The Bible is filled with stories of people who accomplished incredible feats through faith in the almighty power of God. However, there are also cautionary tales of those who thought small and limited themselves to what they believed was possible. One such story can be found in Numbers 13:33, which tells the story of the Israelite spies who were sent to explore the Promised Land.
In Numbers 13, Moses dispersed twelve spies, one from each tribe of Israel, to freshly explore the land of Canaan, which God had promised to give to the Israelites. The spies returned days later with a report. While these twelve all agreed that the land was indeed fertile and bountiful, they differed in their assessment of their ability to conquer it. Ten of the spies expressed intense fear and crippling doubt, saying that the people who lived there were too strong and that the twelve spies themselves were like grasshoppers in comparison. However, Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, urged the Israelites to trust in God and have faith that they could take possession of the land.
The story of the Israelite spies is a cautionary tale of the dangers of thinking small. The ten spies who doubted their ability to conquer the land limited themselves and their people by focusing on their own weakness rather than God’s strength. By contrast, Joshua and Caleb saw the same challenges and obstacles but believed that God would enable them to overcome them.
As Christians, we can fall into the same trap of thinking small. We may limit ourselves to what we believe is possible or within our own power rather than trusting in God’s power and promises. This can result in missed opportunities, unfulfilled potential, and a lack of growth in our faith.
One way we can avoid thinking small is by regularly reminding ourselves of God’s promises and faithfulness. We can meditate on passages of scripture that speak to God’s power and sovereignty, such as Psalm 147:5, which says, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” We can also look to examples in the Bible of people who demonstrated great faith and accomplished great things, such as David, Esther, and the apostle Paul.
Another way we can avoid thinking small is by seeking out and embracing challenges that stretch us beyond our comfort zone. This might mean volunteering for a new role in our church or community, pursuing a new hobby or skill, or stepping out in faith to share the gospel with others.
In conclusion, the story of the Israelite spies in Numbers 13:33 serves as a warning against thinking small and limiting ourselves to what we believe is possible. As Christians, we must have faith in God’s promises and power, and be willing to step out in faith and embrace challenges that stretch us and help us grow. By doing so, we can experience the fullness of life God intended for us.