Culling Leaders

“The Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.’  So Moses sent them,.. all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel… and said to them, ‘Go up into the Negeb and the hill country,  and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many,  and whether the land is good or bad, and whether the cities are camps or strongholds, and whether the land is rich or poor… Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.’ Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

“So they went up and spied out the land…  [At] the Valley of Eshcol [they] cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and carried it on a pole between two of them; they also brought some pomegranates and figs…

“At the end of forty days… they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation.., and showed them the fruit of the land. They told him, ‘We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large…’

“But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.’  Then 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 are.’

“Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.” Numbers 13:1-3,17b-21a,23,25a,26b-28,30-31; 14:38

Each tribal representative had the same assignment and same opportunity. Each was identified as a chief and a head. But true leadership always rises to the top. It requires keen boldness, standing up for right against the majority, and a confident expectation in the promises of God. The initial risk taking was swallowed up in fear for most, but God’s best saw and wanted to seize beyond the obstacles.

Weak faith breeds discouragement and grumbling, while the faith-filled are undeterred and motivating. With full confidence in the Lord, they harness and redirect passionate emotion to inspire that confidence in others. They know by experience the character of God; it shapes and drives their mindset, decisions, communication, and prayers. (Numbers 14:1-4,6-9,17-19)

Where do we stand? Where has the Lord called us to service, and how have we responded? While He equips everyone He does call, a distinguishing spirit and an element of faith are necessary to hear and step up in the first place. Are we hindered by obstacles or do we see them as opportunities? Do we shrink from risk for fear of failure, or advance trusting the unseen God who is greater than any enemy? How well do we lead for Christ’s cause, and whom are we inspiring? (Numbers 14:24; Philippians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 4:4)

Lord, grant holy boldness and a willing heart to lead for You.

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