How’s life going?
I'm sure you've had your share of conversations involving this question. It's an open-ended question - one whose answer depends solely on the outlook of the person being asked.
And what better time to be asked the question than New Year's Day?
Last night, you waved 2016 goodbye. Maybe you did so with tears in your eyes, wishing the year that brought so much joy in your life wasn't over. But then again, maybe you waved away a year that brought more sadness than joy. I guarantee you have no problem leaving anything associated with your past struggles - including the past year!
But it's a new day!
You woke-up this morning with many of the same situations. Just because it's a new year doesn't mean all of your problems magically dissappear. Surprise! Monday morning is still waiting for you. The unpaid bills are still on the shelf. The relationship is still broken. The pain still seems to rule.
So..."How's Life Going?"
Maybe the dawn of 2017 didn't seem to bring much change in your life. Maybe today you would answer this question the same way you would have yesterday.
"Oh, it's going."
"Same ol', same ol'."
What's that? You don't respond this way? Maybe that's because you're a part of the 99.9% of people who reply with an empty, unconscious, "Good."
My point is this: A new year doesn't mean that your situations are going to automatically change. Instead, it's an opportunity to embrace a new perspective and see eventual change.
I know the first part of that statement is obvious. I'm sure you have no problem understanding that change takes time. (Although it would have been nice if I woke-up with huge biceps this morning, it didn't happen.) You have to put time, energy, and effort into those resolutions. But do you have a Godly, faith-filled perspective?
Joshua and Caleb did.
One year ago today, I posted a video entitled You Don't Have to Settle for Less. It was derived from Numbers 13 - where we find the Children of Israel on the verge of their Promised Land.
In the meantime, God sends some Israelite men to scout the land. Among the 12 scouts (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel) are Joshua and Caleb. Moses sends them into Canaan to explore the land and spy on the people.
Moses' eyes must open wide when he hears the scouting report. I can see his hair raising. His mouth drooling. His posture frozen like the artic tundra.
"...We even saw GIANTS there, the descendants of Anak!" (V. 28).
Let me pause here and ask you a question. You know those people who see things differently than you do? When you see a problem, they see an opportunity. When you see pain, they see healing. When you see heartache, they see peace. When you see doubt, they see faith. Or better yet, let's just put it this way: when you see giants, they see wimps.
Well, add Joshua and Caleb to your "they."
These two warriors must have stood restless while hearing the other ten scouts describe the Promised Land. I could see them fighting the response with "It's not that bad, Moses!"
But I wasn't there, so let's see what Moses recalled as he wrote Numbers.
"But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. 'Let's go at once to take the land,' he said. 'We can certainly conquer it!'" (V. 30).
"But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. 'We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!'" (V. 31).
Well, that doesn't give you the full gist of the story. Listen-in to what Numbers 14 says: "Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, 'The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don't be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don't be afraid of them!'" (Numbers 14: 6-9).
Some of the Israelites were so mad at these faithful men that they considered stoning them! (V. 10)
But this year, I want to continue the conversation. Because there's more to the story.
This year, I want to share with you something that has really tugged my heart. Out of those 12 scouts, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who ever got to enter the land that God promised. Why? Because they had a different perspective. They had a different attitude.
I love what God tells Moses in Numbers 14:24, "But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have..."
God didn't just prohibit the doubters from entering the Promised Land, He killed them with a plague! (V. 36-38).
Talk about making an exception! But Joshua and Caleb deserved it! The only two scouts who believed the land was possible to inhabit were the only two scouts who ever got to enter it! The ones who had faith received the opportunity of seeing the promise.
Because they believed, they saw. Because they recognized God's power, they reached their potential. Because they had a Godly, faith-filled perspective, they walked into God's promise.
Could it be that our faith determines what we get to experience? Only those who believe it will see it. Faith will take you to the impossible, but doubt will keep you from the possible. (Think about that.)
I want to encourage you this New Year to have faith in a God who is bigger than you. Go into this New Year with fearless faith. Believe that He is working beyond your situation to display His goodness. This is a year where dreams will come true. Goals will be accomplished. Battles will be won. How? Because we have that same Godly, faith-filled perspective that Joshua and Caleb did.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20).
So I have a new way of answering the question, "How's Life Going?"
It's going FORWARD.
Not backward. I'm not stuck in the past.
Not nowhere. I'm not sitting still. I'm not settling for less than God's best for me.
I pray that you jump on board with me. Let's have the same perspective and attitude as Joshua and Caleb did. Let's watch as God exceeds our expectations and takes us further than we ever thought possible. Let's not miss-out on the promise because of little faith. God has great things for you to experience!
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19).
2017 is a year of #NewHeights. So #MoveForward. :)