Summary: Are you a visionary person or stationary person?
VISIONARY OR STATIONARY
In 1820 a young girl was born who went blind at only six weeks of age when an unlicensed doctor treated her mild eye infection with a hot mustard home remedy permanently scarred her eyes. As she grew she was determined not to be become bitter because of her condition and not to be confined by the chains of darkness. When she was only 8 years old she wrote:
Oh what a happy soul I am, although I cannot see; I am resolved that in this world contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don't; To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot, and I won't.
In time that girl became a mighty force for God through her hymns and Gospel songs. Her name was Fanny Crosby and her secret was to have the single mind of purpose, you look on your circumstances as God-given opportunities for the furtherance of the Gospel; and you rejoice at what God is going to do instead of complaining about what God did not do. She wrote more than 8000 hymns, including songs we still sing today like Blessed Assurance, All the Way My Savior Leads Me and To God be the Glory. She once wrote: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” Although blind she was a woman of great vision. How about you? How is your vision?
Numbers 13: 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan." 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."
Let me attempt to define two words for you this morning. The first word is VISIONARY. This means that your life is characterized by vision or foresight. The second word is STATIONARY which means that your life is characterized as being unmoving or unchanging.
Which of these words best describe you as a person? Do you embrace change? Would you say that you are a visionary person or a stationary person. How about this church? Would you say that we are a visionary or a stationary church?
In this passage that we read the children of Israel have just been released from captivity and are ready to enter into the promised land. They had travelled a long way and had been looking forward to this day. Their new home is just over the hill. The promise that God had made in the past was about to be fulfilled. To prepare for their advance Moses sends some scouts ahead and they return to give their report:
1. STATIONARY people – vs. 26-29, 31-33
a. PESSIMISTIC – vs. 28a
The 12 scouts return from spying out the land carrying the fruit from the land. They had a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it on a pole between them along with pomegranates and figs. It was clear that it was a good land flowing with milk and honey. But notice the beginning of verse 28. It says BUT. That is the word that defines pessimistic people. I want to live for Jesus, I want to follow His word, I want to serve in ministry … BUT
The optimist sees the doughnut - the pessimist sees the hole