One of the most dramatic examples of one group of people who followed God “fully” and another group who did not were the Israelites who were tested by God the Father in the desert after being rescued from the Egyptians in the story of Moses.
Near the beginning of the 40 year wilderness experience, they were all getting ready to go into the Promised Land to reap their big reward in God. However, before they went in, they sent in twelve spies to see what their enemies looked like and what they would encounter once they crossed over to possess the land from some of these evil people. When the spies came back, ten of them came back with a bad report. They said the enemies were too big and that their kingdoms were too well fortified.
Mind you, the Israelites had just seen one of the greatest displays of God’s power that the world has ever seen when He threw 10 whopper plagues at the Pharaoh to set them free. Yet, just as they were getting ready to cross over into their Promised Land, they started questioning and doubting that God could take these enemies out for them, even though God had just got done delivering them from an entire Egyptian nation several years earlier!
When God sees their lack of faith and belief in Him that He could conquer these lands for them, He threw up His hands and said that was going to be it. He pronounced a severe judgment on them, telling them that all of the men 20 years of age and older would not enter into the Promised Land due to their lack of faith and belief in Him to be able to accomplish this mission for them, and because they had not “wholly followed God.”
However, God then states that He will allow Joshua, Caleb and all the men under 20 years of age to go in there to conquer and possess the land – all because they had a “different spirit” in them and because they would be willing to “follow God fully.”
This story is a perfect poster story for one group of people who were willing to follow God fully, and another group of people who were not. As a result, the one group that was willing to follow God fully got to go into the Promised Land, while the other group did not! Those are the consequences of not having enough faith and belief in God the Father and not being willing to fully follow Him in this life.
Here are two very powerful Scripture verses describing the above scenario.
- “Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, ‘except Caleb … and Joshua … for they have wholly followed the Lord.’ “So the Lord’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.” (Numbers 32:11)
- Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word … because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.” (Numbers 14:20)
These two verses are giving all Christians major revelation on what God is looking for from each one of us. He is looking for those who will “follow Him fully.” Being willing to fully follow God means that you are willing to enter into this full surrender with Him where He will be the One who will fully guide your steps in this life – not you or anyone else.
Here are two more good verses showing the negative consequences of not being willing to fully follow God in this life.
- “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be your humiliation.” (Isaiah 30:1)
- “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword;” for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:19)
All four of these verses are as clear as they can be. Choose God and His divine path for your life, and you will find true, inner happiness and fulfillment in this life. Choose your way or anyone else’s way – and you will reap absolutely nothing in this life as far as God is concerned when it is all finally said and done.
This is part of our series on the Full Surrender.