resistance. I am trying to stay in prayer and believe God is working.