By: Joshua Horak
“Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it….” Numbers 14:24
I love being a dad! The best part about being a dad is that I get to aim all my love at my children in creative ways that is meaningful to both them and me. I do this by playing “tickle monster,” chase (they run so I can catch them), hide and scream (I hide so they can find me, I scare them, they scream), and countless amounts of hugs, kisses and cuddle moments. Amy and I take them rock climbing, hiking, swimming, skiing, and sledding. We play dolls, have tea parties, sword fights, read books, etc. The Horak house is always full of love and adventure. Needless to say, my three daughters have their daddy’s love and favor that is endless and relentless every day. Yet, even with all the love and favor I extend to them, I have noticed something that blocks them from being able to receive my love and favor. There have been times when the gift was so good that it was surrounding them, and yet they were completely blind and unable to recognize and receive what I was giving them in that moment. The blockage is this—whining and complaining. There have been moments (many moments) when as a father I am bringing them into new experiences, taking them to amazing new places, showing them new things, but because of their whining or complaining, they are completely unable to receive what I have for them at that moment. On the other hand, when my daughters lose sight of the negative, let go of their whining or complaining, and embrace the experience with a joyful/grateful heart, the experience then becomes a gift of goodness and pleasure in their lives. My daughters’ entire lives will shrink or expand in proportion to their ability to receive my love and favor.
The grace of God is the love and favor of God. Just like my daughters, your life will shrink or expand in proportion to your willingness to receive the Father’s love and recognize His favor. Scripture tells us, “Do not set aside the grace of God (Galatians 2:21)”. My daughters never intentionally rebel towards my love and favor. Even as a three and five year old, they know that is a bad decision because they will miss out. However, they do set it aside unintentionally. They set it aside through negativity, whining and complaining. They focus on what is not rather than what is. They obsess over their fears rather than their giant daddy that is with them. They get overwhelmed with the inconveniences of the moment, thus forfeiting the gift I am giving them. In many ways, this is how we treat our heavenly Father. His love and favor is aimed at us! He is on a mission to expand our lives and our experience of Him. Yet, like my daughters, we get caught in negativity and fear and the inconveniences overwhelm us. When this happens, we miss the opportunity the Father is bestowing on us and we unintentionally “set aside the grace of God”.
Look at the children of Israel. The Father delivered them from being slaves to becoming His own children, He gave them his manifest presence 24/7 (in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night), He invited them all to be worshippers and priests, He gave them food, water, and parties in the middle of a dessert. His grace was all over them! In Numbers 13, the Father was ready to give the greatest gift yet, the Promise Land. God told Moses to send 12 of the very best leaders to scout the land and bring back a report. These men did and brought back a report that the land was far beyond anything they had seen. Joshua and Caleb were two of the spies that saw the Promise Land through the lens of God’s grace and favor and extended the invitation to the Israelites to cross over the Jordan and claim the inheritance their Father had promised. However, ten of the spies amplified the obstacles and the giants and, sadly, the people latched on to this report. They began to whine, complain and focus on the negative. In the end, their fear of the obstacles cost them their inheritance. God replied to their whining, complaining, and negativity with this, “how long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have done among them?” This passage grips me! Why? Because I can act like an adult version of my daughters and no different than the 10 spies. I can easily get wrapped up in the obstacles, start whining, complaining and forfeit the moment of grace the Father has for me. Why do I bring this up? I believe as the Body, we are one “moment” away from stepping into the greatest promise yet! Destiny awaits us–we are literally one crossing away. The Father’s Grace is all over us. Yet, only those born of a different spirit will step into it. It is time to live as new creations in Christ. That is what it means to be born of a different spirit. It is time to be a Joshua and Caleb that refuses to waiver from God’s best. May we as the Body have a resounding “yes” to the Father and cooperate with His Grace—even when the obstacles may seem large and the inconveniences are real. May we lock eyes with Him and receive the grace and love he is extending to us rather than be gripped by fear and unbelief. In so doing, we will be a people who cross the Jordan and live in the Promise Land realities He has for us in the here and now.
This is so amazing and hit me hard today. Thank you for this devotional. I have a 3 year old son and can totally relate. This is definitely exactly what I needed to hear. I am praying to walk as a new creature, born of a different Spirit, receiving whole heartedly what God has graciously given, here and now.