On Sunday, July 6, Rev. Louis R. Blakey, Jr., pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached from Numbers 13:3 and Numbers 3:17-25. Most of us are familiar with the story about spies going out and bringing back a report about the land.
God commanded that men from each tribe to go out to spy out the land. He gave them specific instructions and told them to bring back some of the fruit of the land because it was the season of the first ripe grapes. The men did as they were told. They cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes, and two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. At the end of forty days they returned with the grapes and their report about the land and what they had seen. Even though they were standing on the edge of greatness, they did not realize it.
Like the Israelites, we are standing on the edge of greatness, but we have to believe it when we come in contact with people, places and things. There are two types of people we need to be aware of: optimists and pessimists. God had already told them that the land was their; yet they had to go in and take the land. It was a matter of perspective what they saw. Some saw giants in the land and felt they were grasshoppers in comparison. We need to watch out for people with grasshopper mentality, and stay around optimistic people.
Then we have to deal with the places in our lives. God has given us some place to go to that we have not checked out. The new house is already ours, but we haven't checked it out or imagined ourselves in it. The brand new car belongs to us, but we haven't test driven it yet. God has called us to greatness, but we don't act like we believe it. The pastor encouraged the congregation to be open to the people and places who are part of our greatness.
Finally, the pastor talked about the things God has placed in front of us, but we don't see them as being gifts from God. In the wilderness, God gave the people shoes that didn't wear out in forty years. He provided manna when people were hungry and water when they were thirsty. He provided shade in the cloud by day and warmth in the fire by night.
We are standing on the edge of greatness, according to what the pastor said. However, many will turn around and want to go back, but the pastor suggested, we just step over into the land that is already ours, and if we won't take it, someone else will. When we step over into the land God has given us, we will see either giants or grapes. We are to embrace the grapes, but not the giants and thank God for the people, places and things He has put in our lives.
Pastor Blakey gave the congregation one final piece of advice, "If you are tired of being in the wilderness, step over into the promised land and take the land because it is already yours."