[note]Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)[/note]
In the well known story of the exodus of the children of Israel to the promise land, God commanded Moses to send forth spies into the land.
Out of all the spies, no more than Joshua and Caleb brought forth good reports about the land. While others saw obstacles and giants in the land (Numbers 13: 31-33), Caleb and Joshua saw a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 14:8). The two young men dared to be different. They stood out from the rest and saw the treasures which the Lord placed in the land. It is therefore no surprise that these men were used mightily by God to lead the children of Israel.
Sometimes, a certain idea may seem right just because of its popularity. But God doesn’t want us following the crowd. He is daring us to be different. For instance, in the time of Noah, He was the only righteous man on the entire earth! (Genesis 6:9) This means that he must have had different ideas to everyone on earth. Does the majority always carry the vote?
He must have lived his life in a very different way from everybody else. Can you imagine being the only Christian among the six billion people of the world today? Do you have what it takes to stand out and be different, or would you blend in with the crowd? Noah’s boldness and courage allowed him to stand upon God’s word even when God gave him what seemed like a foolish instruction to build the ark. His longing to be different saved his life and that of his family.
Another exciting example comes from the story of Daniel. Daniel and his friends refused to defile themselves with the king’s meat (Daniel 1:8). How tempting it must have been! However, Daniel refused to follow the crowd and the luxury of fancy meat and chose an healthier option of vegetables and water. In return, God blessed the young men with wisdom and knowledge and they still turned out better looking than their mates who indulged in the king’s meat!
A wise man once said “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” How true!
[note] Lord, Thank you. It can be challenging to stand out and be different, but I ask that you give me courage and strength to be just what you want me to be. By faith, I receive boldness to stand out In Jesus’ name. Amen. [/note]