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Joshua 14: 7      NLT

I returned and gave from my heart a good report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people and discouraged them.

When Moses sent out the twelve men to spy out the land God was to give them, two came back with a positive report and ten delivered a negative report. You know, those stats are about right. There are way more negative Nellies than Positive Pams. What made these two, Joshua and Caleb, so different?

The answer is easy, following in their footsteps, perhaps not so much. Today’s verse is the retelling straight from the mouth of Caleb. All twelve men saw the same things, but Caleb tells us the difference. He and Joshua gave their report from their hearts. They saw the promise of God and it filled their hearts with good news. It was from their hearts that they poured out the good news about the land flowing with milk and honey. The other ten, they gave a report from their minds.

Even though all twelve saw the same abundance that Caleb saw, ten of them didn’t take it to heart. Instead, they saw with their minds and so they, imagined all the problems that could arise. When the ten reported back to Moses, they reported from their minds rather than their hearts and thus, spread a report that discouraged the people. Joshua and Caleb knew how to see with their hearts and report from their hearts which allowed them to not only see the blessing in the land, but also allowed them to see the Israelites in possession of the land. They said the land was just as God promised and encouraged the nation to go up and possess it.

There are several lessons here. First, don’t listen to the negative report. The Israelites could have possessed the land in that moment had they listened to Joshua and Caleb. Instead, they listened to the negative news. Man, turn off the negative news!!!!! It will kill you and it is daily robbing you of your promised land.

The bigger lesson though, is in putting yourself in the shoes of any one of the twelve. Who do you want to be? Are you a Nellie or a Pam? Which do you prefer to be? You do get to choose, you know? If you want to be a positive person, a person who can see and possess the promise of God, then you have to learn to see with your heart. I have an expression which I think is appropriate here. “The facts don’t count.” They really don’t. Look at the vision, the promise and ignore the obstacles. Jesus has taught us how to overcome obstacles. That’s really the easy part. The hard part is looking beyond the obstacles and seeing the land flowing with milk and honey. It is right here in front of us, you know? If you lift your eyes out of the everyday hum drum and look to the horizon with your heart, you will see the Promised Land. I promise.

What is your Promised Land? Is it healing in your body? A new car? How about paying off your mortgage? Maybe you want your child to get into a particular school or program. God has blessing upon blessing for you. Don’t look with your mind. Don’t let the facts get between you and the promise. Look with your heart at the promise of God and when you lift your eyes, you will see the land of promise. Whatever you believe in your heart, is what you will have.

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