This post will actually be two different posts. This one on “How To Be The Biggest Loser” (Part 1) will be followed by “How Not To Be The Biggest Loser” (Part 2).
I love the story in Numbers 13 and 14 about the twelve spies going into the land of Canaan and reporting back to Moses what they found. Most of us know the history. Israel was in bondage to the Egyptians when God miraculously delivered them out and brought them to the land of Canaan. In Number 13:2 the Lord told Moses to send some men to explore the land “which I am giving to the Israelites.” It’s pretty clear what God’s intent was. Yet, ten of the twelve spies came back, and through a concerted effort, turned the people of Israel away from believing and possessing God’s promise of giving them the land. And as a result every one of them (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb) were denied access into the promised land and thereby they became the “biggest losers!”
The Israelites that rejected God’s blessings demonstrated seven character flaws that cause them to be the biggest losers.
- Making Excuses. In Numbers 13:27-28; 31 we see how the ten spies began to make excuses as to why they couldn’t possess the land when God had clearly told them they could. They affirmed that the land was indeed one that flowed with “milk and honey” but then they followed that up with all types of excuses as to why it would be impossible to take the land. What excuses are you making for not possessing the promises of God especially the promise of eternal life? A pastor once told me, “Keith, I don’t want excuses I want results.” It’s time we stop making excuses.
- Spreading A Bad Report. These ten men began a concentrated effort to tell everyone else why it couldn’t be done. They spread a bad report among the people (Numbers 13:32). What is a bad report? It starts with a negative attitude and usually ends with a seditious spirit. Sedition is a “willful attempt to impose your own will or manipulate a situation to your advantage.” How have you “spread a bad report” about others and as a result became the biggest loser?
- Living In The Past. This starts out with the phrase “wouldn’t it be better for us to…” and you fill in the blank. After the people listened to the ten spies who made excuses and spread a bad report, they were ready to go back to Egypt! They were living in the past. One person put it this way: “The reason people find it so hard to be happy, is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” Jesus reminds us that “no man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom” (Luke 9:62). You can’t go forward while looking back…if you do, you will get all messed up!
- Grumbling. Grumbling sets a tone of negativity that is very difficult to overcome. Once it is started it is hard to stop it. So the best attitude to have is to “never grumble!” Especially if it is against God. Who do you find yourself grumbling against?
- Rebelling. Rebelling is simply going against God! There is no reason to rebel against God, because if God is for you, who can be against you?
- Fear. These ten men were afraid and they spread that fear to the entire nation of Israel. They were afraid their wives and children would be taken as plunder. Fear does nothing but paralyze you. It accomplishes nothing and it is the opposite of faith.
- Sinning. By not acting in faith they became the biggest loser and missed out on the promises of God. When we reject God’s plan and blessings for our lives, we will receive the very thing that we speak. God told the sinning Israelites that “As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say…” (Numbers 14:28). Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it, shall ear the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21) so be very careful what you say, your words are important.
Too often people are like the children of Israel and they want everything to come to them without any effort on their part. Canaan was a land that flowed with milk and honey but it had to be taken. It had to be possessed. There were battles that had to be fought. Sometimes you have to fight a battle to enjoy God’s intended blessings. Tweet This
Next time I will share with you how NOT to be the biggest loser.
Listen to the podcast “Don’t Be The Biggest Loser.”