Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
30 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.” 31 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.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” 14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!
For exercise during my time after work I enjoy playing basketball at a local gym here in town. Usually during the time we have a wide array of talent on the court which ultimately leads to some competitive games. As I continued to play I would notice that almost always without fail you would see a team out on the court crumble because of lack of positive reinforcement from the best player playing on that team. It was like clockwork. Someone would miss a shot or bloy a layup and instead of encouragement to keep playing, they would put down that other player, or display their frustrations by their mannerisms, poisoning the rest of the morale of the team. Instead of speaking life, they put down, causing a ripple effect on the rest of the team.
We see this kind of ripple effect take place in Numbers 13 when the people of Israel are in the wilderness. In the beginning of the chapter the Lord calls the prophet Moses to send out 12 spies to check out the promised land. When the spies come back after 40 days they speak of how fertile the land is for the people. However 10 of the 12 spies mention how the people who inhabit the land were too vast and too much for them to conquer. Joshua and Caleb however speak to the reality that the land can be conquered because the Lord was on their side. Though that was mentioned, it says in vs. 32 that the 10 spies brought a bad report of the land to the people, and the people responded by grumbling and complaining to the Lord.
I am learning that the value of speaking life is so important. Why? Because as we see in Numbers, pessimism and negativity can spread like wildfire and affect those who are around us if we let it. The bible in Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. As followers of Christ we have the call and the opportunity to choose to speak life to our family, friends, and those around us in need of hope. Joshua and Caleb in their report to the people were not fabricating the truth. They were sharing in confidence how they would be able to overcome the land because the Lord was on their side. However, the negative report spread through the people.
What does it look like to speak life? It looks like choosing to walk in the Spirit and speak the truth in love to others as the Lord leads. It looks like choosing to walk in optimism rather than dwell in pessimism. It looks like choosing to be an encouragement to others rather than a discourager. It looks like choosing to follow what the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 4:6 where he encourages the believer to let their speech always be gracious and seasoned with salt.
We can choose to be a people who actively engage in speaking life because of the One whom we follow and serve. Even in the valleys of life we do not have to walk and spew out pessimism because at the end of the day Jesus is still alive and on His throne! So let’s choose to engage in the ministry of speaking life to others. Encourage your child this week. Share that truth the Lord has put in your heart to that neighbor. Love on and encourage that coworker who is down. Let’s choose to not be like those 10 spies in the wilderness, but rather let’s choose to speak life and spread joy to those we are around today because Jesus is still alive!
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for me! I am thankful that You are still alive and on Your throne! Lord, help for me to be an encouragement to those around me rather than a discouragement. Help me to choose to speak life into others rather than spread discouragement knowing that glorifies You! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Colossians 4:6: 6
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.