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Today’s Truth

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.

“We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large…We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are…. The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size…. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them,” (Numbers 13:27-28, 31,32-33).

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.

Caleb and Joshua understood that God had already given them the land. All they had to do was move forward in faith and take it. 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.
  • You aren’t trained in that area.
  • So-and-so tried that and failed.
  • That will never work.
  • You don’t know the right people.
  • You don’t have the right credentials.
  • You don’t have the right training.
  • That’s too risky.
  • But we’ve always done it this way.

I kept that rejection letter, but I didn’t stop trying. Twenty-four published books later, I often look at it and smile.

What is God calling you to keep pressing forward with today?

Let’s Pray

Lord, I’ll admit, I tend to think I heard you wrong when my faith-steps don’t go as smoothly as 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 form Sharon’s book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold.  Join me 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 long for! This book also includes a Bible study guide.

© 2020 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

5 Responses to “Hurdles Are Not Stop Signs”

  1. Judy says:

    Thank you for sharing. You always share inspirational passages that I can relate to. The things people tell us on your list are things that I have heard all my life but some how I tend to ignore them. It makes me push harder. I ask for God’s guidance to lead me to where he wants me not where other people want me. Have a blessed and safe day.

  2. Alana says:

    Dear Sharon,
    I really needed to read this now and at this time!! My husband and I are praying about a big decision right now.(a major move, from California to Texas).You made some excellent points!! Thank you for your faithfulness to God. You are a wise lady and i appreciate all that you share with us!God bless you Sharon!!❤☺

  3. Roberta says:

    I felt God calling me to be a registered nurse. It seemed impossible. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, did not have a job that could work around my school schedule, and I was self-supporting. When I stepped on the bus the first day of college with no job, I told God I was stepping out in faith to what He called me to do. He provided a job with tuition reimbursement and a supervisor who worked around my school schedule. Well, it took me four years to finish. I graduated with high honors from college. I eventually worked in hospice and brought people to the Lord before they died and my faith brought much comfort as I prayed and shared my faith. God is able, if we step out in faith.

  4. Sandra says:

    I started college as an 18 year old filled with a dream to become a Registered Nurse. I failed drastically at the end of that school year due to various personal reasons. I was the eldest of four daughters to go to college…the burden of failure was enormous. I got married 3 years later, had three children….still with that ever burning dream. When my youngest son was 6 months old, my husband encouraged me to go back to school. Four years later I became a Registered Nurse. It was truly a group family effort along with God’s help, every step of that journey. Through the 30 years of my career, great was the hand of God in reaching, healing and transforming people. We serve a Great and Awesome God! If God has placed a desire in your heart, do not give up…He promises to give you what you need to accomplish it!

  5. Chetachi says:

    Thanks for sharing ma i am encouraged.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8