Sunday, March 11, 2012

when 20/20 vision is not enough

The world often tries to deceive us.  Have you noticed?  Do you ever hear God say "Do this" and you say:

Well, God, that's just not practical.  
It's just not possible.  
That, God, is not how the world works.

You say those things, as if, God isn't the Creator of the world and He doesn't know how this world of ours ticks and tocks.

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Maybe you don't say those things to God.  But I have and sometimes, even now, I'll look at God and kind of roll my eyes. (I don't advise doing this, by the way.  I know now how the rolling of eyes hurts feelings because my older daughter does it to me quite frequently these days.  Ahem.)

I find it easy to be bound to the ways and practicalities of this world because I live in it.  Everyday.  It takes time, faith, and trust to think outside of how things normally work to be able to see this bigger picture that He paints for me.  If I'm not seeing with God's eyes then of course I cannot see why or how I am supposed to do what He has asked me to.  I become limited with my own less than perfect human vision.  Even if my worldly vision is 20/20, it still pales in comparison with what we can see with His perspective.

I read chapters 13 and 14 from the book of Numbers in my One Year Chronological Bible the other day.  Perhaps I paid more attention than normal because the words were void of sacrificial rites, ancestry, and other parts of the Torah that I don't find particularly stimulating at this point in my life.  Essentially, God has sent out twelve men to explore the land of Canaan, which He has told Moses He is going to give to the Israelites.  The men go out, find that the land is plentiful, abundant in good things.  However, they also find that it is currently inhabited by some very formidable groups of people that most of the twelve think are no match for their army.  These men start to spread lies about the Promised Land, causing the Israelites to grumble and complain (you know, their usual state) that God should have never brought them out of Egypt.  Moses and Aaron fall face down (surely interceding for these poor people) and Joshua and Jephunneh, the two men of faith out of the original twelve, respond with these words:
"'The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the LORD is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the LORD.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us.  Do not be afraid of them.'"  Numbers 14: 6-9
The fact that the inhabitants of Canaan had large, fortified cities and powerful armies with great weaponry didn't matter.  Nothing that they had even begun to compare with the might of God.  And yet, the Israelites become engrossed with way the world works (i.e. big man pommels little man) that they neglect to trust the God who was leading them by pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.  God said something to the effect of, "This I give you, just walk this way," and somehow this translates to "God is leading us into a place we will not be able to survive!  We will be crushed!"  When they chose to see out of their human eyes, bound by the expectations of this world, their hearts of faith are closed off and they forget all of the times before that God had shown Himself to be more than enough.

More than enough is our God.  Bigger than any circumstance.  Higher than any mountain.  Stronger than the gustiest wind that threatens to knock us off our feet.  But we must be able to take each step knowing that He is good.  Knowing that He does not abandon us.  Knowing that He doesn't play by the worldly rules and that when we do, we limit His power and His presence in our lives.

Even when things don't look probable or possible, I must remember to look at my life and this world with His perspective, for He has promised that nothing is impossible with Him.

What about you?  Has He told you something that seemed crazy, insane, and totally out of the realm of possibility?  What did you do?  What did He do?


Linking with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and with Tracy for Winsome Wednesday.

8 comments :

  1. Your post today goes right along with a song that was sung in Church this morning "God cannot Fail".....I am guilty of forgetting just how big and mighty God is and that He will never ask us to do anything that He will not supply what we need to accomplish His task...Our focus has to stay on Him because just like Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus, he fell and so will we......

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  2. I love that He promises to remove mountains -- such a picture of how He can remove any barrier that we feel is insurmountable.

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  3. Jen--I've been reading through the Pentateuch--Numbers right now--and read Joshua last year. The theme I wrote in my Journal over and over again was "Occupy!" God didn't say it would be easy, but He said to take it.
    I jumped in by faith to writing online in this faith community via The High Calling (and every other connection that brings) and I am a little put off some days and embarrassed at my poor attempts to say profound things in an amazing way.
    But, like Joshua and Caleb told the Israelites, (paraphrase) "Don't look at the circumstances--look to God. Obey Him and let Him bless you. The battle is his."
    So, keep your eyes and ears on Me, and Occupy!

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  4. Hmm... so beautiful. God has done so much in me, I can't even describe. And more often than not- he asks me to believe the "impossible". He has not failed yet...

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  5. Uh, huh, uh huh.

    This is very similar to the conversation I had with my husband today. Well, sort-of. You, of course wrote it with much less snootiness.

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  6. of course, you know my story and all He has called me to. i have this to say..."perspective". must be a God-thing because we're both thinking it! and, i picked up a book today that, basically, echoes what you say at the beginning of your post. it's Louie Giglio's "i am not but i know i am". definitely NOT one of my typical reads, but i couldn't put it down. the whole first chapter is about lifting our eyes off ourselves, taking ourselves off center stage and putting God there. he puts it this way:

    "this book is not about you and making your story better, but about waking up to the infinitely bigger God Story happening all around you, and God's invitation to you to join Him in it."

    your post reminded me of that Giglio call because, ultimately, choosing to believe Him is acknowledging His story, His role in our story, and how it all comes together, i think.

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  7. Hi Jen - its so true that we kind of tell God that maybe He got it wrong because logically....well you know what I mean. But i am learning that if it is not what the world thinks is normal, then it probably is great and from the Lord. His ways are crazy - crazy good!
    God bless sweet friend
    Tracy

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  8. When God tells me something a little (ok, or a lot) off the wall, I usually just have to laugh. I always say that God has a great sense of humor, but at the same time believes in us, which is amazing in itself. There have been more instances in my life where God has told me to do something that seemed completely bonkers. Get my masters in Christian leadership to accompany an undergrad degree in animal science? Marry into the military? Launch a personal ministry? Sayyyy whhhaaatttt?

    But each time, even though I was scared to death initially, I just nodded, smiled, and said "Ok, Jesus... Um, sure." I did it. And it. has. been. awesome!! He has been with me every step of the way and it simply blows my mind. God is so legit! :-)

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