My husband was speaking with a partner earlier today and said something that struck my spirit. He said, “We are surveying the land.” I truly believe that God’s people are in a season where an invitation has been put forward for us to spy out and report on the land.
As I took a look at the story of the twelve spies who were sent into Canaan I noticed what happens among the leadership just before the account. Immediately after God provides quail for His people in the wilderness, in Numbers 12, a point of dissension concerning Moses arises in Aaron and Miriam. Moses had made a decision to marry. This decision roused a place of insecurity in Aaron and Miriam and they spoke against their brother.
The dividing of leadership and the personal reaction of Aaron and Miriam feels all too familiar given the current cultural and church climate. In the midst of a divine miracle in the leadership of this country (which the entire world has just witnessed), many leaders in the church are grumbling against one another and even more seem to be competing. Like Aaron and Miriam who were unable to support their brother’s decision to marry an Ethiopian woman, many leaders are experiencing doubt and fear around the course things are taking based on personal, political, and papal decisions.
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16: 32
I will skip how the Lord resolves the dissension for the purpose of this post, but if you are curious, read Numbers 12. What is significant for the purpose of this post is what follows the altercation. In Numbers 13 the Lord insights Moses to send spies into the land. From each of the twelve tribes a leader was selected. I believe now is a time when many are being tapped on the shoulder by God. He is using families, ministry leaders, bosses, and countless people and circumstances to invite chosen leaders to join a group of spies who will be sent into the promised land of the Kingdom to send back report.
So…what are these spies to do? Now is the time to pause, wait, and ask God to reveal His Kingdom to you. The beautiful part about discovering the Kingdom is that it is truly closer than we know. All we have to do is seek it (Matthew 6:33). Once we begin to see the promised land of the Kingdom right where we are, it is then up to us to send back report to those around us.
The spies that went out at Moses’ command gave differing reports. Some said, “‘We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there…We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out” (Numbers 13:27-28 & 31-32).
The results of the bad report are catastrophic and the people refused to enter the promised land. As the people believed and grieved the bad report, Joshua and Caleb give another report. “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-9).
Though Joshua and Caleb gave a good report, through the lens of God’s promises and power rather than the lens of the fear of man, their people wanted to kill them.
Right now God is asking for our reports. What do we see around us? Do we see milk and honey, promise, and inheritance? Or, do we see walls, giants, and defeat? In our report lies the gospel of the Kingdom that resides in our hearts.
The land that the spies reported on refers to the promised land of Canaan. For us, I believe the land refers to the physical earth, spiritual territory, and the land of the Church Bride, our physical bodies. Given God’s invitation to send back report, it is time to ask ourselves what we believe about the coming Kingdom.
Rather than speak against God’s elect when we do not understand what’s taking place like Aaron and Miriam… Rather than let the natural inform our beliefs and intimidate us out of our inheritance like the spies who gave the bad report…
Let us be a believing people with eyes to see and ears to hear. Let us be a people of promise. Let us be a people who are in such consuming pursuit of the Kingdom that everything we are and have is invested in preparing the way for our King. Let us be a people who rejoice in the truth that it is finished.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slaves, both small and great.” Revelation 19: 17-18