A few days ago, I was chatting with a long time friend whom I treasure dearly. It had been a few weeks since we had talked and there was much to catch up on. After we had given the usual updates – family, work, ministry, life- he asked me a really interesting question: “So, what are you up to this year apart from reading the Bible cover to cover?”
I was not ready. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I know what I wanted to achieve this year. It was just that no one else had asked me that question. Anyone who knows me to a certain degree will tell you I am not the “Que Sera Sera” type. No. I think, I plan, I set targets and I adjust those targets until I am satisfied; then I work the plan. So, after I’d laughed quietly to myself, I promised I’d get back once my head was put together.
The truth is, my answer was purely because I was buying time. As I said, I know what I want. I just needed to give a response that completely captured my “vision” in a manner that could be easily understood. Most importantly, i needed to silence the Negative Committee in my head.
You see, early the previous day, the chairperson (of the negative committee) had summoned an urgent meeting whose sole agenda was to convince me that my dreams are worthless. Yes. The meeting had gone on for hours and through out, Mr. Doubt-flames, Mrs Doitlater and Ms. Fearspring had made submissions, projections and research findings to prove that if I set out on my ridiculous and bold attempt at my dreams, I had less than 10% chances of survival.
And me, in my front frontness, I had foolishly wandered into their meeting just as the chairperson was giving a summary of the presentations and their unanimous findings: “The Negative Committee has upon examining all the facts, resolved that this journey should be retired under the “most likely to fail” category with immediate effect”. Wehhhh…. let me tell you…… Kwanza, tumbo lilijaa maji (my stomach suddenly hosted a dam), macho yakajaa machozi, my hands and feet suddenly felt as heavy as lead… Basically, I could not function…… 😞
As I contemplated my next steps, I remembered the story of the Children of Israel.
As they left Egypt and journeyed towards the promised land, they faced challenges and miracles of incredible proportions. Imagine walking through a sea, then having a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day…light to see even in the darkest night and a cloud to shield you from the hot sun…..I’m telling you if these guys had been Kenyans….. heh… we’d never know peace! Hatungepumua! From business names and ventures and Red Sea Crossing CDs…. you know what I mean.
Anyway, after many days’ journey, they arrived in the Wilderness of Paran. (Numbers 13- just flip over and follow with me). Moses, one of the most patient men to walk the earth, sends out 12 grown men with very simple instructions. Go, see, bring fruit. Simple. Very simple. They were not asked to engage the inhabitants. No just cross, see, bring fruit. Now, the Bible says that these men went and spies out the land from end to end; from Zin, to Hebron for 40 days. When they came to the valley of Eschol, they cut down a cluster of grapes so big, it took two men to carry on a pole. They also carried pomegranates and figs. Assignment: done.
As faithful men, they came back to Moses and submitted their report: the vastness of the land and how it was indeed, flowing with milk and honey; and to prove the point, they had the fruits!! Had they stopped talking at that point, all would have been fantastic!!! ( I don’t know who came up with the notion that men have few words…. did you see any woman in that list above? No. But then again, what do I know?) I mean, you tell me the land is flowing with milk and honey and I refuse to cross? If a bunch of grapes needs two men to carry, can you imagine the size of the pineapples? Who wouldn’t have gathered courage to cross? These people sincerely needed no other motivation to cross. So what happened??
The negative committee.
Oh my word. In two sentences, 10 strong men ruined everything. Everything!!! Oh, the land will swallow us! Oh, the people are stronger than us! Oh, we were like grasshoppers! By the time they were done, some guys were headed back to Egypt!! Nowwwwww…… For you to prefer death in the hands of your oppressor than move into your inheritance, you must be really in bad shape. Your mind must be so opposed to change that status quo, no matter how bad, smelly, disgustingly or oppressive will be a quicker option than to go fight the sons of Anak. You’re in bad shape my Fren, bad shape.
BUT, two men stood out: Caleb the son of Nun and Joshua the son of Jephunneh, who were of different spirit. The Bible says they tried to implore the congregation not to rebel against the Lord. (Just read Numbers 14 please, I need to finish this). These were the right people to speak. But the message by the 10 strong men had already killed the cowards. There was nothing Caleb and Joshua could do other than watch helplessly as the congregation literally rioted. In the midst of all the chaos, Joshua speaks up in Numbers 14:9. If you read that slowly, you will realize that the decision to turn away from the conquest, and to see themselves small was an act of rebellion against God.
In other words, if God has shown you where he wants to take you, and sets out to you the things you may need to fight to get there, including yourself, and you choose to maintain status quo, my friend, you are walking in rebellion.
That verse was all it took for me to walk back into that meeting room and fire the negative committee. Man, I was angry! Angry at how often I had allowed myself to be convinced out of my victory; angry at the opportunities I had allowed to pass me by out of fear and self doubt. Angry that all along, by maintaining the status quo, I was effectively living under the oppression of my slave master. So angry… After I fired the committee, I set my face like flint and matched across the Jordan to kick Anak out of my land. Was it easy? Hell No!!!
But… I did it afraid. I was trembling all the way, ignoring members of the negative committee that tried to call me back, but I matched in steady and strong and drove my stake into the ground! Have I won over all my lost ground? Not yet. But I know one thing- the people of the land are my bread and their protection has departed from them and most important, the Lord is with me.
Will you join me? Come. Fire those chaps and come join me as we take what is rightfully ours. Refuse to maintain status quo – these things are ours! And you know what? We will win. Why?