We are going to be talking about perspective over the next few weeks. To start us off is the most obvious story of the Israelites, Caleb and Joshua found in Numbers 13 -14.
Exodus 13:6-9, “…Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!””
Caleb and Joshua went with the other 10 spies and inspected the same land as everyone, yet they came back with a different report. Why was that?
Recently at church our pastors have been preaching this series, “The Flex” if you haven’t seen it, you need to go online and watch it, its straight fire right there. What I want to pull from that is what they said about what we see. We see through our eyes but we do not see with our eyes. Our eyes capture the data, our brain interprets it and tells us what we are seeing. I will not get into the whole science lesson behind that. But what this means is that if we think wrong, then we will also see wrong.
How else could it be possible that 12 people looked at the same land but saw different things? They agreed the land was flowing with milk and honey but they disagreed about whether they could conquer it or not.
The Israelites said in verse 28, “But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!”
In verse 30, “Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!””
Verse 31-33, “But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”…“The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giantsthere, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!””
These men all investigated the same land but their perspectives were different. The 10 men thought so little of themselves and they believed everyone felt the same way about them. It is one thing to read about them, it’s another to live life like them. We all have areas where we have been like these men. Scared and defeated. Where we think so little of ourselves we begin to believe it and we totally remove God from the equation.
The Bible doesn’t tell us that Joshua and Caleb were super tall and went to the gym everyday and bulked up before they went to investigate the land so we could say, “Well they are big guys that’s why they were not afraid.” No. So we can assume that all these men were somewhat similar or on an even playing field in terms of their natural abilities. What was different was their perspective. How they were seeing the things around them. Meaning the 10 men were stuck in wrong thinking patterns and no-one knew about it until this moment and it had devastating moments because many joined in the wrong thinking.
They thought wrong so they saw wrong. They thought defeat and lack and weakness and they saw defeat and lack and weakness. Caleb and Joshua trusted in God and thought about how big and mighty and strong their God was so they saw vulnerable people that they could easily take down because God was with them. To the 10, they saw the giants in the land. To the two, they saw the undefeated, mighty, all powerful God who was with them. Perspective is everything.
I would like to challenge you this week, to spend some time with God and ask Him to reveal to you what areas you have been thinking wrong and thus seeing wrong. Ask Him for His perspective. We don’t want our friend’s perspective or our neighbour’s perspective, we want God’s perspective in every situation. Ask Him, God, “What do you think about this situation here?” Also ask Him, “What do you see when you look at me?”
If you hear anything weak, full of fear and defeated, that ain’t Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.”
Love and blessings,