When Israel was about to go into the Promised Land in Numbers 14, they sent spies to go into Canaan to check out the land as well as the enemy opposition. They came back and said that the land indeed was amazing, full of food and opportunities! However, there was a big problem! The enemy who was currently living there had also thrived and prospered. They had strong armies and had built strong cities which they could strongly defend. Going into the land and taking it from their enemies seemed to be impossible because the Israelites simply were not strong enough to defeat their enemies.
As I read Numbers 14, I realized that I could relate very well to the 10 spies. I realized that if I were there, I too would have analyzed the problem and using logic and common sense, I would likely have come to the same conclusion. It’s just common sense. It is like making a big purchase. We may want a newer computer or nicer phone, but we simply don’t have the resources to buy it. Common sense says that we should not proceed.
But what I realized as I read this part of God’s Word is that what was lacking on the part of the 10 spies was uncommon faith. Yes, from a human perspective, it didn’t make sense for them to invade the land of Canaan. But they forgot one important thing: God had led them there and had promised all along that he would go with them and give them the land. They were relying only on common sense and had completely forgotten about uncommon faith.
It’s easy to do in so many levels in our lives. Claire and I are facing an uncertain future. We know that unless there is a cure for Claire’s cancer, we will be in this battle of fighting against her Multiple Myeloma for the rest of her life. That will change our lives dramatically as time goes on. So we try to use common sense as we plan for the future so that we can make the most of our time that we have. Yet we must also have uncommon faith that God will heal her. Our guiding principle has become, “We plan for the worst and pray for the best.” We use common sense as we prepare for what may be coming but we pray and know that God is bigger and more powerful than anything like cancer. It’s a tough balance to find at times but it’s the best example I can think of for having common sense along with uncommon faith.
It is a balance that all of us must find in every part of our lives as Christians. We plan and make decisions using common sense but we must always be praying and looking for the amazing ways that God will do things that don’t make sense and cannot be explained or anticipated. We press forward knowing that God has all of us, as a church, as individuals and families, and that he will fulfill his purpose with us; sometimes in ways that go beyond common sense. Let’s thank God for and use common sense without any doubt but as we do let’s also pray for more uncommon faith in our gracious God.