This past week I’ve witnessed people dealing with what I call “fact” or “truth.”
In my world (church planting) I have experienced thoughts like:
“You will never get this church off the ground. You only have 12 people and you need 35 to launch. Just quit and go do something else and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.” Those are facts and they are basically correct. However, I believe God gives us the truth – the truth in which He says, “I will bless you, I will never leave you nor forsake you…. I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevent it”
I had a similar conversation with a friend who was concerned about our launch and said something along the lines of “I am discouraged. Things are not happening as I thought they might. We’ve been at this and I only see 5 people in this so far.” I shared, “Wow.. that can be discouraging. However, I see 17 people not 5.” I shared that I didn’t go by what I saw in front of me, rather I saw the potential.
This “fact” only type of thinking can occur in many other areas, not just in my world. You might have bad credit in the past and now you’re trying to buy a house and trusting the Lord for His blessing. But then Satan puts the “fact” in our minds “How can you buy this house? Why you’ve mismanaged money for so long, your credit is so bad, you’ll never own your own home.” Remember, Satan’s mission is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) and he will use even good events in our life to block us from becoming all we can be in Christ.
Or you’re looking for work and you’ve had some problems in the past with the law. You may have some type of civil or criminal record. You have an opportunity for a job and to start on a clean slate, but the voice of fact (or as I sometimes call it “less”) says, “You’ll never get a job like this. Look at your background. People won’t hire someone with a “record.” And so you don’t even try.
In each of these scenario’s (and there’s many more I could share), you’re defeated before you even start, because you’ve bought into the “facts” not the “truth.”
Our Heavenly Father is a God of opportunity, of potential and of the truth. The facts may be right, but God says to us “you have potential and worth. I gave my only son for you. I’ve created you as a masterpiece so you could do my greater work.” (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-10).
God sees our potential. I’m calling this the “Truth.” If God didn’t see any potential in us, He never would have sent His son Jesus to die for us. But He did see the potential.
In the Old Testament I was reading one day about Israel entering into the promised land. God had given it to them (Joshua 1). All they needed to do is step out and claim it. Moses sent 12 scouts to look over the land. The report came back saying, “There are giants in the land with fortified cities.” Ten of the scouts said “we cannot do this. The giants are too powerful. We are like grasshoppers to them.” However, Joshua and Caleb, knowing the truth that God had offered great victory, said “Yes there are giants, but we can take them. We can do this. God will provide.” (Numbers 13).
Joshua and Caleb saw the potential, they saw what God could do. They knew the facts, but they also knew the truth. Unfortunately the people followed the bad advice of the factual ten scouts and then walked in circles for almost 40 years.
So the next time you step out in faith to trust the Lord’s leading in some venture, don’t get discouraged by the facts; rather, keep your eyes upon the Lord and be encouraged by the Truth. God wants to bless us as we serve Him. He has created us as His masterpiece to bring praise and honor and glory to His name.