One of the greatest strategies Satan has used since the beginning of time is to tempt believers to reject God's voice and follow after their own self-will. This strategy is one of the most dangerous because many people are so deceived that they cannot determine when they have fallen into the snare of the enemy.
Israel was defeated because they rejected the voice of God and followed their own self-will. Instead of going forward to take possession of the land as God had commanded them, they rebelled. They refused to listen. They refused to follow God into the Promised Land, but chose instead to follow their own will and go back to Egypt. This was the height of their rebellion against God. They chose their will above God's will. They rejected Him as the supreme authority of their lives.
Moses and Aaron recognized the full significance of this act of rebellion and fell on their faces in fear before God. Joshua and Caleb, in great anguish, tore their clothes and pleaded with them not to rebel against God. The children of Israel refused to listen. Once they made decision to follow their own way, nothing anyone could possibly say or do could change their minds.
The people were ready to stone Caleb and Joshua. In their rebellion against God's authority they wanted to ease their consciences by shutting out those who represented God's will, and who were willing to follow Him in obedience. As they were getting ready to stone them, the glory of God appeared before all the people at the Tent of Meeting. God was ready to destroy the entire congregation. Moses interceded and God forgave their rebellion, but He did not let them go unpunished. He told Moses that all those twenty years of age and older would not be able to enter into the Promised Land, but would die in the wilderness.
God told Moses to “turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea” (Numbers 14:25, NIV). The next morning they came to Moses. “We have sinned, they said. We will go up to the place the Lord Promised” (Numbers 14:40, NIV). Once again they were rejecting the Word of the Lord and choosing to go their own way. When God told them to go forward, they turned back. Now that He commanded them to turn back, they decided to go forward. Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord's command? This will not succeed!” — and it didn't (Numbers 14:41-43, NIV).
If you are disobeying God's command, you will not succeed. You will fail…guaranteed.