How you interpret what you see usually determines how you react to it. The same goes for what you hear and what you allow to take root in your heart. Because for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, you have to ensure that what you are seeing is what you are seeing and not something you think you’re seeing. Optical illusions exist, and sometimes we are taken in by the illusion rather than the underlying reality of the thing.
This past summer, after a seven-year hiatus, we went back to the home country for a bit. The youngest had never been and the oldest was too young to remember much of it. As we were driving from the airport, we pulled into a gas station, and as we made to get out and stretch our legs, we were met with the sight of a woman swatting at a little boy no older than eight with such fervor as to make us all want to step in and do something.
It’s no secret that Romanian parents are quick to use the backhand when a switch or a belt isn’t within reach. It’s a cultural thing; at least, that’s the excuse, but this was something other than a spanking. This woman looked unhinged, flailing her arms at this little boy who was cringing in fear.
Before we could step in or say anything, the woman stopped, clutched her chest, and said, “It’s gone.” She turned to see us staring at her, and with an embarrassed grin, she said, “My son is highly allergic to bee stings. I realize what that looked like, but I was just trying to shoo away a wasp.”
Three adults and two children stepped out of the car, and we all saw the same thing and interpreted it in the same fashion, and all five of us were wrong. Sometimes, what you see isn’t what’s really there, and it takes a moment of clarity to understand it for what it is. Are you seeing what you’re supposed to be seeing? Are you seeing what’s really there or what you want to see?
To see trials for what they are and temptation for what it is, we must analyze any given situation through His eyes and not our own. We must allow for the very real probability, dare I say near certainty, that the way God sees a situation is very different than how we perceive it. We must develop trust in our heavenly Father to the point that we will not kick against the goads or draw back when we should be moving forward.
Numbers 14:1-4, “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”’
The children of Israel looked upon Canaan, and all they saw were the giants in the land. Long forgotten were the promises of God and all the things God had done on their behalf; they wanted to return to the bondage they had been freed from because of how they saw their current predicament.
Before we judge the children of Israel too harshly, how is their reaction any different than that of the modern-day church, where the people elect leaders who will return them to Egypt rather than the land of promise?
To this day, the masses are ready to stone those who would insist that they must walk in accordance with God’s will and not rebel against Him; only nowadays, they’re doing so from the safety of their basements by clicking on keyboards and patting themselves on the back for every witty barb or turn of phrase.
It took the glory of the Lord appearing to keep the children of Israel from stoning Joshua and Caleb because, except for Joshua, Caleb, Moses, and Aaron, everyone saw the situation as being so hopeless that they concluded going back to Egypt was the best course of action.
Going back to Egypt is never the answer. Returning to bondage and doing so voluntarily is never the best course of action just because some giants are standing in the way of your Canaan. When God promised you Canaan, He knew about the giants and promised it to you nonetheless. He was not ignorant of their presence; He was not ignorant of their size; He was not ignorant of the obstacle they would pose or the energy required to defeat them. He took all these things into account when He made His promises to His children, and the only thing we need to do in order to enter in is not rebel against the Lord and not fear the people of the land.
People still try to stone the messengers, thinking it will nullify the message. Although they no longer fear the people of the land, they are enamored by them, hungering for their approval and wanting to be like them while maintaining the status of a child of God.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be of the world and of God. You can’t be of the light and of darkness. You can't be of obedience and of rebellion. You cannot enter Canaan without defeating the giants. These terms are absolute and non-negotiable. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to your face; eventually, their vested interest and why they’ve chosen the lie will come to light. It always does.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 17 November 2023 | 12:19 pm
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