Are you a slower learner? I am. It sometimes seems to me like the Lord has to teach me the same lesson over and over again. I’ll think I’ve “got it,” then a situation will come along that shows me that I’m still in spiritual kindergarten in some ways.
One area where I just can’t seem to graduate is in the area of having a faith-filled perspective. I know all the verses about God’s faithfulness and I believe them, but I’m not sure my feelings have really been saved. Do you know what I mean? You realize, of course, that I’m exaggerating a little to make a point, but I hope you get the point. What I know and what I feel don’t always walk together. In fact, sometimes they move in opposite directions.
How are we to respond when situations arise that threaten our peace? I believe it’s all a matter of perspective. We must choose to believe in God’s faithfulness and affirm the truth no matter what our feelings are doing. My feelings sometimes act like a spoiled child jumping up and down yelling in the background while I’m consciously affirming my trust in God in a given situation.
I recently read a great story in Numbers 13. It’s the account of Moses sending spies into the land of Canaan to scout out the area before Israel moved in and took it. God had promised this land to His people. It was a rich land that had more than they had ever dreamed of having.
Faith-filled Caleb saw the land on the horizon and said, “Lets go up at once and take it! We’re more than able to conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30) However the spies who had been there had another perspective. “Are you crazy!?!” they wondered. “We can’t take them! They’re too strong!”
Then their next words revealed their real problem – “We saw these giants and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight!” (Numbers 13:33)
The difference between Caleb’s perspective and that of the spies is interesting. One believed they should charge right in and take the land. The others believed there was no way that was going to happen. One saw God. The others saw giants. One saw himself as filled with grace (divine power to do all that God has called us to do). The others saw themselves as grasshoppers by comparison to the giants.
What do you see when you look at obstacles? A giant or your God? Are you filled with a grace-mentality or a grasshopper-mentality? How do you see yourself? The spies who returned from Canaan saw themselves “like grasshoppers in our own sight.” Do you?
When a mountain of opposition stood in Zerubbabel’s way, the Lord reminded him that it is “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit.” Then he gave him the key to overcoming mountain-sized obstacles. “What are you, oh great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain, and he will bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace! Grace to it!” (Zechariah 4:6-7)
As we face mountains in life, may we determine to shout “Grace!” to them until the mountains crumble before us. May we live in the face of our challenges with a grace perspective, not a grasshopper mentality. We aren’t like other people. As children of God, we have divine favor resting on us. Let’s appropriate that favor regardless of what our circumstances or feelings say.