Do you believe that victory is possible even before the war is over?
In Numbers 13, particularly verses 17-21 and 23-27, we find the story of the Israelites seeking out the fulfillment of God's promises. They were spying out the promises and checking to see if all that God said was reality. In doing so, the entire Israelite community, a million+ people, were influenced by how the 12 spies reported what they saw. 10 gave a report about how small they were and how overwhelming their defeat would be. 2, Joshua & Caleb, looked more at the fruit and knew that God had given them the land. In today's world, in our culture the fruit of our journey with God are MIRACLES & TESTIMONIES. Reports are not always bad reports, they are just reports. They are an articulation of what seems factual. Report = current reality.
You and I will see fruit and hear reports at the same time. We get them at the same time because it's a test to know which ones will draw our affection. Which ones will capture our attention, our meditation and our thought life? Fruit is an invitation to own a land from which it comes. The fruit of provision means we can inherit a place of security and confidence that God is always a provider. It goes from a casual miracle, to a deep conviction in our heart. We are convinced that God will always provide for us. Fruit is evidence that there is more for us.
What fruit can you recall in your life? What fruit have you seen and experienced? [quiet your life, spend some time in solitude and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your fruit to you]
Faith does not ignore reality. It defies reality. Changes reality. Faith trusts regardless of reality. Whatever your report is, who do you trust?
Here are some tips on how to navigate the tension between fruit and report:
a. Watch what you say:
- Words model the world you live in.
- Under the pressure of a bad report and feeling hopeless, watch what you say because you will see what you say.
b. How we see ourselves, gives others the right to see us that way.
- You are a child of God.
- You are a conqueror.
- You are a lover.
- You are a person of purity.
- You are free from shame, guilt and condemnation.
- You are compassionate.
- You are strong.
- Be confident. Confidence is about what you can give away. Arrogance is about what you are trying to take. Be confident and give away your life for others.
c. Follow great leaders and serve them.
- A leader will take you where you want to go. A great leader will take you where you do not think you can go.
d. Under pressure, discover and live out truth.
- Under pressure, exaggeration looks true.
- Pressure exposes what you believe to be true. All of the spies looked at the same thing. The pressure they faced, exposed what they believed to be true. If you are believing a lie - repent, confess it to God, break agreements and then make agreements with what God says about you or your situation.
I hope these words will help you navigate the paradox of fruit and reports.