by Rev. James Wong
The single greatest influence on our lives will be our perspective about how we look at things and look at God. We can look at it from the perspective of fear or from the perspective of faith. The choice we make between the two will determine our happiness or sadness, success or failures in life.
According to Numbers 13 and 14, Moses sent twelve spies to Canaan to investigate the Promised Land. Ten of the spies came home with a negative report and only two spies, Joshua and Caleb, reported otherwise. The majority of the people of Israel believed in the negative report, thus they chose to look at the situation from the perspective of fear. This became the disastrous turning point for the nation. They went through 40 years of suffering, struggle and death in the wilderness. The entire generation was wasted. The lesson for us is this: wrong perspectives can be very costly and fatal. Victory and success lies with those who have the correct perspective in life.
1. Your perspective determines the outcome of your life.
The report of the ten spies was this: "... the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. … "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." … All the people we saw there are of great size. … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." Num 13:27-28, 31-33 (NIV). They perceived that the enemies were too powerful and they saw themselves as grasshoppers, totally hopeless, and presumed that the enemies looked at them that way too! See how Joshua and Caleb perceived the same situation: "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." Num 13:30 (NIV).
You may be gong through some tough times and if you look at it as a hopeless situation, you become hopeless and disappointed. But if you look at your situation and say, ‘My God will guide me through all this and I will come out of it victorious,’ by your faith it will be done for you. It is a matter of perspective; a perspective of faith.
2. Be grateful and count your blessings.
You either see the abundance and goodness of the Promised Land or the problems and difficulties surrounding the Promised Land. The negative report of the ten spies influenced almost all the people following Moses. Immediately all of them began to complain and wanted to return to Egypt because they saw the size of their enemies, whereas Joshua and Caleb saw the size of their God. The most effective way to get rid of the complaining spirit is to be grateful to God and count the blessings you have in life. Make a list of how God has richly blessed you. Read that list before you go to work or go to bed until the items you have listed sink into your mind. You got to set your mind to go into the right direction. Your life is gong to follow your thoughts. God is with you and from this vantage point you can have a correct perspective for 2011.