Tag: Selective listening
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3 things that can help you get your focus back on track.
By Evan Carlson, CEO & President
You can do three specific things to be intentional and walk with Christ through this journey –
- Focus your thinking.
Israel had no king at the time of their Canaan moment. Moses was a prophet, but he was viewed very much as a king. In Numbers 13:1-2, God very simply gave instruction. “The Lord now said to Moses, ‘Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes’” (NIV).
Now look at what Moses said to the 12 spies.
- See what the land is like, and
- Find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many (Number 13:18 NIV).
- See what kind of land they live in.
- Is it good or bad?
- Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps (Number 13:19 NIV)?
- Is the soil fertile or poor?
- Are there many trees?
- Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see” (Number 13:20 NIV).
God said, do one thing.
Moses told the guys to do about 12 different things. And they got jammed up.
It’s kind of like when my wife Kelly sends me to the grocery store with one assignment – get salsa. That’s all we need for dinner. But halfway into the parking lot, I get a ping on my phone with a message we also need cheese and milk. I get home, and of course, I forgot the salsa.
We start thinking about things that God never asked us to think about.
God gives simple instruction.
God sent the spies into the land because He wanted them to come back and be the encouragement to inspire others about the promise land. Instead, the majority came back and discouraged the people. They did the exact opposite of what God’s purpose was for that tour.
God knew what was going on in the land. He didn’t need the 12 spies to go. He wanted them to come back and demonstrate their faith in Him. He wanted them to come back, celebrate Him and say He’s got this. The ten obviously got sidetracked.
2 Corinthians 10:5 offers a practical answer to this situation. “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (NLT). He’s asking us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Him.
Our thoughts can go crazy, and we can be thinking about everything other thing than being obedient to Him. When’s the last time that you stopped to think about what you’re thinking about?
When’s the last time you’ve done that? We’re busy people – busy with work, family and activities. We don’t live in a society that encourages us to do this. So, we need to focus our thinking.
2. Focus on what you hear.
The Israelites were not selective in what they heard. The spies lifted up the grapes and said, “Look, you’re right. The land flows with milk and honey, but …” and there’s that little word. And they go on to talk about the walls, the giants, the enemies and all the other things that they allowed them to become jammed up.
So Caleb essentially said, “y’all need to just zip it.” He said, “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’” (Number 13:30 NLT).
Caleb and Joshua were aware of the giants. They were on the same journey as the other spies. They saw the exact same movie playing out in front of them.
We don’t need people in our lives that are going to speak anything other than truth. I tell my daughters this. Don’t bring people into your life that are going to take you away from God’s truth.
The people you have in your life – either for good or for bad – will dictate your future.
It’s the old adage, “Who you hang out with is who you become.”
I don’t know why, but for some reason we choose to not listen to Mom and Dad, or Grandma and decide not to spend the time putting the right stuff in our ears.
You’ve got to focus what you hear and bolster your faith.
- Don’t let just anybody talk to you.
- Don’t let just anybody share whatever they want to share with you.
Caleb was the minority here. He knew the truth. He encouraged the other 10 to get their act together because this is what God promised Abraham, and He told them to take the land and they knew they could conquer it. God put something in the hearts of the Israelites for a reason. He had a purpose for that.
God has put things into your heart for a reason. He’s putting something into your heart and mind right now. I don’t know what that is. But He’s putting something there. Don’t let anyone say otherwise.
Thinking about the two different people overcoming cancer. Or you’ve got other things where God saying, “I want you to overcome, fill in the blank. Whatever that is. I want you to conquer the land. I want you to be careful and selective with what you’re putting into your ears.”
We have to follow God’s instructions and becomes selective in what we hear. It’s vital that we submit our lives to the words God has spoken. We need people who will stand in our corner. Do you have people in your corner who are speaking truth into your ears right now? If you don’t, find people who can speak truth into you.
Read the first blog in this series.
Read the third blog in this series.