Have you ever felt like you were going in circles? That no matter how hard you try you seem to be on some type of giant merry go round? Or the proverbial hamster on the hamster wheel? I have at times. It seems like with certain issues in my life, I keep on having the end result no matter what I do. For me it is relationships. I am beginning to wonder if it isn't just God's plan for me to stay single for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong. That is not a statement filled with negative emotions. I am content to be single. I am happy with my life and what I am doing. But I always thought that it was not good for man to be alone, so God would provide a helpmate, but maybe this is the exception to the rule. Your cycle might be different than mine. It might be drugs, dead end jobs, fear of commitment, depression, you name it. All of us struggle with them from time to time.
There was another set of people that got stuck in a rut. They had started out being set free from oppression and slavery just like us, but somehow between being set free and arriving at the land of promise, they got stuck, and spent 40 years circling a mountain. Yes the people of Israel when Moses set them free from Egypt. They got just to the point where they were going to enter into the promise given to them by God, and they turned away. Let's look at that passage and see if we can gain some clues as to why they turned away.
Numbers 13:31-33 (New King James Version)
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants[a] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
There are 2 very valuable truths in this passage. Both unless taken to the cross of Christ and crucified there, can be very destructive forces in our life.
- Fear. You see here that they were afraid of the people who lived in the promised land. They felt that they were stronger than them. Fear is a very destructive force in our lives. It prevents us from doing many things that God would have us do. Fear is the opposite of love. When fear drives or motivates you, in can cause you to spin in circles. Never moving forward. Whether it is the fear of being alone, the fear of not knowing the future, fear of failure (my biggie) or the fear of not being in control, fear can destroy your life and the lives of those around you. The spies who came back with the bad report were afraid. Fear even caused them to think irrationally. Think about it. They said that the land devoured it's inhabitants. Huh? How can the inhabitants be too strong, have walled cities, and have crops flowing with milk and honey if it is such a bad place that it devours people? That is totally irrational!
- Self Image. Notice in the last verse that it says "we were like grasshoppers in our own sight". It is what I call the "I cant" syndrome. They looked so poorly upon themselves and their value, that they projected failure to others. If you believe you can't, you won't. If you think you are a piece of dirt, then you will project that to others and they will accept you are a piece of dirt. Now before you think I am telling you to start using positive thinking or confession, think again. Our worth, does not come from within ourselves. It comes from Jesus who thought enough of us that He was willing to die for us. Our strength and power comes from dying to self (that includes dying to the negative thoughts we have about ourselves) and letting Him live in us. If you do not believe you can overcome being lonely, or a control freak, or your fear of the "what ifs" in life, then you won't. You will just lie down and accept it. That is not God's best for you.
So what is the destructive cycle in your life? Are you willing to allow God to replace your fear with faith? Are you willing to let His love so envelope your life that it casts out that fear? Who are you looking at when facing your problem? Yourself? Or are you dying to that self, and letting Christ live in you and taking on His image and thoughts of you?
Jeremiah 29:11 (New King James Version)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Now that is something to think about!
This article was first published on my website called Taber's Truths