Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
I truly desire to please God! My “Vision” is to be more like Jesus. The success of my “Vision” depends on two areas – My Priorities & Focus – and these must be developed!
Developing the proper Biblical Focus requires…
Once we’ve aligned our priorities to fulfill the “Vision” that is in harmony with God, we must establish a clear focus to keep us on the right “course.” We must not allow fear to overshadow faith so that we shift our focus from God! Remember, we will always move toward the direction we are focusing on. If I focus more on fear that attacks me, more than the faith that is in me, I will not realize my “Vision.”
As we stated earlier, it is impossible to please God without acknowledging Him and believing in Him! God is the One Who places His “Gift of Faith” into the spirit of all who call upon the Name of His Son for salvation. Faith is an integral part of our spiritual DNA…
Romans 12:3 (KJV) “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Emphasis Added).
Beyond the innate instinct of survival, “fear” is motivated and influenced by a spirit (fallen angel) to neutralize the effect of faith when faced with fearsome circumstances. The intent of the “spirit of fear” is to obfuscate our focus so that we will not respond to fearsome circumstances with faith.
While fear is a natural response, faith is a supernatural resource! Whenever the spirit of fear attacks us, we must tap into (stir up) the gift of faith that God has given us.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (KJV) “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (Emphasis Added).
God told the children of Israel that He would lead them into the Promised Land and He would give them victory over all the nations that occupied that Land. God cannot, and will not, lie…
Numbers 23:19 (KJV) “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Emphasis Added).
1 Samuel 15:29 (KJV) “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent” (Emphasis Added).
“God-sized” vision requires God’s intervention! When our “Vision” is in harmony with God’s, we will need to work “with” God to be successful. This was the case with the Promised Land and the children of Israel. God would have to deliver the nations into their hands. They would have to be obedient and “enter” the Land by faith and trust Him. God sent the “spies” to search the Land, so they would verify that the Word of the God was true, AND they would need His help to possess the Land.
In the Book of Numbers, Chapter 13, we read the account of God’s encouragement for Moses to send the spies. They went, but 10 of the 12 spies returned under the influence of the spirits of doubt, discouragement, and discord. The lead spirit of these three is “Fear.”
10 spies gave the report prompted by the spirit of fear…
Numbers 13:27-29 (KJV) “And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan” (Emphasis Added).
Did you notice the words, “Nevertheless” and “moreover?” The spirit of fear the facts as they are. In this case, God had already told them that the land was flowing “with milk and honey!” BUT, the spirit of fear will ALWAYS overstate the obstacles to present distractions, so we will shift our focus from God.
Caleb did NOT fall prey to the spirit of fear! He saw the same things the other spies saw. However, he operated under the influence of the Spirit of Faith!
Numbers 13:30 (KJV) “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Emphasis Added).
Caleb recognized that the Promised Land was everything God had said it was. He also saw the size and strategy of the enemy; however, he understood that God would have to intervene to deliver the Promised Land into their hands. Unlike the spirit of fear, the Spirit of Faith is accompanied with the spirits of confidence, courage, and concord.
Joshua and Caleb did NOT allow the spirit of fear to distract them from their focus…
Numbers 14:6-9 (KJV) “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Emphasis Added).
10 of the spies reported plenty of good reasons for entering and possessing the Land. BUT they couldn’t stop focusing on their fears. As they talked of the giants (descendants of Anak) and the walled cities, it made it easier to get distracted from God’s promise!
As we face fearsome decisions, we must not allow the negatives to overwhelm the positives. We must not allow POTENTIAL hindrances distract us from God’s PROMISED help! Apostle Paul modeled this principle…
Acts 20:22-24 (KJV) “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Emphasis Added).
There was a study done of concentration camp survivors. What were the common characteristics of those who did not succumb to disease and starvation in the camps? Victor Frankl was a living answer to that question. He was a successful Viennese psychiatrist before the Nazis threw him into such a camp. “There is only one reason,” he said in a speech, “why I am here today. What kept me alive was you. Others gave up hope. I dreamed. I dreamed that someday I would be here, telling you how I, Victor Frankl, had survived the Nazi concentration camps. I’ve never been here before, I’ve never seen any of you before, I’ve never given this speech before. But in my dreams, in my dreams, I have stood before you and said these words a thousand times.” –Unknown, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 3