Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us’
At the start of the year, I challenged myself to run a half marathon and despite not classing myself as a long distance runner, I diligently set out to train for it. (See ‘The best made plans’ https://rubyslippergirl.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/the-best-made-plans/) While most people were encouraging and enthusiastic about my challenge, I experienced some people who on the surface I felt doubted my ability to rise to the challenge. One asked a friend whether I’d be able to keep up on a training run, while another who was also running, drew comparisons and expressed his concern that I might ‘beat him’ and used his desire to finish before me as an impetus to keep training. However, rather than dissuading me, it spurred me on, and made me realise just how far I’ve come in finding my identity in God. Even a year ago, if someone had expressed doubt over some of my plans, or drawn unfavourable comparisons, it would have left me feeling defeated and deflated, and I probably would have doubted my ability to complete that race.
It reminded me of the ten spies who were sent out to go and explore the promised land ahead of the Israelites and their reaction to what they had seen, versus the reaction of Joshua and Caleb, who had also witnessed the same thing.
Numbers 13: 31-33 says ‘But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.”
While Numbers 14:5-9 (NIV) says, ‘Immediately, Moses and Aaron bowed with their faces touching the ground in front of the whole community of Israel assembled there. At the same time, two of those who had explored the land, Joshua (son of Nun) and Caleb (son of Jephunneh), tore their clothes in despair. They said to the whole community of Israel, “The land we explored is very good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us. This is a land flowing with milk and honey! Don’t rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. We will devour them like bread. They have no protection, and the Lord is with us. So don’t be afraid of them.”
Joshua and Caleb knew God’s character, what he was capable of, and they knew who they were in God. Those are definitely attributes to aspire to.
Never let anyone tell you that you can’t, if God has said you can. The Israelites might have missed out on the Promised Land because of the opinions expressed by a few. Which of God’s promises might you miss out on because of the opinions of a few?
In my post ‘T(wit t)who do you think you are’ (https://rubyslippergirl.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/twit-twho-do-you-think-you-are/) I shared a little about my journey to find my identity and worth in God.
My worth isn’t found in my clothes,
And it’s not in the fluctuations of the scales.
It’s not to be found in my appearance,
Or when the world tells me I’ve failed.
My worth isn’t found in others,
Their opinions, their actions or words.
It isn’t to be found in a hobby or a job,
Or in times I’ve suffered let-downs or hurts.
My worth isn’t found in status updates or tweets,
It isn’t in how many likes I receive.
It isn’t changeable whether I’m elated or deflated,
And it isn’t dependent on what I achieve.
It isn’t to be found in relationship drama,
It isn’t in unrequited love.
It surpasses all human knowledge and understanding,
And begins with the One from above.
I know I’m fearfully and wonderfully made,
I know I’m more precious than rubies and gold.
I know that though earthly riches may fade,
My worth is always to be found in the Lord.