Whose Report Will You Believe

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If you listen to the report of men, you will fail! Listen to what God is telling you to do and be lead by His Holy Spirit!

Greet everyone and open in prayer
Thank everyone for the their love and support for the Webb family and those who were able to come and be a part of Pastor Clyde’s Celebration of Life Service!

I want everyone to turn in their Bibles with me to a very familiar passage and a very familiar Biblical account in the Word of God this morning. Let’s turn to the book of Numbers 13:17-24 and begin reading there.

Numbers 13:17–24 NLT
Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.) So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. Going north, they passed through the Negev and arrived at Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai—all descendants of Anak—lived. (The ancient town of Hebron was founded seven years before the Egyptian city of Zoan.) When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs. That place was called the valley of Eshcol (which means “cluster”), because of the cluster of grapes the Israelite men cut there.
Now many of us know this passage and of what is taking place there in it.
The Lord told Moses in the first verse of this chapter, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes”, and so Moses does just that.
He sent out the spies to go into the promised land and bring back a report of what they find.
Now let’s continue reading here and look at the report that the 12 spies brought back to the nation of Israel. Numbers 13:25-33,
Numbers 13:25–33 NLT
After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.” But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Now I want you to note what verse 20 says, when Moses is issuing the orders for spying out the land, “Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)
Did you grab that ending to the verse? “It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.”
Was it a coincidence that God was having the spies go into the land and spy it out, right at the time when the first fruits were coming in?
A time in the fruitfulness of the land when the vines were yielding there best; so much so, that a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them!
Was this all a coincidence? NO........absolutely not. God was sending in the people to let them see the best of the land and of what it would yield for them, once they crossed over and took the land!
That is a key phrase, by the way, “once they crossed over and took the land!”
Most definitely, God could have went in ahead of time and wiped everyone out of the way, prior to the nation of Israel coming in and had the land empty and ready for them to occupy, right?!
But how many of you here today, know that God expects us step and out and move, when it comes to taking back ground from the enemy.
If you and I want to occupy the land that the enemy has taken, or is holding onto and we want to see the TRUE fruit of the harvest in that land, then we must first move!
God has called us to MOVE and take ground.
He has always promised to be faithful and go before us, but he expects His people to step out and move, right?! Can I get an amen?
So, God intentionally shows the spies the BEST of the BEST that the land has to offer them, during the most favorable time of the season to witness it!
And then look at the report that the spies bring back. They show the nation of Israel the sample of all of the fruit that they took from the land and the say out of their own mouths, “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey.”
I mean, if i witnessed a branch from a grapevine, with a single cluster of grapes, that were so stinking huge that it took two men to carry it on a pole between them, I would probably think that I had died and already went to heaven!
But that’s how it is when God is providing for you! Abundance and the best of it!
We only see what this marred and sin filled earth can give now and yet we still marvel at it. But that’s because it’s all we have ever known.
Can you imagine the glorious splendor that awaits those who see heaven and the realm that exists around God and His perfection?
The Bible says that, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We cannot even imagine what is waiting for us on the other side that thin veil!
Our eyes have only ever seen corrupted and tainted and marred! They have never witnessed the full splendor of God, as it exists where He dwells!
Yesterday, at the memorial service for Pastor Clyde, I mentioned that he is now standing in the presence of the most high and he is witnessing the splendor and the beauty that is heaven!
Pastor Clyde Webb is seeing first hand, the true majesty and brilliant glory and beauty that exists in God’s domain and in His presence!
When you read in the word about the throne room and of being in God’s presence, John the Revelator could only describe it terms of colors like a rainbow and jewels and gold!
Things that are of true beauty and splendor!
The point being, what God has prepared for those who love Him and who faithfully serve Him in this life, like Pastor Clyde Webb did, is unimaginable!
The song, “I Can Only Imagine”, is so true in its context.
Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13:9-12,
1 Corinthians 13:9–12 NLT
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Right now, we are only seeing things dimly, blurred and unclear because of where we are.
But once we cross over and leave this place for that one, we will see heaven and God and Yeshua, as they really are! In their full splendor and glory and beauty!
Just like on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw a brief glimpse of the true glory of the Christ.
In that brief moment, the Bible tells us that Jesus’ face shone like the sun and His clothing became a brilliant dazzling white like light. So white in fact, that Mark recorded in his gospel that no earthly bleach could ever make them as white as they were in this glorified state!
That is heaven 24/7! Brilliant, bright and unimaginable in all of its glory and splendor!

Getting back to account in Numbers though, I want us to focus on the report of the spies and of who the people believed.

God is the one who ordered the people to spy out the land and God is the one who had already promised the land to the nation of Israel, right?
Keeping that in mind, look at what 10 of the spies said to the Moses and the people of Israel.
They said that it was in fact, beautiful and bountiful; a land flowing with milk and honey!
They produce evidence of the bounty of the land so that everyone could get a glimpse of what was waiting.
BUT.............how many of you know that there are no “BUTS” when it comes to following God and His word?
They went on to say, “But, the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Did you notice that the ten spies mentioned twice in their description of the land, that their were GIANTS in the land?!
Do you know why that it is and why it is relevant to this message today?
Because, whenever we look at the present situation that exists before us in the natural state, as it currently exists and we focus on the situation as it is, we become fearful.
We begin to rehearse and recite and repeat to ourselves, how big it is, how bad it is and how IMPOSSIBLE it is for us to take, or to conquer!
That is exactly what the 10 spies were doing. They were rehearsing and repeating their woes and their fears before the nation of Israel!
The 10 spies represent the masses by the way, you know, the MAJORITY, who always focus on the natural, current state of the situation and who do not have the faith and the belief to look beyond what they can see and take hold of that which they cannot see!
Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
In fact, Jesus, in giving His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, turned everything upside down as to what being blessed in this life truly means!
Instead of focusing on the current, natural, physical things of this life and calling them the “blessed life”, Jesus went the other direction.
Jesus said that those who are truly blessed are:
those who are poor in spirit, not rich of the world
those who mourn over the condition of sin and this world, rather than pursue it pleasures
those who are meek/humble, versus those who boasting and prideful
those who are merciful and kind
those who are pure in heart, not carnal in their thinking and logic
those who are the peacemakers (not peace keepers). We are the ones whom the peace of the Lord is to come through; we are that conduit from which the blessings of God flow, by His Holy Spirit operating within us!
Jesus said that those who persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed; their are many who teach that a blessed person is truly the one who never has to endure any suffering or persecution. In other words, they teach that living in the kingdom here on earth is meant to be a rehearsal of heaven, so that once we get there, we will already know what it is like!
Nothing is further from the truth! It is true, that while we are here, we are rehearsing our eternal position, but not from experiencing God’s best here, but rather from serving Him here, so that we will desire to serve Him there as well.
And once we do that, we will then, experience all of the true splendor and glory of God.
Our focus is to be on Him while we are here and serving Him. We are to have the mind of Christ and Jesus said that the sole purpose of His coming here, was to serve others and to give His life for others as an act of service!
Finally, Jesus said that a blessed person here on this earth, is someone who is reviled and persecuted and who has lots of evil things and lies said about them, because they stand for Him and His gospel!
My point being, Jesus stressed that being TRULY BLESSED by God, was not linked to, or inherit to this natural life and this world. (That is not to say that we are not blessed by God in this life, because everything that you and I have as provisions and enjoyment in this life are blessings from God), but what Jesus was stressing is that being truly blessed is a spiritual state that finds it full and true reward with God!

So, the 10 spies, (the majority) gave the report, saying that it was impossible. They said that it couldn’t be done! And in the middle of their bellyaching and moaning and crying about the natural/physical state of things, a little voice cried out to the people, “Hey, let’s go at once to take the land. “We can certainly conquer it!”

That voice belonged to Caleb. He and Joshua were the only two spies who saw what was really possible through their great God and His unlimited power and might!
As soon as Caleb cried out, “let’s go take the land”, the other 10 spies (the louder majority) talked about and rehearsed even more, the reason why it “CAN’T BE DONE”!
And as soon as the masses heard the report of the majority (the 10 spies), they believed them and what was seen in the natural/physical state and thus the whole nation of Israel began to cry and complain before God about how He was going to bring them to death and destruction!
They had already completely forgotten the fact that death and destruction was were God had just rescued them from in Egypt.
In their minds, living under subjugation and slavery and cruelty and having some cheap form of food and water, was better than having to step out in faith and believe that God is bigger than your life’s circumstances and that He can and will do all that He has promised to do!
That is kind of like the socialistic government that many today are looking for: just give us some food and water, a roof over our heads, a car and a smartphone, and we’ll bow down and serve you like a master and let you do whatever you want!
I do not live to please man and I do not bow down and serve another man as supreme for the cheap satisfaction of the things of this world!
My knee bows only to the one true God of creation and to His Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ!
And so, as the masses began to believe the report of the 10 and cry out before God, (NOT TO GOD, but before Him and against Him), then Joshua and Caleb tore their clothing as a sign of remorse and sadness on account of the people’s faith and said to the people, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
And did this amazing testimony about the power and the sovereignty of God by these two young men sway the hearts and the faith of the people?
No, in fact the Bible says that they began to talk of stoning Joshua and Caleb. The people wanted to shut up the voice of truth and faith.
It always easier to believe the lies of the enemy when you let fear creep in based on the things that are present and that you can see, rather than standing on faith and belief in that which you do not see! and the TRUTH of the Word of God!
Right, don’t we do the same thing as the people of Israel when the enemy, life, comes against us? Don’t we begin to rehearse the woes and verbalize all of the things that are happening before us and glorify them?
What we should be doing, is rehearsing who we are are in Christ Jesus and speaking the truth of His Word into the midst of those circumstances! AMEN?!

Here is my point today ladies and gentlemen. When things appear difficult in your life, when the present situation doesn’t appear to be possible to change, when you need a breakthrough in your life, in your ministry......when you need a miracle of God, whose report are you going to listen to?

Are you going to listen to the masses, who wander aimlessly in this life, drifting from one mindset to another, based upon what they can only see in the natural all of the time?
The god of this world has blinded the hearts and minds of men and women,so that they cannot see the TRUTH of God and hear and receive His words of faith into their lives!
If you always listen to what people are saying to you and rehearsing to you about how bad things really are in your present situation and you believe man’s report versus God’s Word (His report), then you will never see the miracles and breakthroughs in your life that you and I need to make it to that next place in our walk with the Lord!
People are always going to tell you that you can’t do something that seems impossible in the natural. There are always going to be people who will talk down to you and tell you that you are worthless and that you will never amount to anything.
I have mentioned this before, but when you read in the Bible about the life of David, if you look behind the scenes and closely read of a certain word that was used to describe him, you can find that David came from a broken situation!
In I Samuel 16 we read of the account of the prophet Samuel going to the house of Jesse, to anoint the next king of Israel, which happened to be one of Jesse’s sons.
Jesse brought in his sons and Samuel looked over each one them and although in the natural/physical state, the oldest oldest and biggest in stature of the sons appeared to be the logical selection, God told Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
And after Samuel had looked over all 7 of Jesse’s sons, Samuel said to Jesse, ““The LORD has not chosen any of these. Are these all the sons you have?”
And then Jesse answered and said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.”
The word that is used here by Jesse in describing his son David, is the Hebrew word, “qā·ṭān”, and this word means, “small, young, INSIGNIFICANT”.
Most scholars agree that the fact that Jesse refused his youngest son David, the right to be brought before Samuel, even though all 7 of the other brothers were, shows why Jesse called him “qā·ṭān”.
Because David was deemed insignificant; worthless compared to the others!
If David listened to and believed in who “man” said that he was, versus listening to the voice of God in his life, things could have turned our dramatically different for David.
But God looks upon the heart of people and He seed those whose hearts are faithful and trusting in Him and His Word.
And God works on the behalf of these people, not on behalf of the majority who accept and believe in the natural!
If time permitting, read some of the names of people who were told they would never make it.

Look, right now, 60 percent of U.S. adults are feeling daily stress and worry in their lives, the new Gallup poll taken this past month shows. This time and season that we are moving into as a nation and around the world, is bringing fear and stress on the hearts of men and women all over.

And the majority/ the masses are looking for an answer and most are looking to other men for their answer and they are saying that that is where our answer and our hope resides.
What about you? Whose report will you believe?
Will you listen to the media and the news reporters and the report that they are giving to you and for you and for your family?
Or will you step out in faith and take back the land of blessing that God has set before you?
Are you going to listen to the report of other men and women, or will you listen to and believe the report of the Lord?!
Possible mention the empty lots beside us and what it going in there. I see a land of promise developing right next to us for Kingdom of God. Remember that God showed the people the land during the time of the season, for harvesting the first, ripe fruits!
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