Central Truth: It was not the giants in the land of Canaan that kept the Israelites out, but the giants of fear in their hearts.
Our text for this lesson, Mark 11:23 which is quoted below, is one that we have used many times in our series of studies on faith, for in it we see the faith formula for moving whatever mountains may be present in our lives. Whether your particular mountain may be sickness, unsaved loved ones, financial difficulties, or family problems, you can find the solution in this verse of scripture. This particular verse is especially meaningful to me as its truths, shed abroad in my heart as a bed-ridden boy of sixteen, brought to me divine healing and set my feet on the pathway to a deeper faith in God.
The last phrase of our text says, “… he shall have whatsoever he saith.” In other words, you can have whatever you say you can have. What you say is your faith speaking. This works in a negative way just as it does in a positive way. We see an example of this in the Old Testament story of the twelve spies who were sent into Canaan to spy out the land.
A Report of Fear
Numbers 13:17, 18, 25, 27, 28, 30-32
17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:
18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;
25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
Of the twelve spies who went into Canaan to search out the land, only two, Caleb and Joshua, were men of faith and vision who said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” The other ten came back with a negative, fearful report of giants in the land. The Bible called their report an “evil report.” Why? It was a report of doubt and fear. What then is a good report? (A report of faith).
The ten fearful spies were in the majority, and the children of Israel accepted the majority report. When they did this they were saying that they couldn’t take the land. And they got exactly what they said. These spies and the rest of that generation of Israelites, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, never saw the Promised Land. They believed that they couldn’t take it and they didn’t. They wandered in the wilderness until they died. What they said came to pass.
Theirs was an example of faith in reverse. After all, even when you doubt, you are believing something. You are believing in defeat. You are believing the wrong thing. You always get in your life what you believe for and what you say. If you don’t believe what you are saying, then you shouldn’t say it, for it you keep saying something long enough those words will eventually register on your spirit. And once they are registered upon your spirit, they will control your life.
A Report of Faith
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephuneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
8 If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
9 Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.
Notice the good report of Joshua and Caleb. Their trust was in the Lord and their hearts were filled with faith that God was able to bring them into the land that He had promised to their forefathers. Twice in verse 9 they admonished the people not to fear. And what was the result of their report of faith? (They were the only two men of their generation to enter the Promised Land.) You can have whatever you say.
Many people come to me and ask me why they can’t get healed. I always smile and tell them that they have already said they can’t. Their words give them away. You can locate people by what they say.
Before praying for people, I usually try to get them to make some kind of a confession of their faith. I ask them if they will be healed when I lay hands on them and pray. If they answer that they hope they will, I tell them that they won’t, because they are in hope and not faith. Those who have a quick confession full of faith receive almost instantly. Others make a confession with some hesitancy, but that hesitancy is what defeats them. It is the little foxes that spoil the vine.
It is not something big that keeps God’s children from being healed. It wasn’t the giants of the land of Canaan that kept the children of Israel out. It wasn’t the giants that defeated them. If it had been the giants, they would have defeated Joshua and Caleb also. The people defeated themselves by their own thinking, their own unbelief, their own declaration of non-faith.
It is not the giants in life that defeat you. It is not the storms of life that defeat you. If you are defeated, it is because you have defeated yourself. You have defeated yourself by wrong thinking and wrong believing. You have defeated yourself by wrong speaking. You can have what you say.
Caleb and Joshua said that they were able to overcome the giants. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and all the people of that generation who had accepted the evil report of the ten spies had died, Joshua became the people’s leader, and he and Caleb led them to victory. When Caleb came to Joshua and said, “Give me this mountain,” Joshua looked back several years and realized that their talking right had won them victory before. He wanted to locate Caleb, so he asked him if he was able to take the mountain. Joshua wanted to hear his confession of faith. He told Caleb that there were giants in the mountain. But Caleb, full of faith, said that he was well able to take it. And he did.
Many things happen because we expect them to happen a certain way. They happen because we believe it and talk it until it comes to pass. I have found this true in my own experience. Some time ago I read about a scientist who said that when one gets older his brain isn’t as soft as it was when he was younger. It gradually keeps hardening. I reached the place where I couldn’t remember things as well as I once did. I went along this way for a while until I realized that there wasn’t any need for this. The mind is part of my inward being and spirit, and it never grows old. The very moment I started believing right and talking right, I could quote all the scripture I had ever known, and my memory actually got better.
We fail sometimes because we gel ready to fail. We prepare for failure. We think and believe it, and then we do it. As believers, however, we have no business talking failure or doubt. We should talk faith.
Memory Text: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23)
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22)
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