This word has been exploding in my heart. It’s just one word but this one word can shift everything – it can cause us to propel into our destiny or make everything around us seem insurmountable. Perspective…..it’s not just what we see, it’s how we see. It’s what everyone is lobbying to shape in our minds…advertisers, journalists, authors, teachers, politicians, parents, and preachers. What we think is so important but our perspective is how we view the world around us and our ability to function in that world. Will there be enough? Will it be safe? Am I enough? Does God care? Can He help me? Does He love me? Do I matter? Our perspectives on these as well as a plethora of other thoughts and questions shape our outlook on life. Our perspective shapes our world view as well as our attitudes which in turn determine how we respond to circumstances in our lives. Our perspective may be the most important thing about us.
We have heard the story so many times of the 12 spies who went to Canaan (10 were bad and 2 were good – children’s church flashback). But truly perspective played an enormous role, not merely in this immediate event but in the affect it had on a generation causing them to forfeit their destiny. Negativity and inability became the perspective of a nation that was destined for greatness. They had already experienced the demise of the most powerful nation in the world (Egypt) and had moved from slavery to freedom and independence. But sometimes it takes more than a vocational change to shift our mindset and give us an overcoming, victorious perspective. The spy event was a test. It was a test of the readiness of these people to move to the next level of their spirituality. They had moved from slavery to a desert people fed by the hand of God. It was their opportunity to move up into a level of maturity and conquering the enemy, taking new ground. But with old perspectives of fear and inadequacy, insecurity and self-dependence, this low perception of themselves (and consequently God’s ability through them) aborted the destiny God had promised.
Sometimes we think a bad attitude is as harmless as head cold, it will pass and we will just go on as if it didn’t happen. But this skewed perspective of God, which directly affected their perspective of themselves, was like a cancer which ate away at their courage and destroyed their faith in God’s ability and their’s to be who He called them to be.
“But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight’” (Numbers 13:31-33 NKJV).
Their perspective shaped their ability. All 12 “saw” the same things but perspective determined destiny. Caleb and Joshua held to God’s perspective of themselves as well as His ability to do what He had promised. Let’s endeavor to model our lives and our perspective after those who have walked in victory and the fullness of God’s provision.
God, my heart is heavy with the desperation of how much I need You and the Holy Spirit’s help in shaping my perspective. I give you full permission to root out all that would hinder me! I desire a perspective that is formed by You and Your Word! I know You have said “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me!” Help me to walk in this perspective!