“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”.
Unbelief is as much an enemy to the Christian as it is to the unconverted. It will keep back the blessing now as much as it did in the days of Christ. We read that in one place Christ could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. If Christ could not do this, how can we expect to accomplish anything if the people of God are unbelieving? I contend that God’s children are alone able to hinder God’s work. Infidels, atheists, and skeptics cannot do it. Where there is union, strong faith, and expectation among Christians, a mighty work is always done.
Caleb and Joshua were men of faith. They were worth more to Israel than all the camp of unbelievers and the other ten spies put together. We read that Moses sent out twelve men to spy out the land. All the twelve admitted that the land was a good land, but ten said, “We are not able to take it. We saw giants there—the sons of Anak.” You can see these crowds are gathered around them listening to their reports. Probably there were very few who gathered to hear Caleb and Joshua. It really seems sometimes that people are much more ready to believe a lie than to believe the truth. So these unbelieving men gather around the ten spies. One of them is describing the giants in the land, and he says: “Why I had to look right up in order to see their faces; they made the earth tremble at their tread. The mountains and valleys are full of them. Then we saw great walled cities. We are not able to take the land.”
But Caleb and Joshua had quite a different story to tell. Those mighty giants seemed to be as grasshoppers in their sight. These men of faith remembered how God had delivered them out of the hand of Pharaoh and brought them through the Red Sea; how He had given them bread from heaven to eat, and water to drink from the rock in the wilderness. If He marched with them, surely they could go right up and take possession of the land. So they said: “Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to take it.”
What do we see in the Church of God today? About ten out of every twelve professed Christians are looking at the giants, at the walls, and at the difficulties in the way. They say: “We are not able to accomplish this work. We might do it if there were not so much drunkenness, and so many atheists and opposers.” Let us not give heed to these unbelieving professors. If we have faith in God, we are well able to go up and possess the land for Christ. God always delights to honour faith.
In these Bible histories, we find that faith is always followed by COURAGE. Caleb and Joshua were full of courage because they were men of faith. Those who have been greatly used by God in all ages have been men of courage. If we are full of faith, we shall not be full of fear, distrusting God all the while. That is the trouble with the Church of Christ today—there are so many who are fearful because they do not believe that God is going to use them. What we need is to have the courage that will compel us to move forward. Amen