Joshua saw the milk and honey. He saw the giants and the armies and the bad stuff. He may have even agreed that they ‘looked’ like grasshoppers in comparison.
But, Joshua and Caleb knew that, with God, they were mighty, mighty grasshoppers. God would be with them, so no earthly giant was too big.
Joshua focused on the God he believed would lead them to victory. ‘Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. We will devour them.’
But the other spies, convinced the masses not to move. They didn’t want to take the chance, to hang onto the God who got them there from their captivity in Egypt. So, God banned these wanderers – all of them – from entering the Promised Land for 40 years – 1 year for every day they walked amongst the ‘giants’ feeling like puny grasshoppers.
I want to be deeper in my faith, to be where God wants me to be. But in my human impatience, I want to be there right now, immediately. And more than that, I want to be equal in size to the giant before I walk up against him.
And wasn’t that the nay-sayers problem? They wanted to be equal to the task in and of themselves. Their faith in the real Giant who parted the sea and fed them from heaven, wasn’t enough. They wanted to be the conqueror, they wanted to be do it on their own, they didn’t want to take any chance that they would lose. And, as grasshoppers, with their spindly legs and fragile bodies, they knew they could not win.
So, why bother?
I don’t want this faith life to be a journey. I want it to be a destination that I get to quickly, merely because I have decided it’s the right thing. I want to be a mighty grasshopper without any work, without exercising any faith muscle. For me. Right now.
And sometimes I do have that mighty grasshopper faith. I do have the faith to step out and do, even when I am a bit scared. In faith, I lunge forward hoping and believing that God’s got my back. And He has been consistently, persistently faithful to His promises. Every time.
But more often, my faith, my character, seems to be built in a more step by step fashion, by sitting at His feet each day, resting and learning and absorbing, and living it out.
Just as Joshua did…
…in faithful service to the authority in my life.
…absorbed in a wild faith in God.
…drenched in prayer.
…with patience, knowing that learning will come, faith will deepen, with time invested.
Just like Joshua, I need to keep walking in faith, strengthening my grasshopper mentality. The Joshua that led them into the Promised Land was a different one than the Joshua who saw a God who would surely strengthen His grasshoppers. He was even stronger, wiser and deeper because he kept on believing in the power of God, and in God’s faithfulness to His people.
In the waiting, came his leadership development, his growth into maturity and readiness.
I can do no less, can expect no less.