This is a repost from July 2017. A reminder to self. We all need them from time to time.
Ever felt like you really had nothing to offer? Everyone around you seems to be moving ahead in the world and you can’t even move your way into a better job or any job, a better car, or a nicer place to live.
You say to yourself, “This is just my lot in life and I just have to learn to live with it. For many, to many years this was my perspective on life.
I would tell myself there are the haves and the have-nots and that is just the way life is. I saw myself as unimportant in the grand scheme of life. Having an average appearance, straight brown hair, brown eyes and painfully shy and insecure. Nope, nothing exceptional about me.
Living in a dysfunctional family, in a rented house, wearing outdated clothes from Sally’s Boutique (Salvation Army) and riding in an old beat up car. I wasn’t exactly a sought after individual by my peers. Oh, I made a few friends and did fair in school but there were no extra curricular activities (ECAs) other than chorus for a year in Jr high (I think it was required?). I found my own ECA’s. with others in my own league, the-down-and-outers league (Not a reflection on the person of my friends, just my perception of where we all were in life at the time). One thing I did like was dancing and was told I was pretty good at it by some. I had a brief glimmer of hope that I might become a professional choreographer, but alas, I was told later in my teen years that my legs were to short to be a professional dancer. Chalk it off as another flaw!
My perception through all of these experiences was that I didn’t have anything of value to offer therefore could expect little in the way of return or success. This brought about years of just settling for less than God’s best. And also became a good excuse for not trying to do better. Yup, that’s where it takes you!
You see our perception, how we see ourselves and our abilities, has a definite effect on our perspective, the outcome that we expect. And the outcome we expect will, more than likely be the outcome we get.
If we perceive ourselves as victims, we will expect to be a victimized by others so we don’t trust.
If we perceive ourselves as failures we don’t expect to succeed therefore we don’t try.
If we perceive there is no way out of a relationship, a financial crisis, or a struggle with self control in some area then we expect nothing will change and we give up, we lose hope.
In the Bible we see a perfect example of how perception affects perspective and visa-versa. God promised Abraham that He would give his offspring the land of Canaan in Genesis 12:7, 17:1-8 and again reminded Moses and the Israelites of His promise in Exodus 3:7-8.
But when the time came to prepare to enter the promised land the twelve members of the reconnaissance team, sent out by Moses to scope out the land, came back with conflicting recommendations. Oh, they all agreed it was for sure a land that “flowed with milk and honey” and they even brought back a sample of the beautiful fruit that was there. But ten of the twelve quickly followed up with; “However (a fancier word for but), the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large….we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” God said He would give them the land but they let fear take control of their perspective and it kept them from claiming the promised land.
Yet two of the twelve were ready to take the giants on! These two, Joshua and Caleb, saw their God as much bigger than those they saw in the land. God said that He was going to give them the land and they believed He would do just that. Most will remember the name of the two, but who remembers the name of the other ten?
The difference in the two reports was not accuracy in what all twelve saw but in their perception of how they saw it in light of their own understanding. The two believing their God could and would keep His promise trusted Him with the difficulties they might face. The ten could only see defeat, forgetting God’s promises to “give” them the land.
The good news is that a change in our perception can also change our perspective and a changed perspective can change our life, our world! When we can look at Scripture and study it we begin to see God’s perception of us and that is a real game changer!
We see that God sees potential in us and we begin to believe things can change.
We understand “in the world we will have trouble” but also are promised that God has overcome the world and will be with us, therefore if we can believe and have courage to change. (John 16:33 – NIV)
We begin to see in hind-site how God has been working behind the scenes in our lives and can believe His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. Even if we fall He will pick us up. (Hebrews 13:5-6)
We can even believe that we “can do all things through Christ who is our strength”, so we step out in faith and try. (Philippians 4:23)
If we perceive God is good, and He is, and we believe He keeps His promises, and He does, then we can have faith and believe that He will. For we know that God can do all things; no plan of His can be thwarted (Job 42:2).
“For nothing is impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)
Yes, we remember the rejection and pain we have experienced at the hands of others or as a result of our own choices in life, but we can believe God loves us, forgives us and promises to restores us, and He does.
Steven Furtick writes in his book: Crash the Chatterbox – Hearing God’s Voice Above All the Others: “The Enemy can’t do a thing to diminish God’s promises – that ability is decidedly beyond the limits of his power. So instead he lures you into places where your perspective of God’s promises will be diminished.”
For Adam and Eve it was near a the tree of life, the very tree God had forbidden them to eat from. (It’s never a good idea to get that close to forbidden fruit!) Genesis 3:1-7
For the ten spies it was a land of giants. (There are giants in every land.) (Numbers 13:31-33)
For Elijah it was seclusion in a cave. (We can’t hide from God) (1 Kings 19:1-14)
Where has he been luring you? Has the Enemy taken you places in your own head or heart that are altering your perception of who God is and who you are in Him?
Are you close to forbidden fruit, fearing the giants, or hiding from God in seclusion?
Go to the quiet place and listen for God’s voice. Read His Word and search out His promises. Read about how much He loves you and longs to help you become all He has for you to be. Tell him about your fears, insecurities, anxieties.
He is waiting for you, even pursuing you. In all these things He is able to bring you into a better place, for your good and His glory! Seek Him!!