The most popular question on our trips is “What’s for dinner?” The second most popular question is “Who is Joshua?” Usually, people are able to figure out that it’s a reference to the Joshua of the Old Testament. However, there is a reason that we chose this name, and it’s not just because we thought it sounded cool. If that was the case, we’d have called ourselves “Obed-Edom Expeditions” (Look him up!).

In the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14, we find one of the most important events in the history of the nation of Israel — an event that shaped the destiny (for good and for bad) of two entire generations and gave a powerful example to God’s people for all time. The children of Israel were on the verge of entering the promised land, thereby fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham over 500 years before. Prior to entering, the people were instructed by the Lord to spy out the land and see both the good things He had prepared for them and the obstacles they would face. The spies reported to Moses that they saw a land of milk and honey, grapes and lush trees — a perfect place to live that would foster prosperity. They also saw giants, people of war that “devoured the land’s inhabitants.” The spies thought of themselves to be as small as grasshoppers compared to them! All the people cried and wept in fear that same night.

How often we take our eyes off what is good and focus instead on the obstacles in our way!

Not everyone had a spirit of fear and discouragement. Two men in particular believed and trusted in the Lord; their names were Joshua and Caleb. They told the people that they could enter into God’s promise by knowing that He would enable them to accomplish His calling in their lives. Joshua rose up and led Israel to conquer the land, defeating army after army. Along the way the Lord told him three times before they headed off to war, “Joshua, be strong and courageous. Do not fear for I am with you!”

Doesn’t the Lord say this to us all as He puts His will for our lives before us? Are you living it now? Do you want to? What can’t we accomplish with Him by our side? (Philippians 4:13)

Is He by your side? Student. Leader. Teacher. Parent. Regardless of who you are, do not fear but be BOLD, STRONG and COURAGEOUS as you embark upon your expedition.