Charles Stanley - The Consequences of a Faith Failure
This message from Dr. Stanley explores the consequences of failing to trust God. Avoid the sorrow and frustration of missing God’s plan by being diligent about growing your faith.
Christians may be tempted to think that doubting God now and then is no big deal. In fact, we all do it at times, especially when facing challenging situations. What we may not realize is that a blessing is on the other side of that problem if we will simply trust and obey God. But if we doubt and disobey Him, the consequences may be serious and irreversible. This is exactly what the Israelites discovered when they yielded to fear and refused to obey the Lord.
After living in Egypt for 430 years, the children of Israel were rescued by God from slavery. He miraculously parted the Red Sea for their escape, drowned the pursuing Egyptian army, and led the people through the desert to the edge of the land He’d promised them.
Moses sent 12 spies into Canaan in preparation for the conquest. They returned to report that the land was good and fruitful but added, “Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak (giants) there” (Num. 13:28).
Caleb, one of the spies, quieted the people and trusted the Lord, saying, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it” (v. 30). But some of the other spies gave a bad report because they doubted God. “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us … and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size … and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (vv. 31-33).
The congregation wept loudly all night and accused God of bringing them to this land to be killed by their enemies, who would then take their wives and little ones captive (14:1-3). Instead of trusting the Lord to overcome the inhabitants of Canaan, they wanted to go back to Egypt, the land of their former slavery.
Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to trust God and warned them not to rebel against Him or fear the people of the land since the Lord was for the Israelites and had removed protection from their enemies (vv. 6-10). However, instead of heeding the faithful spies’ advice, the people wanted to stone them. Then God said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?” (v. 11).
In His goodness, mercy, and love, the Lord had offered them an amazing blessing—a land of their own—but they refused to believe Him. A faith failure is a failure to trust God when confronted with a challenge, trial, or temptation. Instead of believing that His promise was certain, they made the biggest mistake of their lives by listening to the wrong voices and rejecting the Lord and His land.