Seeing Through The Lens of Faith

Seeing Through The Lens of Faith

 

Published on 22 March 2020

Russell Evans


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When we wake up in the morning, we have a choice as to what filter we will look through when we start the day. We can choose to wake up and read the Word of God; putting on the filter of His Word—or we can start our day with social media and the news; putting on the filter of fear.

Romans 10:17 tells us that, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. When we view our day through the filter of God’s Word, we activate our faith and magnify Him above our circumstances.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)

When we face challenging times, the best thing we can do is play worship music and get into the Word of God. This is how we position ourselves to live in hope, faith and victory—not fear and defeat!

In His lesson on how to pray, found in Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer), Jesus did not instruct us to begin with, “Our problems here on Earth”. Instead, we are taught to first acknowledge God as, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name”. His Name is POWERFUL and tells us so much about His nature and character.

Consider for a moment some of God’s names and what they tell us about Him:

El Shaddai—meaning, ‘The Lord Almighty’
El Elyon— ‘The Most High God’
Adonai— ‘Lord and Master’
Yahweh—‘Lord, Jehovah’
Jehovah Nissi—‘The Lord is my Banner’
Jehovah Raah — ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’
Jehovah Rapha—‘The Lord that Heals’
Jehovah Shammah—‘The Lord is There’
Jehovah Tsidkenu—‘The Lord Our Righteousness’
Jehovah Mekoddishkem—‘The Lord who Sanctifies You’
El Olam—‘The Everlasting God’
Elohim—‘God’
Jehovah Jireh—‘The Lord Will Provide’
Jehovah Shalom—‘The Lord is Peace’

What incredible promises we find hidden in the names of God! Everything we need to flourish in life is found in His names which reflect His nature and identity. In recognizing His promises, it is important that we learn to see ourselves as the rightful recipients or ‘receivers’ of those promises that have been spoken over our lives.

We see in Numbers 13, that the Children of Israel had been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, waiting to enter the land that God promised to give them when they came out of the captivity of Egypt. Arriving at the ‘edge’ of Canaan— their ‘Promised Land’— Moses sent 12 spies to go in, look around and report back to him what they had seen.

Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds"

Numbers 13:17-19 (NKJV)

When they returned, they brought the following report:

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers 13:30-33 (NKJV)

The majority of men looked at the things they saw through the filter of ‘fear’ and declared themselves ‘grasshoppers’ in comparison to the giants that lived there. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, chose to look through the filter of FAITH. All of the men saw the very same things—the FACTS were the same— but the FILTER they looked through, created very different results! Joshua and Caleb understood WHO they were and WHOSE they were, leaving no room for fear in the equation. To them, failure was impossible while to the others, victory was impossible!

We learn from this story that although we cannot deny the facts of the situations in our lives, we CAN choose the filter through which we view those facts. This will have a huge impact on our actions and whether or not we can take hold of the promises of God for our lives!

So what lens or ‘filter’ are you looking through? Faith or fear? Is your lens causing you to press on boldly and do what God has called you to do, or shrink back in fear? Only the two men who chose to interpret the facts through the filter of faith, were permitted to enter the Promised Land. Everyone else wandered in the wilderness—watching their promise from a distance— until they eventually died off. What a tragedy!

Let’s look at what Joshua and Caleb needed to do in order to take hold of their promise:

1. They checked the condition of their hearts

Thanks to the ten spies who lacked faith, Joshua and Caleb had to wander around the wilderness with the rest of their people for 40 years, before entering the Promised Land! Instead of getting angry and bitter about this, they chose to keep God’s promise alive in their hearts and focus on that. God was still with them during that time, performing miracles to care for His people. He is always with us— in every season— even when we are far from taking hold of His promise for our lives. While most complained bitterly, Joshua and Caleb kept their hearts right before God, regardless of what was going on around them.

Joshua and Caleb circumcised themselves as a sign that they were ‘set apart’. Romans 2:29 tells us that this process now happens in our heart. It’s called a spiritual ‘circumcision of the heart’ and involves repenting for past sins, setting ourselves apart and giving ourselves over in obedience to the purposes of God for our lives. When we examine our hearts and ensure that they are right before God—driven by faith and not fear— we align ourselves with God’s purpose and promises. When we find fear in our hearts, it’s time to turn to God and worship Him, allowing Him to replace fear with faith and restore our courage to step into His promises boldly and wholeheartedly.

2. They remained united

When facing the ‘battles’ that lay between them and their Promised Land, God’s people remained united. Carefully following God’s instructions, they worked together in unity to see the walls of Jericho fall before them. This was not the time for fighting and arguing, but instead, coming into an agreement to see a great victory! No doubt some felt intimidated by the situation, but they encouraged each other to believe and have faith that God was going to make a way through the huge walls that blocked their promise!

It is important to always encourage one another to keep loving, believing and moving forward in faith to the promise ahead. It can be challenging to stay positive and focussed when the atmosphere is dominated by fear, so that’s why it is so important to help each other along the way. Acts 2:42 tells us that the early church, “looked after those who were in need”, and in doing this, they maintained a spirit of unity and hope in the face of difficulty".

If we want to take hold of God’s promises for our lives, we must be committed to staying unified and helping each other press on and not shrink back.

3. They released a sound of breakthrough

When God’s people finished marching around the walls of Jericho, they let out a shout of praise and victory that triggered the collapse of the walls! The very thing that stood defiantly in the way of their promise, came crashing down in response to the sound that was made collectively by faith!

We must be people who release the sound of praise, faith, joy and hope in the face of obstacles that threaten our God-given promises. Our lives should emit a ‘sound’ that lets the world around us know who our God is and that we are EXPECTING victory in Him!

What sound are you releasing over your problems, your marriage, your children, and your finances? Is it the sound of defeat or victory? What does your ‘sound’ tell people about God?

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

This Psalm tells us that praise should be the sound that we are constantly releasing. When we praise God, we magnify Him above the rest of the noise and walls come tumbling down! After wandering for 40 years—far away from the promise—God’s people finally moved forward by emitting the right sound!

Maybe your victory is only a faith-filled shout away!

4. They possessed the first place of promise

The very first obstacle to walking into their promise, loomed above God’s people in the form of the impenetrable walls of Jericho. At face value, these walls seemed impossible to overcome, but conquering this first challenge was necessary to embolden them for future conquests.

By examining the condition of their hearts, choosing faith over fear, uniting together, obeying God and creating a unified sound of victory, they took possession of Jericho as the walls crumbled before them. This was a victory, not only for them, but also for the generations to follow!

We all have to start somewhere. When we bring our hearts, our faith, our sound and our agreement before God, He will meet us there and we will learn first-hand, that He is a promise-keeper!

I pray that God will use your hearts, minds, mouths and hands for His glory and that nothing will stop you from moving forward into His promises for your lives. 

I also pray that you choose to look at your circumstances through the filter of faith and not fear, and keep your eyes on the One who is able to calm storms and demolish walls with just one word!

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