Consider what duty or privilege may be shadowed out to us by the mission of “the spies” to the Holy Land, which God Himself ordered. It shows us the heart desiring, the imagination picturing, the intellect grasping, the faith appropriating, that which is not yet seen. We are to study and survey the land, to have the will to enter, and the faith to pluck, and prayer to bring home its fruits.
I. Those who have not yet really entered the Canaan of the present time, the invisible kingdom of Christ, should “send on” their thoughts more definitely and practically into those things which give a man peace, and on the borders of which we are already standing.
II. When we come to deal with any special difficulty in life, we should do well first to compass it in our own mind, and acquainting ourselves with it as accurately as we can beforehand, calculate the undertaking. We should go round and round the trial, the temptation, or the enterprise in our own thoughts before we encounter it. Almost all the great battles of life are fought first, and all the great victories of life are won first, in anticipation in a man’s own breast.
III. Previously to prayer it is an excellent habit to “send on” the thoughts among the promises. Let faith pioneer the way. Send your mind to find and gather the promises which cluster round the petition you are going to make.
IV. There is a still higher use of the faculty of prescient thought, for about nothing should our minds be so busy as about the land of our eternal inheritance. These are the thoughts which do a man good. They are heaven-born images, which meet us by “the way of the wilderness.”