Numbers 13:32 says, “And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored…” Good news takes months and sometimes years to gain momentum in a community. Bad news spreads like the flu. A case of the moans and mumbles broke out over the congregation.
That’s when Caleb shushed the crowd and spoke up. Numbers 13:30 says, “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” He didn’t say, “We should be able” or even “We can.” He said with energy and enthusiasm, “We can certainly do it.” He was entirely convinced they could take the land.
Right on the heels of Caleb’s efforts, the negative spies persisted in Numbers 13:31, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” The majority said, “We certainly can’t.” Out of the 12, only 2, or 16.6% could see victory. In most churches and organizations that percentage still holds. About 80% don’t want to change, are risk-averse, and skeptical. The negative spies had the platform to speak and influence. Who has the platform to speak into your life?
Learning to ride a bike is a huge challenge for any kid. I remember the struggle we had with one of our girls. She was in the third grade and still on training wheels. With my patience exhausted, I demanded, “You’re taking off the training wheels!” “No daddy!” she would say, running away in tears. The giant standing before her was the thought of bloody knees and elbows. We made a point to tell her continually, “You got this. You can do it.” Then one night, after supper she said, “Let’s take the wheels off.” Moments later she peddled off into the sunset like an old pro. We asked her how she overcame her fears. She said, “I started to say to myself, ‘I think I can. I think I can.’”
Unfortunately, some are determined to play the role of negative spy. Don’t exhaust your precious energy trying to convert them. You’ll only frustrate yourself. Anyone can stand up and point at the giants. Instead, ask God to send a Caleb our two. Their “can do” mentality is also contagious. There are a lot of wet rags eager to put out the flame. Surround yourself with those who want to stoke the fires of your faith.