Once I heard a story about a little boy who was misbehaving in church. He kept standing up on his chair and jumping up and down. His mother tried several times to get him to sit down, to no avail. After the fourth time of trying, she finally was able to sternly convince the small boy to sit down. When she turned to check on him later, she noticed he had this mischievous grin on his face. She asked him, “What are you so happy about?” He replied, “Mom, I might be sitting down on the outside, but INSIDE I’m standing up!”
I always thought that was a great story and it really made me think about the meaning behind it. In this world we live in many times we feel beat down or mistreated by people or circumstances. Often times we feel like giving up or giving in. I would like to apply this story to the power of the Holy Spirit whom lives inside of us! In my own life there have been times of such discouragement and disappointment that I felt like giving up, but the Holy Spirit kept standing up on the inside of me and would not let me quit.
It was not by my own strength or will that I was able to carry on. It was only by the power of the Holy Spirit that I was able to persevere! When I felt weak, I prayed and He made me strong. When I was sick, He healed my disease! When I was hopeless, He gave me a vision for my future! When I was laden with heaviness, He gave me the garment of praise! The Holy Spirit was standing up on the inside of me and He helped me to overcome!
I of course had to make the choice that I would fully follow the Lord and trust that His plan was better than mine! Even though life threw me some curve balls, the Holy Spirit was able to hit them out of the park so to speak. I just want to take a moment and thank the Lord for his unconditional love and faithfulness in my own life!
Spying Out the Land
Caleb is a good example from the Bible of someone who stood up on the inside. Moses sent him and several other leaders into the land of Canaan to spy it out. In Numbers 13, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them.” Caleb was from the tribe of Judah.
Moses gave the men several instructions on how to spy out the land. (Numbers 13:17) He said go to the hill country, which represents a high place of authority. We sit in heavenly or high places with the Lord. (Ephesians 2:6) Moses said, “See what the land is like, are the people strong or weak are they few or many?” The Lord would have us to evaluate our situation in order to possess the land.
Then Moses asked them is the land good or bad? “How are the cities, are they open camps or strong fortifications?” He goes on to say, “Is the land fat or lean and are there trees?” He tells them to make an effort to get some of the fruit of the land.
I believe we can also look at this land as our promised land today as well. God almighty promised Abraham and all his descendants the land of their sojourning. (Genesis 17:5-8) We are the seed of Abraham therefore we are promised the inheritance of the land. I have written an entire book on this subject called “Sojourners-In a Strange Land.” The Lord sets us here on earth to spy out the land and bring Him back the fruits of our labor.
I think the Lord was testing the spies He sent out to see how they would react to the adverse conditions in the land that they were promised. In Numbers 13:27 we see the majority of the spies came back and had a negative or bad report. They said, “ It does flow with milk, honey and fruit, but the people who live in the land are strong and the cities are very large and fortified!” They went on to say that the men there were giants and descendants of the Nephilim the sons of Anak. The discouraged spies continued their negative report saying, “They are too strong and we are like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
These spies who gave the bad report did not fully know who they were as heirs to the promise land. They simply did not believe that the Lord would strengthen and empower them to possess the land. Instead all they could see was their smallness and insignificance, which caused them to speak out what they already had in their hearts. (Proverbs 4:23)
Because the spies saw themselves as weak and small, so did their enemy. We must believe in ourselves that we are able to accomplish what the Lord empowers us to do. The way we perceive ourselves affects the way others perceive us as well. If we walk boldly in the power of the Spirit, others will see it and be affected positively. Our words and what we speak out of our hearts can make or break our success when possessing the land.
I believe the majority of the spies already felt weak and powerless before they even went to spy out the land. So too today many believers’, heirs to the throne, seem to think that they will never be able to overcome the giants in their lives. As a small child, I often dreamt about giants stomping around my neighborhood. I always felt afraid and insecure like I had to hide and get away.
I read later in my studies that many young children dream about giants. This could signify the fact that during our life here on earth we will be forced to overcome great giants or obstacles that seek to keep us from possessing our promised land and fulfilling our destiny. In my lifetime of just 42 years, I have overcome cancer and the loss of a child as well as several other freak accidents. Rejection and discouragement have often tried to overwhelm me. The truth is we all have to overcome our own personal giants!
We should seek to be like Caleb. He quieted the people and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30) Caleb was just 40 years old when Moses sent him out with the others to spy the land of Canaan. Later in Joshua 14 Caleb is 85 years old and just as sharp and strong as he was at 40. (Joshua 14:11) Caleb was now requesting from Joshua the land of Hebron.
Caleb retells the story of his mission with Moses some 45 years earlier and he gives us insight to his success. He says, “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully.” He says that when he was 40 and sent out to spy the land he brought word back to Moses as it was in his heart. (Joshua 14:7) This shows that Caleb was speaking from a place of faith and assurance that was already in his heart. He had already made up his mind by faith and perseverance that he was going to stand up on the inside and possess the land. He knew that the Lord was able to accomplish through him what he had promised.
In the end Joshua blesses Caleb with the land of Hebron for an inheritance. Joshua 14 ends by saying, “Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim (or giants). Then the land had rest from war.”
Often times I hear born again, spirit filled believers giving negative reports. They complain and fuss about every little obstacle in their way. They are offended at the drop of a hat. They are filled with all kinds of worries, insecurities and fears that literally paralyze their walk with the Lord. They look at themselves as grasshoppers, unable to overcome the giants in their lives. They know the Lord has promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, but they don’t feel strong enough or smart enough to win. Instead they continue with their fearful words and mindsets, which contaminate others in their lives as well.
I believe the enemy continually throws all sorts of negative reports at us to make our hearts melt with fear at the giants in the land. The thing is, we are all able, like David, to slay our Goliaths and overcome, with just the faith of a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20) Fear based thinking, however, short circuits our faith. Fearful words that flow from the heart produce the bad fruit of negative mindsets and discouragement. This harms us as well as other people we come into contact with. In order to overcome, we must fully trust and follow the Lord, believing that He is able through the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to beat the giants. Ask Jesus to enable you to stand up on the inside, even though the enemy is screaming at you to just sit down and shut up!
To others it may appear that we are not making progress, but I am here to tell you though it appears like some of us are sitting down on the outside, we are standing up in the Holy Spirit on the inside! Let us be diligent in abiding in the Lord and trust that He is faithful to us in all circumstances and situations. TOGETHER, LET US STAND UP ON THE INSIDE!