In the picture above Jane Mansfield is slaughtering all the other ladies in the house with her boobs being on display and it’s hilarious because Sophia Loren, an accomplished actress in her own right, is giving her crazy side eye😒. What do you think she was thinking?
…But then there were other moments. Hard moments. Moments when I felt my friends’ lives were rushing past me in a flurry of met goals, new opportunities, and affirmations of their callings from God. It seemed like the world was literally passing me by. In those moments I said, “Good for them.” But on the inside I kept thinking, Ouch…That means less and less opportunity for me. (TerKeurst, page 118)
Lysa dug deeper and the deeper she went she realized none of the statements she had made edified her or God. In the wake, it only caused destruction. The seeds (words) she planted distorted her view of her own abilities, God’s provision and it magnified her weaknesses. We’ve all been there at some point or another. You know how I know?
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33 KJV)
Yes, there were actually real life giants and they were called Anakim. The Anakim were long necked men who lived in Canaan, which is probably why they were considered giants to the shorter Hebrews. The giants cultivated the Promised land. Yep, the land flowing with milk and honey, they were responsible for that. They were descendants of the Nephilim (fallen angels who got with Earthly women who produced giant children as one of the distinct characteristics)
Anyway, Numbers 13:33 was the evil report of the 10 spies who scouted out the land. Why evil? Isn’t “evil” a little harsh? Well, evil is what God called it, because they minimized not only themselves, but God. The giants seeing them as grasshoppers was just a byproduct of their own thoughts, feelings and vision of themselves. Isn’t that crazy that they only saw themselves as bugs to be squashed? Especially after you consider the miracles God had just walked them through? I mean God literally heard their begging and pleading from Heaven after about 400 years of slavery, He judged their oppressors in front of them with the plagues (talk about making your enemy your footstool), made them rich by bankrupting their oppressor, allowed them to walk out-not sneak out-walk out with their stuff so much so that they bankrupted Egypt, He guided them through the Red Sea’s ocean floor by holding back the waters, drowned their oppressors with the same waters, gave them a roadmap of how to live a victorious life through Moses and legit led them to the front door of the Promised Land. You mean to tell me that God Almighty went through all of that for squashed bugs? And not only that, but you mean to tell me that they didn’t think He could handle evicting tall men? Really?
Although they were free, their minds were still enslaved…but you know what? We aren’t any better. God has saved us so many times from perils seen and unseen…over and over He saved us from things we really, really wanted but He knew would destroy us. We are really no better. A good example of this is what I experienced a couple of weeks ago. I know without a shadow of doubt God gave me We, the Peculiars years ago but I doubted if I should even continue with it. I see other bloggers prospering, getting feedback and really connecting with their audiences and although I love blogging, I began to think, “If I’m not making an impact is it worth it?” And when I look at it like that, it makes me want to close the access and keep it for a diary. Look below to see me apply this wilderness scenario to my dilemma so you can see just how similar we are to the 10 spies:
- The Promised Land, the goal- participation
- Giants-seemingly overwhelming obstacles that I can’t handle
- The Wilderness-indecision of what to do next
- Egypt, the land of bondage-focusing on what someone else has or conforming for job stability
Clearly, I’m guilty of the sin of the 10 spies…but lack of participation doesn’t negate the fact that this is an assignment from God. So as much as I love you guys, as much as I want to connect and have bonds with you guys, as much as I would love for this to be my career and for it to grow like wildfire, this wasn’t my idea. God called me to this, just as He had them and the requirement is faithfulness. From the edge of the Red Sea to the front door of the Promised Land was supposed to only be an 11 day trip but ended up being 40 years. Why? Why was it 40 years? Because of unbelief? that’s what everyone says. I don’t want to spend another day in indecision, let alone 40 years. My answer is it was the giants that overwhelmed logic. I’m sure they started with the right intentions and then the conversation probably turned to “He wants us to do what? Naw, you see them? The odds are against us,” opposed to “If God said so then let’s do it!” I imagine there was also some fear of success wrapped up in that as well. They saw the largeness of not only the people but the spoils (huge grapes) which would then be their responsibility, so we tend to give up because the task is legit too great (large, amazing).
I never heard someone question it so let’s question it…There were 2 spies that believed they could take the land, Joshua and Caleb. What made them different? They wanted to react to God’s charge to take the land not respond to what they saw. Also, Joshua was Moses’ understudy so I understand that but what about Caleb? What I know about Caleb is that He was from the tribe of Judah (Praise) (The tribe of this month) and in war Judah goes first. So I think it’s safe to assume that he was raised to be fearless in the midst of opposition. Both, Caleb and Joshua, kept their focus on God and not themselves or their efforts. I know from experience, when we look at ourselves against what lies ahead, it can be extremely overwhelming but when we focus on God nothing else matters and it’s easier to praise Him opposed to us taking on those burdens. I know I went off on a tangent, so please forgive me but there’s times when I need to remind myself of God’s promises. So let’s get back to Lysa…
Lysa opens this chapter with her recalling her sending out tons of book proposals. Every one came back rejected but her friends, “wannabe writers,” she calls them, were getting theirs accepted left and right. She authentically celebrated them but then, there were times when it played on her own insecurities where she would feel like there was less opportunity for her. She began rehearsing thoughts like “Why can’t I see that type of breakthrough she’s experiencing?”, “She’s so much better connected, resourced and talented than me.”, “Since she’s already successful with her endeavors, I wonder if there’s even a need for me?” Then she realized that everyone of those statements maximized her weaknesses and minimized God’s ability and goodness.
If we allow thoughts that stink, that smell will leak out into every bit of us-our words, our actions, and especially our reactions. (TerKeurst, page 119)
But 2 Corinthians 2:15 says “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” The goal here is to be a pleasing aroma to Christ, not to stink. When our attitudes stink, it effects everything that surrounds us. For example, the concept of Scarcity vs. Abundance. Scarcity is a crab in the barrel mentality. There’s not enough room at the top for all of us…so the crabs climb on top of one another, pushing, clawing and using whatever or whoever to get there. Abundance is defiant of that thought process. Abundance says there’s enough for everyone, no lack. The mentality of scarcity is usually found in people who have a hard time celebrating others because of their limiting beliefs. While the mentality of abundance is found in the person who has a deep sense of personal worth. These people live loved because they know that abundance is accessible. Even in scripture, John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that you can have life and have it abundantly.” If anyone has to resort to steal, then there’s lack in their life. They believe that there’s only 1 option to get what they want; which usually resorts to extremes such as an attempt to steal the attention, position, idea or person, kill to remove the competition, cover their tracks and destroy any evidence of the whole ordeal.
Scarcity=Fear!! All day, everyday and twice on Sunday. It’s fear that there’s not enough to go around; it’s selfishness because when the lie is believed, what is left is typically horded by the one person who believed the lie in the first place. Those attributes don’t sound anything like God. When fear shows up it shows cracks in the armor of our belief. When things are great we trust God with everything we have, we shout “Have your way, Lord,” but when fear creeps in, we sob “Why me, Lord?” Why not us? He’s only doing what we asked of Him to do. He’s having His way. He’s revealing our cracks.
For me, my cracks are my ideas of stability. So when this job situation first happened, I thought God is doing this and now my tone has changed…Now, I’m applying for jobs and it’s to the point where I’m applying for jobs I’ve done years ago and I’m not getting the callbacks. Now, I’m in my feelings…”Hold up Lord, I’ve never had a problem getting work. You couldn’t have moved me out here to leave me, right?” and the silence is deafening and I’m shaken because every time I see an email that says that they decided to go with another applicant, it feels more and more like (especially now that the weather is warm. It’s a constant reminder that June 30th is right around the corner) there isn’t enough room for me…like I’m the one standing in the last round of musical chairs…left out, forgotten, forsaken…and in the very month of praise. I should be praising but I really feel like not coming to work anymore, putting my house up for sale and all of its contents to disappear and live simply but that would stink. Everyday I have to fight the urge to give up, whether it be the blog or adulting in general, but in my heart I know that I must allow this to run its course for the aroma and to get the aroma there’s sacrifice. I just have to be okay with that. You might be tired of hearing about this job debacle in every post…trust, you can’t be any more tired of it than me. I’m tired of talking about it but I do because it’s relevant, I have to remind myself of His promises, I have to be honest and accountable and most of all, I have to remind myself who I represent.
Toward the end of the chapter, Lysa makes a good point when she talks about how social media does a fantastic job of feeding the fire of scarcity; so she has a couple of tips she uses to readjust her thinking when she misses the mark:
- Ask God to bless others and pray for their abundance (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- Ask God to help others succeed (Philippians 2:4)
- Ask God to send more people into ministry (Luke 10:2)
I’m not gonna lie, that’s the last thing I feel like doing but when you can’t pray for yourself, it’s best to pray for someone else. So it’s worth a try. When they do well, we all do well.
So even as the closed doors and rejections seem more prevalent than the new opportunities you’d like to see, even as you’re seeking to readjust your thinking, remember that there is an abundant need in this world for your contribution to the kingdom…your thoughts and words and artistic expression…your exact brand of beautiful. (TerKuerst, page 125)
What I’m learning is it’s never too late to readjust our thinking. We can start with praise and being thankful by counting our own blessings and celebrating God for who He is. This will allow us to shift to thoughts of abundance. Ultimately, what is meant for you is for you and no one else. I really hope this blesses someone who has been struggling and it ministers to you as much as it has me.