How do you respond to the question, “Who are you?” Many times we respond by saying our occupation or our primary role in life. That indicates what we do, but the question remains, “Who are you?” The Bible often uses the terms “chosen ones” or “saints” to refer to God’s people. Why is your view of yourself important? Your view of yourself determines your self image and your relationship with others.
Let’s take a look at the importance of a proper self image from a story in the Old Testament. The nation of Israel was poised on the verge of entering the promised land. Twelve spies had entered the land and they discovered it was indeed a land that flowed with milk and honey. Ten of the spies focused on the challenges whereas two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, focused on God. As the ten spies were giving out a bad report, Caleb gave God’s perspective,
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely 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 too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.” (Numbers 13:30-32)
Although God had promised Israel the land, the ten spies focused on the problems while Caleb and Joshua focused on God’s promise. Where is your focus when you face giants in your life – is it on the problems or God’s promises? When David battled Goliath, many of the soldiers were afraid because he was so big, David reasoned, “He’s so big I can’t miss him.” Why were the ten spies overwhelmed by the problems? The next verse reveals the reason,
There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)
The bigger their problems seemed, the smaller they became – they suffered from a grasshopper complex. Their statement became a self-fulfilling prophecy – they viewed themselves as grasshoppers, weak and ineffective against their adversary, and so they became that way in their sight. Their view of themselves adversely affected their self image. Could it be that the ten spies low view of themselves was because their view of God was too small?
You will face challenges in your life and you can either focus on the problems or the God who can solve your problems. God is bigger than any problems you will face – nothing is too difficult for God. Remember that God is with you and God is for you!
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5