God offered his best to Israel, a land of promise flowing with milk and honey. Maybe not a big deal to us today when you can pick up a gallon of skim at Walgreen's, but in a dry and tough land, a glass of milk and something sweet was about like Thanksgiving dinner every day. Israel was to have the best, the land designed for them, freely offered, abundant, and ready to take.
But, what kept them from the best God offered? They lost heart, they became afraid and gave up. Their spies came back and said, “Yes, it is just as God promised, look at the fruit we brought back. But, there are some big people there.” The fear spread, they lost heart, and they gave up. The courage to take the next step evaporated.
God gave the best he had to someone else, a generation later. What did that next generation need to have God’s best, to fulfill their calling and have success? Their leader, Joshua, was told what they needed. More than once. Catch what God tells him three times:
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-7, 9).
Getting the best God has for you, fulfilling your calling and dreams, depends on courage, on being strong. When our children lose heart and give up, they linger and languish in the deserts of life, like Israel. They don’t get the best God offers. What a terrible place to be, what a shame to sit and watch others live out the adventure of life that God intended for them. All, because of lost heart, the lack of courage to go for it.