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Weekly Lesson

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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark

Faith Baptist Church

92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799

None, independent
and self-governing

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Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!

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Decisions Determine Destiny

The story in Numbers 13 tells us about the spies searching out the land of Canaan. Moses sent twelve spies and told them to bring back a report of the land and it’s inhabitants. They saw the goodness of God upon the land and gathered fruit of the land and brought back to show Moses and the rest of the people. The land was so blessed by God it took two men to carry a cluster of grapes between a pole. They came out and told the multitude that surely this land was blessed and flowed with milk and honey! As the people were listening to the report no doubt they were overjoyed and thrilled at what they were hearing. They began thinking that their journey was over and they were ready to leave this wilderness, until they said “nevertheless”. That changed the whole atmosphere of the meeting. Nevertheless what? The people were strong and the cities were fortified and the sons of Anak lived there. As the people began to doubt about going over to this land Caleb said “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it”. Caleb was ready and we will see in a moment Joshua was ready but the multitudes were afraid to go over. After Caleb spoke the other ten spies spoke up and said “We be not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. The land through which we have gone to search it is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it were men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak and we were in our own eyes as grasshoppers”. That night the people of Israel wept and murmured at Moses and God saying “Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness”! They were going to elect some captains and go back to Egypt and Joshua and Caleb tried to calm the people by telling them that God was able to go up and take them with Him into the land. But the decision was made; the people had already looked at the problems and obstacles and decided to return to Egypt and because of their decision they died in the wilderness. There decision affected their destiny. They decided they were going to save their lives and in fact lost them. They decided they were not able to go up against the inhabitants of the land and overcome their fortified cities. Their decision determined their destiny. Every decision we make whether it be a large one or a small insignificant one affects us the next day, the next week and many times follows us throughout our lives. Because of that we need to make wise decisions today. I want to look at three things which sometimes influence us to make the wrong decisions in our lives.

The first thing we will see was their circumstances caused their wrong decisions. After hearing the report from the ten spies they made the wrong decision. The strength of the land gave God’s people an inferiority complex. They felt weak and insignificant. Listen child of God, we don’t have to take a backseat to anyone! We are not second class citizens no matter how the world wants to picture us. We are to never make a decision when we are disappointed or discouraged. What brought them to this point? They looked at their circumstances instead of the possibilities. They saw the giants, the walled cities and the armies throughout the land. They had already forgotten what God had already done for them just getting them to this point in time. They were too busy looking at tomorrow’s problems today when all they had to do was follow God day by day. But they were too busy looking at the anticipated problems which brought to them defeat. The river Jordan didn’t keep them out of the Promised Land but it was what was in their hearts which kept them out.

Second, the negative influence caused them to make the wrong decision. Ten men kept millions from experiencing the blessings of God. Ten men were more of an obstacle than ten fortified cities or the giants which were there. The enemies of God’s people were not the obstacles but the ten men who said “We can’t do it”. Ten men had enough influence to defeat the whole nation of Israel. They influenced all the others around them. Do you remember Peter over in John 21? He said I am going back to fishing for a living and when he said that immediately six others joined him. We must be careful of our decisions because they could affect others adversely. Years later Achan would decide to take of some items from the people of Jericho after their great victory and it affected his whole family as they were all stoned, burned and buried. It doesn’t take a multitude of people to limit God’s blessings, one is enough. A church member with a critical spirit or one with an unforgiving spirit can hinder the growth and prosperity of the entire church. Ten men caused millions to die in the wilderness away from the blessings of God. Maybe all it would have taken for Israel to enter the land was one man to stand and say I believe Joshua and Caleb; but none did. Anyone could have spoken but none did. Will you be the one who will speak up and let God use you to bring blessings upon the whole land?

The last thing we will see is their unwillingness to pay the price caused their wrong decision. In every great undertaking a price must be paid; the greater the cause the greater the cost. Those who have accomplished much have sacrificed much. Churches which have grown are those which have groaned and travailed over lost souls dying and going to Hell. Where there is no weeping there is no reaping! The price which Israel had to pay at Kadesh Barnea was a willingness to trust God for victory. We also must pay the price for our security. Our security is found by being in the perfect center of God’s will for our lives. Israel would have been better off fighting the giants in the land of Canaan than wandering in the wilderness. All those twenty years old and up perished in the wilderness without ever experiencing the blessings of Canaan. We must also pay the price for our maturity. Just as it was time for Israel to grow up it is time for us to grow up. Up until this time it was God who fought their battles and He would continue to fight them but it was time for Israel to step out on some faith. Now their blessings would come down to them trusting God and they refused to do that. For every blessing a price must be paid. Are we willing to trust God for the blessings He wants to give us? Then we must grow up!

The children of Israel looked at the circumstances instead of the possible future blessings. They were influenced by ten men who only saw the negativity instead of the victory God had for them. And they were not willing to pay the price by going over Jordan by faith. They made the decision to remain in the wilderness and they died there. Forty years they wandered getting nowhere, accomplishing nothing, living on God’s second and third best when they could have been enjoying the pleasures of Canaan. They entered no new land, experienced no milk and honey and heard no shouts of victory; they just wandered. They tried to save their lived but they in fact lost them. Remember, your decisions do determine your destiny.   

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