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Keeping Your Perspective on the Promise

April 10, 2016 | Chris Zeigler

Guest speaker Chris Zeigler, from BASIC, looks at what it means to keep our perspective on the promises of God. He uses the story of Moses and the Promised Land Numbers 3 to show how perspective can change everything. Every day we have the ability to choose who our focus is on and where our perspective is at.

Listen to the Sermon

Sermon Notes

Have you ever been in one of those seasons where you feel like everything is coming against you? We found out in November that Cheryl is pregnant with our third. After finding that out, there was a stream of things that occurred causing us to have a rough couple of months. During a particularly rough time around the holidays I made a conscious decision on Christmas day to set aside how tired and grumpy feeling I was and wanted to be, to have a good perspective and just enjoy time with family. It was like the Lord just encouraged me and gave me peace knowing that life would be more enjoyable if I just kept the right perspective.

Talk about setting my heart and my mind on God. I wasn’t forcing myself to be positive, but rather I was forcing myself to focus on God first and foremost and the result was that I was more positive. I had to decide to place my trust in God, knowing that He is good

Perspective influences the way we view things. Our perspective is influenced by what we see and feel.

Keep your perspective on the promise.

Let’s look at a time in the Bible where we see people with two very different perspectives

Numbers 13:1-4, 17-20 “Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them.” So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command of the Lord, all of the men who were heads of the sons of Israel. These then were their names: …When Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, he said to them, “Go up there into the Negev; then go up into the hill country. See what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many. How is the land in which they live, is it good or bad? And how are the cities in which they live, are they like open camps or with fortifications? How is the land, is it fat or lean? Are there trees in it or not? Make an effort then to get some of the fruit of the land.””

Moses sends them out and he tells them to look for all these things. Then Moses says, “see whether the land is good or bad.” Notice that when the Lord spoke He only told Moses to send the men out to spy out the land. He didn’t tell him to have them look for all these things.

Have you ever done that? Where you add things on that God didn’t tell you to? Like when you feel God challenge you to read your Bible more but then you decide it has to be two chapters a day and you have to spend an hour in prayer. Before you know it you feel overwhelmed and can’t make it through one week!

Moses is already questioning God’s promise when he says, “see whether the land is good or bad.” God had told him back at the burning bush that He was taking them to a land flowing with milk and honey (IT’S GOOD). God had also told him that wherever he set his feet that land would be Israel’s land (I’M GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOU). He speaks to Moses right here and refers to the Promised Land as that “which I am going to give to the sons of Israel”

Moses didn’t keep his perspective on the promise

When the spies started looking around at the things Moses had told them to look for, not the things God had told them to look at, that fear and confusion began to set in. How often do we look at our situation and let fear and confusion blind us from what God has said?

Numbers 3:25-27 “When they returned from spying out the land, at the end of forty days, they proceeded to come to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; and they brought back word to them and to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.”

When they came back they said, “we went to the land where you sent us, Moses.” They saw this as a mission from a man, not from God. It’s no wonder their report was given from a human perspective and not God’s perspective.

Number 3:28 “Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there.”

“Nevertheless” means “despite all of that.” At that moment, Moses, and every man of faith in Israel should have cried out and said, “Nevertheless nothing! How can one say, ‘We went to the land, found it good, and God’s promise true,’ and then say, ‘Despite all this …’?”

  • Despite God’s faithful promise, the people who dwell in the land are strong.
  • Despite God’s faithful promise, the cities are fortified and very large.
  • Despite God’s faithful promise, we saw the descendants of Anak there.

What they should have been saying?

  • The people who dwell in the land are strong, but because of God’s faithful promise we are stronger
  • The cities are fortified and very large, but because of God’s faithful promise we will win the victory
  • The descendants of Anak live there, but because of God’s faithful promise we can defeat them

God’s promise always triumphs over any obstacle.

“As long as our minds rehearse the strength of our stronghold more than the strength of our God, we will be impotent (powerless).” – Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word

Have you been rehearsing the strength of your stronghold, more than the strength of your God? Are you looking at your giants through a human perspective or God’s perspective?

Numbers 3:30 “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.””

Caleb was focused on the strength of his God. Joshua and Caleb believed and trusted what the Lord had said. They took God at His word that He had promised them the land. Because of this they were not afraid to confront the giants in the land. Of those 12 spies only Joshua and Caleb survived to see the Promised Land. Moses died beforehand too. God had to wipe out the spirit of unbelief in Israel.

God has already promised you the victory. You just have to see it through His perspective instead of yours. Keep your perspective on the promise.

Will you choose to think like Joshua and Caleb or like the other spies?

How do I do this?

  1. Joshua took God at His word (“I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:9) He chose to walk by faith and not by sight. What has He spoken to you? What has God said about you? What prophetic words have been spoken over your life? What has God spoken to you in your times with Him? Who does God say that you are (Bible)? The promise hasn’t changed. Write out Bible verses, lines from worship songs, encouraging quotes, etc. and put them on index cards around the house.
  1. Joshua removed the extra voices – Joshua only sent 2 spies into the land instead of 12. They came back saying, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” Ignore the voices of those who try to discourage you from what God has promised you.
  1. When they went to take Jericho they went in with praise – blowing trumpets. Start every day with praise and then continue that throughout your day – when you pray for meals, listen to music at your desk, etc. Our family can be having a terrible day and we notice a significant difference when we turn on worship music. I’m not calling us to thank God FOR everything, I’m calling us to thank God IN everything.

The difference between the person who is defeated and the person who is victorious is their perspective. The human perspective says, “what has God done for me?” but someone with the right perspective says, “what has God promised me?” Your life and the things you are called to are a mission from God, not from man. Are you viewing your trials through a human perspective or God’s perspective?

God has got your back! He has given you the victory if you will just take Him at His word and walk in it. Will you choose to think like Joshua and Caleb or like the other spies?

When we don’t maintain the right perspective, we miss out on what God has promised us like those who never entered the Promised Land – keep your perspective on the promise.

We have something that the rest of this world doesn’t have so when it seems like everything is coming up against you, keep your perspective on the promise. When your kids are misbehaving and the house is a wreck, keep your perspective on the promise. When you lose your job unexpectedly and you don’t know how you will pay the bills, keep your perspective on the promise. When everyone in your house is sick and throwing up, keep your perspective on the promise. When you have a miscarriage and feel hopeless, keep your perspective on the promise. When your spouse brings you divorce papers, keep your perspective on the promise. When you find out you have cancer keep your perspective on the promise. When a loved one passes away, keep your perspective on the promise.