Responsible Driving Part 4: You Are Where You Are
On Sunday 24th February we continued our series 'Responsible Driving'.
In this blog you will find a summary of the talk.
To listen to the talk, please click here.
There are times in our lives when we wish that things were different. Maybe it is about our health our finances or our relationships. But the fact is that we are where we are. This is our starting point. The way that we look at our circumstances can affect make how we react to them and how we deal with them. Perception makes you feel differently and perception can get skewed depending on how you are feeling and who or what is influencing you.
Have you ever resented the hand you were dealt? There is a man called Nick Vujicic who was born with no arms or legs. He spent his early years resenting that and looking at all the stuff he would never be able to do. Check him out on YouTube. In later years he came to know God and his perspective changed. He looked instead at what he could do. It transformed his life. But he still has no arms or legs. We need to focus on what you can do, not want you can’t, who you are, and not who you aren’t. We need to focus on who God is and need to see our circumstances through God’s eyes.
There is a great story in her Old Testament part of the Bible that is found in the book of Numbers.
The story so far is that Moses has rescued the whole nation of Israel from their slavery in Egypt. They have travelled through the desert and have at last come to the verge of entering the Land that God had promised them. You can read this by clicking here.
Moses sends twelve Scouts to explore Canaan. When they get back with abundant produce, and stories of powerful people in fortified cities they have a shared experience but very different perspectives. They have all the seen the same things and their stories match. However their conclusions about a way forward are very different. Caleb saw the same things as the others but thought that the perspective was too negative. He saw God in the equation. After all this was; “The Land that God had given them.” The others don’t like this and started spreading a bad report amongst the people. They talk about a land of Giants where they saw themselves as grasshoppers. Not only that but they declared that that was how they were seen as well. This negativity captured the hearts and minds of the general population and caused fear and rebellion against Moses and Aaron. They plotted to get a new leader. But two of the men who had explored the land; Joshua and Caleb, tore their clothing in protest and reminded them that they were in fact rebelling against God and that if God was for them the so called giants didn’t stand a chance.
It is interesting to note the power of our words on others. 11 of the 12 had the effect of inciting rebellion. The voice of Caleb, just one man, seemed to stir Joshua into a more positive response. They joined forces and encouraged one another and Moses and Aaron. It sees as if these were the only people to see God in the equation. It is sad to note how disappointed God was with those who lacked faith in Him. They had already been brought through tough things and seen the many ways God had miraculously intervened on their behalf. We see at the end of the story how all those who rebel never get to see the promised Land. They never get to enjoy the blessing that God has for them
When faced with our giants what do we see? We need to see the world through God’s eyes. The 10 spies had the power to affect the whole nation with the way they saw things. I wonder what you are facing that seems really big, is there a change that you are facing that is feeling scary. Are you seeing the giants, rather than God with you? We need to see the world through God’s eyes. I am not talking about being unrealistic. The reality was that there would be difficulties in conquering the land. There are troubles in our lives, some of them really big. But we need to be encouraged to see them with God fighting alongside us. We need to see the world through God’s eyes.
Where do you need to get God back in the picture where do you need to trust, where do you need to encourage, what part of your history are you able to change today?
Imagine what it would be like to see all of our circumstances through God’s eyes. Imagine how our lives would be different if we lived in faith not fear.
1. Read the passages through a couple of times.
What jumps out at you about the story? Is there anything that shocks or surprises you or anything that you find hard to accept? What and why?
2. Moses gives Hoshea “Salvation” a new name? He is renamed Joshua “The Lord Saves”. What do you think the significance of this is, and what affect might this have had on him?
3. What is the most significant part of the story for you?
4. We are all influenced for good or bad by other people’s perspectives and by what other people say. Can you bring to mind occasions when this has been a negative experience for you? Can you bring to mind when it has been a positive experience for you?
5. How easy or difficult is it for you to keep the reality of God in your reaction to circumstances? List what hinders and list what helps.
6. Who do you relate to most closely in this story? Why? Who would you like to be most like? What can you do to become more like the person you would like to be?
7. What is the thing that you find most challenging about this story?
8. As a result of looking at this story is there anything that you would like to change in yourself. What are you going to do about it?