I recently learned some interesting facts about the sea squirt. An odd little fellow, it is often found attached to rocks and shells. Its appearance is like a soft plastic tube, waving with the current. It draws its nutrients from the passing water. Generally, they don’t move or exhibit any behaviour, apart from opening and closing their siphons. One could say the sea squirt lives a passive life.
But passivity has not always been its way of existence. As a tadpole, it has a primitive spinal chord and brain to help it find food and evade harm. It swims well to explore its environment. However, when it reaches adulthood, it settles on its rock and stops growing and exploring. In a rapid, drastic, and complex metamorphosis, the epidermal cells covering the surface of the animal contract and within ten to fifteen seconds, crush the tail, muscles, brain, nerve cord and other sensory structures into tissue debris, turning the sea squirt into the passive adult.
The information I learned about the sea squirt made me realize how important it is that we continue to grow in life, whether we’re seven or seventy. This is especially important in our walk with Jesus. If we aren’t growing in Him, we’re stagnating. I especially like The Passion Translation of Romans 12:2, “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.” Only God’s Word can reform the way we think. Only God’s Word can rework us from thinking like the world does to thinking like God.
God’s Word keeps us growing in our faith. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17 KJ21). When Satan and his devils attack, we need to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12) and stand firmly on God’s Word, no matter what the evil one tries to tell us.
In order to continue growing, we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22 NIV). When we listen and don’t do, we deceive ourselves. The apostle Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:18 TLB, to “grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be all glory and splendid honor, both now and forevermore.”
So let’s not be like the sea squirt and stop growing. Each day, let’s become better acquainted with Jesus as we grow in Him.
In Numbers 13, Moses sent out twelve spies, one from each of the tribes of Israel, to spy out the Promised Land. Ten came back with a bad report – the cities are fortified and very large, the people are powerful, and there are giants in the land. We’re like grasshoppers compared to them.
In contrast, Joshua and Caleb came back with a good report. They told Moses the land was big but God was bigger and He was with them. They were well able to posses the land.
The interesting thing is that the bad report spread through the people like wildfire. The people were so distressed by the negative report, they complained against Moses and Aaron and said they would die in the wilderness, and their children and wives would be taken as plunder. No one paid attention to Caleb and Joshua’s message of faith. Why? Because a negative report always spreads faster than a positive one. As human beings, we default to the negative.
Notice what God says in Numbers 14. “…just as you have spoken in My ears, so I will do to you. In this wilderness your corpses will fall, and all…who have murmured against Me, you will not go into the land which I swore by My hand to cause you to dwell in it, except Caleb…and Joshua…” (verses 28-30). The ten spies got what they said.
Our words are SO important. “The tongue has power over life and death; those who indulge it must eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 CJB). In one translation, the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:37 read like this: “Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation” (MSG).
What do you do when you receive a bad report from your doctor, banker, spouse? What they say may be fact, but don’t forget, God’s Word is truth. Do you listen to the bad report or do you cling to and speak the promises of God? As believers, when we get a bad report and don’t receive it, we are like salmon, swimming against the current to reach their birthplace so they can lay their eggs. If we'll allow Him, the Holy Spirit living in us will give us the strength to STAND on God's Word, despite circumstances and reports.
Joshua and Caleb got what they said. Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Caleb was forty years old when he was sent out with the eleven other spies. Because of their unbelief, he and Joshua had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. When Caleb was eight-five years old, he told Joshua he was just as strong as the day the Lord sent him to spy out the land. Joshua gave him Hebron as his inheritance.
You may be wondering about my title. Who were Lieber and Uri? I don’t know, but they may have been the names of two of the ten spies who brought the negative report. They never made it into the promised land because of their unbelief and disobedience. Like Joshua and Caleb, they were called to be history makers, but instead, ended up in obscurity. Their confession didn’t line up with the Word of God.
Today, may we be like Joshua and Caleb, believing, acting on, and saying the Word of God, doing exploits for our God.
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.