In the book of Numbers, God sends 12 spies into the promised land to have them investigate all the rivers, towns, and vegetation the Lord has already promised to give His people, the Hebrews. Upon returning only 2 out of the 12 have the courage to go in and receive the abundance the Lord has promised. The other 10 express fear. The 10 saw giants, armies, and other obstacles that caused great fear. They doubted the promises of God and they ignored His word. Unfortunately the Hebrew people listened to the 10 spies and failed to trust the courageous few. The result was devastating. For the next 40 years, the people of God were unable to go in and experience the promised abundance the Lord had in mind.
This occurs all too often in the life of individual Christians and local churches. Instead of following what God's word has laid out for our lives, we get scared. We see obstacles and hear nay saying opinions instead of following the Lord. In the end we get punished. It's not that God smites us with a lightening bolt, but instead the due course of our actions and decisions get played out in our lives. When we fail to follow God's Word and leading, choosing fear over love and trust, we will suffer the consequences.
My life has experienced these consequences and I've witnessed churches experience years of wandering because they failed to follow the Lord, choosing instead to listen to the scared voices of the faithless.
May we learn a lesson from our pasts and the Scriptures this morning.