Obstacles and Opportunities


"Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders. So at the LORD’S command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran." -Numbers 13:2-3 (NIV)


When you walk onto a court to play a game, do you immediately think that you’re going to lose or that you’re going to win? Do you stare at your opponents while they warm up and begin to wonder why you even laced up your Nikes, or do you focus on giving your all? Do you see obstacles, or do you see opportunities?

In Numbers 13, the spies were sent into Canaan to check out the land. God had already given them great victories in battle and rescued them from tough situations. During the 40 days that they were evaluating the land, they could have seen a great opportunity, but they didn’t.

Only two guys, Joshua and Caleb, thought that they could succeed in acquiring the land. The rest of the team did what I think many of us would have done: They saw a wall and a formidable opponent and said, “We don’t think that we can do this!”

Well, that much is true. We can’t, but God can. It’s strange that the Israelites didn’t remember the situations from which God had delivered them and the victories He had granted. They also forgot that God had commanded them to go into the land and that He had promised to give it to them. These were His words: “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.”

God has already given us much. We only need to receive what He has promised. We are so much like these Israelites when faced with challenging situations. But I pray that we can be more like Joshua and Caleb, who received and believed in the opportunity that God had given them.


1. When you compete, what obstacles do you see?
2. With God’s help, how might these obstacles be turned into opportunities?
3. What practical steps can you take to increase your faith in God’s plan for your life?


Extra Reading: Numbers 13:26-30; Deuteronomy 31:8; 2 Corinthians 12:9


Lord, help me to remember that through my doubt, I can see only obstacles, but through my faith in You, I can see opportunities. Allow me to increase this faith every day. Amen.