God has great plans for us, not just for our time spent with him in eternity, but here and now as we walk upon this earth. Unfortunately, many of us may never see these plans come to fruition because we are too afraid of getting out of our comfort zones. One of the reasons is because we listen to the advice of people who might wish us well but are too timid in spirit. Their fear can fill us with dread.
This happened in ancient times when Moses sent scouts out to explore Canaan. They returned with a report of how the land was wonderful, but the people were too formidable. Scripture says, "that night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!" (Numbers 14:1-3). This was not the first time they wanted to go back to Egypt, where they lived as slaves. Every single time there was a crisis, they wanted to go back! (There is a lesson here: fear makes us want to retreat, even when there is nothing to retreat to.)
However, there were two men among them — Joshua and Caleb — who had gone to explore the land, and they disagreed. "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it! The Lord is with us" (Numbers 13:30;14:9). And do it they did! If only the Israelites had listened to them rather than the other spies, they wouldn't have spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness!
We need to listen to people of faith like Caleb and Joshua who are, practically by definition, people of confidence. Faithful people are confident people because they know that God stands by his word and "the word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25). They will encourage us with what God has said and help us move forward in life, rather than stagnating where we have been for ages, whether spiritually or materially.
And among the words you hear will surely be these that Paul said to the Romans: "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God, and the Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again" (Romans 8:14). Remember these words whenever you find yourself fearful and afraid to do something, especially something you believe you can't do.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
May the Spirit be with you.