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Live a life God can bless

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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A lemon orchard in upper Galilee Israel (Credit: David Shankbone)

Janet taught our sons to “live a life God can bless.”  That lesson was reinforced for me today as I read the fascinating Numbers 14 account of the Jews at the edge of the Promised Land.

The picture in this blog post shows the beauty of Israel’s Promised Land.  When the people came to its edge, Moses sent 12 of them as spies into the land.  They came back with glowing reports about its beauty and provision, but 10 were frightened of the giants they encountered.  The people began wailing and complaining, threatening to stone their leaders and return to Egypt.

Joshua and Caleb stood before the people and said, “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them” (vs. 8-9).

God’s glory then appeared, protecting Moses and his faithful servants and announcing that the unfaithful in the nation would die in the wilderness.  Upon hearing this judgment, the people then rallied and charged into Canaan without the ark or divine protection.  They were immediately routed by its inhabitants.

Oswald Chambers notes in his May 16 reading that God “will tax the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will obey Him.”  Obedience does not earn God’s favor—it positions us to receive all that his grace intends to give.

What giants are you facing today?  Focus not on their size but on your Father’s strength.  Submit to him as your King and obey his word and will for this day.  Refuse the sin of presumption—I have learned the hard way that if we get ahead of God, he may not follow.

Live a life he can bless.  And know that if the Lord is pleased with you, he will lead you into the land his perfect plan intends for you.  As my pastor used to say, the will of God never leads where the grace of God cannot sustain.