Talk about who controls what we do? What is something that we can control? What is something that God controls?
The book of Numbers in the Bible tells us the story of when the Hebrews made it to the edge of the Promised Land – the land that God had promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier. The land that they lost when they were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. The land that God has now brought them back to through Moses their leader.
But before going back into the Promised Land, the Hebrews sent in twelve spies to see if the land was still good and safe. All twelve of those spies came back saying that the land was beautiful and full of good things. Good food. Good water. Good soil. But ten of the twelve spies also said that the land was full of bad people. Scary people. Giant people with giant walls around their giant cities. They said there was no way that the Hebrews could move into the land without being attacked by the giant people.
And this is how the Hebrew people responded to the spies’ report, and to God:
Numbers 14:3. Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
Instead of trusting God and moving forward, they wanted to go back to Egypt.
Back to being slaves? Yes, back to being slaves.
Why would they want to do that? Because they were afraid. They were so afraid of not being in control of what happened to them.
Do you know what the word “control” means? We all want to control our own lives. Which means we all want to do what we want to do, whenever we want to do it. We want to be in charge.
But God is always asking us to give him control of our lives. God wants us to do what he wants us to do, when he wants us to do it. God wants us to trust that he loves us. And God wants us to love other people, and to be kind, and to share with them, and to tell them about Jesus and his love too.
But sometimes we’re too busy being like those spies, thinking about ourselves too much instead of thinking about God and others.
But in our story in Numbers there was one spy named Joshua whose name means “savior.” Joshua looked at the Promised Land, even with all the scary giants and walls, and he said, “Let’s trust God and go live in the land that he promised to us, and show the world who our God is and how good he is.”
And many years later there was another Joshua – Jesus, whose name also means “savior” – who spied out the earth and said, “I will trust God, and fight the giants of sin, and wickedness, and death, and I will show the world how loving God is when I die for everyone’s sins on the cross.”
Jesus was the greatest spy ever. He always trusted God’s love and always loved others. He didn’t want to control his own life, he let God take control. He didn’t want to run back to being a slave to his own selfishness, but instead became the hero that would save us from our sin on the cross.
Because of Jesus I can trust everything God says and does.
With Jesus I can let God be in control of my life.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Play a video game together, one where you have to control a character. Talk about how this is the kind of control God wants to have over our lives. And because he is so good, we should not be afraid to give him control.
I want you to control my life and teach me how to show God’s love to others. Thank you for still loving me even when I fail to trust you.
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