Have you ever wondered how people could look at the same thing but see something totally different? Why do weather forecasters tell you there’s a 30% chance of rain tomorrow? Why don’t they say a 70% chance of radiant sunshine?
Twelve influential men were selected to conduct a SWOT analysis of the new territory to be inhabited. They were assigned the task of looking at the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats of the land. Their names aren’t in the news so much now but, in their day, they made the headlines as leaders. Shammua, Shaphat, Caleb, Igal, Joshua, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur. Nahbi, and Geuel.
A lot was at stake. This new land had been the dream land for quite a while. A million people had been promised a better life in a better land. They were in transition, having left their life-long homes in hope of striking it rich in a new homeland. Just now they were camping in a wilderness – not really the type of a place you’d want to call home. The new land was still a dream for them.
So, the Leadership Team of Twelve set out on their mission. It didn’t take long for some conclusions to emerge regarding the possibilities and threats. However, the Leadership Team couldn’t reach a consensus on their findings and a majority report had to be delivered – not a unanimous one. The majority saw only doom and gloom in the new land. The minority report filed by Monsieurs Caleb and Joshua was upbeat and positive with a recommendation for immediate action.
The majority of the leaders conceded the new land had potential but the threats far outnumbered the opportunities. The place was swarming with towering monster giants. “We’d be wiped out in a flash. They’d stomp on us like grasshoppers. Chew us up and spit us out.” People trembled and wept all night at the frightening forecast of such a bleak future.
The two who filed the minority report had an entirely different point of view. The land was not only awesome, the opportunities were many. “Let’s get going at once. With God on our side, we are well-equipped to take over the new land. There is no reason to worry or fear.”
“The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. Numbers 14:7-10
It’s a sad day when leaders can’t see the opportunities with God on their side. How frightening it is for the rest of the Christians if spiritual leaders are negative and see only doom and gloom in the days ahead. How depressing it is to hear ministry that holds very little hope for future testimony.
Two of the twelve saw hope, potential, opportunity, growth and success. What made the difference? Be sure of this – it had nothing to do with 10 being pessimists and 2 being optimists. It wasn’t a personality thing. It was a spiritual issue. Two of the twelve had their eyes on the Lord. He was between them and their circumstances. The other ten could only see the circumstances because they didn’t have the Lord in the right place in their thinking. All they could see were the threats and concluded decline and disaster were inevitable.
What kind of a leader would you like to be? What impressions are you leaving with other Christians? Are you going around saying: “Things are on the decline!” Or… “Through God, we can see amazing things accomplished!”
Where do you have God situated in your outlook on life?
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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