Giants in the Land
By Mike McCrary
The land through which we have gone, in spying it out,
is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom
we saw in it are men of great size (Numbers 13:32).
Perhaps you’ve wondered, as I have, why God required the
Israelites to work so hard to inherit a land He had already promised
to give them. When someone offers to do us a favor, we normally
expect no strings to be attached.
God has a long and storied history of requiring human activity
to carry out His will – not because He needs our help, but
because He wants our hearts. I’m not so sure we would relinquish
this most vital of organs any other way.
If God did everything, He’d become a genie. If God did
nothing, He’d become an afterthought. If either was the
case, the best you could say of us is that we acknowledged God’s
existence. But that’s not the same as knowing or loving
The only way for God to have a relationship with us is for God
to have a partnership with us. That’s His desire, and that’s
one reason why He won’t always give us the easy way out.
As you look out over the landscape of your own life, you may
see some very real problems. There are giants in the land. They
aren’t living, breathing Canaanites, but they’re a
big deal to you – fear and guilt and worry – not to
mention the really big sources of pain like losing a child or
watching a parent grow old.
If He wanted to, God could remove these giants in His sleep.
And we sometimes slide into bed at night hoping He’ll do
it in ours. He rarely does, and for this, we should be thankful.
Because if He magically removed all the problems in our lives
without asking us to do anything hard, anything “impossible,”
we would never be able to demonstrate faith. That means we would
live our entire lives without ever pleasing God. We would gain
the Promised Land in such a way that it would cost us the very
thing we need most: a relationship with our Creator.
We serve a God who has the ability to do anything, but chooses
not to. He doesn’t let us off so easily. But the real beauty
of it all is that, even when He requires us to do the seemingly
impossible, it’s never as difficult as it appears. And sometimes,
it’s almost easy – at least after that first difficult
In the end, all we need is faith . . . midget-sized faith. That’s
all it takes to embolden us to walk into the land of giants, trusting
God to either make them smaller, or to make us bigger.
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