podcast

#517 – Faith over Fear (Numbers 14:31–33)

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“But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in. And they shall know the land that you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness 40 years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness. Until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness.”
(Numbers 14:31–33)

What sobering verses to read. Because of God’s people sinning against him, not trusting in him, to lead them into the Promised Land to provide for them in the Promised Land. They all miss out. Everybody, except for Caleb and Joshua. Because of their faith.

Fear keeps us from experiencing all that God wants us to experience. Let us pray that God will deliver us from fear that we may walk in obedience to Him.

But because of everyone else’s fear, they missed out on the goodness of God. On life in the Promised Land, they all missed out because they were afraid, because they chose fear over faith.

Oh, I think about even the church. I pastor in metro Washington, D.C. McLean Bible Church, and whenever we do surveys, just to see where people are spiritually, one of the biggest challenges people always share is that they struggle with fear, in this way or that way.

I see it in my own life. I just want us to see God, help us to see in Numbers 14 that fear keeps us from life, according to God’s design. Fear keeps us from experiencing all that God wants us to experience.

And not just us in our lives, but it’s interesting, here, the people of God have been saying, “This will not be good for our kids. Our kids are going to lose their lives if we go into the Promised Land.”

And God says, “You totally missed it. Not only could you have trusted me with your life, you could have trusted me with your kids’ lives. And because you thought you were doing what was best for your kids, they’re going to suffer for your faithlessness. Like the greatest gift you could have given your kids was trust in Me.”

I think about that in my life as a parent. That’s what I want to pass on to my kids. I think about friends of mine, who have moved their families to other parts of the world for the spread of the Gospel. And made moves in their lives, their families, with their kids, that the world would see as preposterous. Like taking your family to the Middle East to share the Gospel. That doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do in the eyes of the world.

And some could say, “Oh, don’t do that, because it wouldn’t be good for the kids.” No, obedience to God’s command is what is best for our kids. It’s what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for our kids, our families, the next generation, it’s what’s best for the church.

God help us, God help us to choose faith over fear. God, we don’t want to miss out on all that You desire for us. In our lives, in our families, in our churches, we want to experience all Your good plans, all Your good purposes for us. All Your good promises to us. We want to walk in them. We want to know them, we want to experience the abundance of life in obedience to you.

God, deliver us from fear, we pray. God, keep us from taking things into our own hands. What we think is best for our lives, what we think is best for our families, our children, what we think is best for Your church.

God, help us to trust You, what You have said is best. To walk with You, to walk in obedience to You, and to experience life. To experience abundance, fullness beyond what we can ever experience, doing things our own way.

God, we don’t want to suffer for our faithlessness. We don’t want our kids or others around us to suffer for our faithlessness. Give us faith over fear, we pray.

Today, and every day, we pray. Give us faith over fear. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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