Follow God’s Call, Despite the Naysayers
By Rick Warren
“Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Numbers 14:3 (NLT)
In 1979, I was finishing seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, when I felt God calling me to Southern California to start Saddleback Church. I told a friend who I respected about what I thought God wanted me to do.
He said, “Rick, that’s the dumbest idea I ever heard. You go out to California, and you’ll never be heard from again. It’s not going to happen.” He poured cold water all over my dream!
Any time you get serious about using your life the way God wants you to use it, some people will oppose you. Satan will throw everything he can at you to keep you from fulfilling your calling.
One reason why so few people actually fulfill God’s calling is because they are unwilling to go against popular opinion. If you want to follow God’s calling on your life, you must be willing to reject negative advice—no matter who it comes from.
The Bible says in Numbers 14:2-3, “Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. ‘If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!’ they complained. ‘Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?’” (NLT)
When faced with difficult circumstances, the Israelites decided they preferred captivity in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. Rather than doing what God had called them to do, they wanted to go back to their old way of life.
But one of their leaders, Caleb, had uncommon courage. He decided he was going to face their challenges with God’s help, even if he was scared. He was willing to reject negative advice to follow God’s calling.
In fact, Caleb didn’t just receive negative advice; he was also physically threatened. Numbers 14:10 says, “The whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle” (NLT).
God’s presence saved Caleb and Joshua. That will happen in your life too.
When you go after God’s calling in your life, you’ll always come across naysayers. So make the decision now to reject negative advice. And count on God’s presence to see you through.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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