Kadesh-Barnea is a place of in-your-face impossibility. The name itself comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “fugitive, vagabond, wanderer.” In short, if you make the wrong choice here, you’ll end up wandering through a wilderness all your life.
Many Christians are in this very place right now. God has given them His covenant promises. He has given them a wonderful history with Him, providing miracle after miracle of deliverance. But the devil has come to them with lies, telling them they’re not going to make it. He has convinced them they’re not good enough, that God is still mad at them for their past sins, and that He will never forgive them.
Tell me: Have you begun to accept such lies? Do you think God is going to fail you in your crisis? If so, then at some point in your walk you stopped taking God at His Word. You didn’t act on His command and what was true for Israel is also true for you: The test you face at Kadesh-Barnea will determine the course of your remaining years.
Like Israel, you’ve been carried by God through an awful wilderness. As you look back, you can recall the terrible testings you faced, the painful failures you endured. You went through trials you never thought you’d come out of. But God was faithful to you in every one. Each time, He mercifully reached down and picked you up. And now you can say, “God has never failed me. I stand here today by His grace. It’s true, God bore me in His arms, the way a father carries his child.”
Moreover, God brought you out in order to bring you in. There is a promised land ahead for you, just as there was for Israel: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). The Lord saved you to bring you into a place of rest. What is this rest? It’s a place of unshakable faith and confidence in the Lord. It’s a place of trust in His promises, a trust that will see you through your most difficult times.
But to get to this place of rest, you must first pass through Kadesh-Barnea. When you’re there, you come face to face with a battle that is extremely intense, beyond anything you have experienced. There are enemies, giants, high walls, things that look utterly impossible. And you have to place your absolute trust in God to bring you through.