So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief - Hebrews 3:19 NIV
Connor, who is my youngest, is a little short for his age. We were in the kitchen one day and he needed to get a bowl out of the cabinet. He reached for the bowl and was unable to get it. He unsuccessfully tried several times and was ready to give up. My first inclination was to get it for him. I decided that he was going to get it for himself.
"Connor, close your eyes, get on your tiptoes and BELIEVE that you can get the bowl". Those were the words that I spoke to him. He went through the same routine, but this time he closed his eyes, stood up on his tiptoes and reached. He was able to extend his reach to secure the bowl and bring it down. He opened his eyes and looked at me in amazement. "I did it, I did it!" he shouted. I asked him what was different. He looked and me and said that he believed he could do it.
I looked at him with pride and hoped that he learned a lesson from this episode. It also made me think about how many of us have been in a similar situation and didn't believe? We were unsuccessful in our attempts and decided not to try again. We did not believe that we could set out and accomplish our goals. Why? What keeps us from trying again? It's unbelief and it has serious consequences.
The children of Israel learned firsthand about the consequences of unbelief. An entire generation was excluded from entering the Promised Land. The primary reason behind this: it was their unbelief. God provided the children of Israel with the opportunity to enter Canaan immediately upon their coming out of Egypt. Their unbelief, combined with disobedience, kept this from happening. As a result they experienced hardships instead of enjoying the land promised to them.
My brothers, please don't let what happened to the children of Israel happen to you. Believe that you can accomplish whatever it is that God has planned for you. Believe that you can use your talents to make a difference in the world around you. Believe that God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Like my son, your success begins with belief. Start adopting that mindset today.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.