Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Matter of Perspective





Scripture

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”
(Numbers 13:30 NASB)
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.”
(Numbers 13:31 NASB)
So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.
(Numbers 13:32 NASB)

Observation

The spies had been sent out to look over the Promised Land. These are God's people who were experience the very physical presence of the Lord in their midst day in and day out. They could see him there in the fire and the cloud. God had promised them the land which just lay before them. Caleb gave a positive report of what he had seen. However, he had seen the land through the perspective of one believing that God was able to do what he had promised. However, the rest of the spy team seemed to forget that they were going against the people of the Promised Land with the help of God. From their human perspective it all seemed impossible and so they decided to give a bad report. They had all been to the same place. Two spies came back with a good report and the rest came back and gave a bad report. The people listened to the bad news and instead of believing in God who had been taking care of them on a daily basis, they listened to a handful of people who had no faith.

Application

In hindsight I always find it easy to be critical of the Israelites. Why could they have not believed? Every morning they woke up to find manna on the ground which God provided. Every day they could look to the center of their camp and find the cloud over the tabernacle. At night the glow of God's presence in the fire could be seen across the camp. How in the world could they not believe?

Let's ask the same question of ourselves; "How in the world can we not believe?" God, through the Holy Spirit, has promised that he would dwell in our presence day in and day out, however, now it's not above a tent, but rather within our very beings. In a personal, one on one relationship, God, through the Holy Spirit is in each and every single follower of Jesus Christ. The question is whether or not we pay attention to the fact that he is there. Do we slow down enough to even notice that he is here? Do we spend time in prayer and meditation with him on a daily basis? Do we work at getting to know the heart of God better on a daily basis by having fellowship with the Holy Spirit?

The team of spies came back with two completely different visions of the land which God had promised to them. It was their relationship with God that changed their perspective. When facing huge and what could be seen as insurmountable difficulties, those that truly believed God, knew that they could move forward. For those who did not have faith in God, they could only see the difficulties. For them every problem seemed larger, and this was included in their report. Everything in the Promised Land -- including the people -- were larger than they could deal with.

Life will have its mountains of difficulty. Our response depends on our perspective. Our perspective is dependent upon our relationship with God. Facing a mountain today? Take some time with God and allow him to help you see the mountain from his perspective. It may be smaller than you think.

Prayer

Lord, please help me to daily put my trust in you and to see the mountains through your perspective. Amen.

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