I have this sticky note on my desk with a scripture written on it:
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
It’s a reminder to myself not to psych myself out along this journey God has me on. Ever since I’ve been a little girl, I’ve had really big dreams about who I’d become and what I’d accomplish in this world. And while many of those dreams have evolved over the years, some of them still seem as big now as they were when I was 12. Actually, now they seem bigger.
When you start your own business, you have then end in mind: the impact you’ll have, the success you’ll attain, and (at least for me) sometimes an unrealistic perception of how short and easy the path from startup to success will be. When you’re in the thick of it, down in the weeds of the day-to-day grind, it’s far too easy to feel like a grasshopper among giants.
Who am I to take this on? What did I ever think I had to offer? How in the world is my little contribution ever going to even make a dent in this world? Why am I doing this day after day and still not seeing any progress? What made me think people would see something valuable in me?
These are just a handful of the toxic questions that have swirled around in my brain. I allowed myself to be convinced that God had the wrong person for this vision of His. It was paralyzing to the point I couldn’t even make progress. I couldn’t care, couldn’t keep going. I couldn’t believe in the vision anymore.
That’s exactly what happened to the children of Israel when Joshua sent a the spies to scout out the land that God told them to take. They saw the size of the giants–the problem, the competition, the opposition, the obstacles– compared to themselves and lost heart. When we compare ourselves to the circumstance we were sent to change, we’ve taken the wrong perspective.
When we’re chasing a dream and a vision that God has given us, there is no doubt that we will come up against a challenge that’s way out of our league. Of course the problem is bigger than we are. Of course there’s no way we can conquer it with what we know and what we can do. But we must remember this: if God sent us, He plans to fight for us! 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” God knows we can’t accomplish what He’s sent us to do on our own. Because then who would get the glory? Not God! He sends us for His purpose so that He can be made known in the world (see 2 Corinthians 2:14), so it’s no wonder that He sends us into fights we can’t win without Him. But He promises never to leave us or forsake us, so we can count on Him going before us and securing the win before we even get to the battlefield.
Our job is to trust that He will do what He said. Not too long ago, God spoke a word in one of our Life Group meetings that my mom told me about. The words have been ringing in my head ever since: “Are you not able to take the land even though I have already gone before you?” Utterly chilling. Here I’ve been, apathetic, stalling, contemplating quitting because I don’t see how I can’t do this… when God never, ever asked me to. He just asked me to go. The rest is up to Him. My job is two-fold: trust and obey Him, and guard my heart and mind against the attacks of the enemy that would defeat my resolve to chase the vision God has given me.
These two translations of Proverbs 4:23 are so poignant for me:
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (NLT).
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts (GNT).
Only by guarding our hearts and our thoughts will we be able to ward off the mental attacks of the enemy (which, by the way, often sound exactly like our own voices!) Those toxic questions swirling around in my mind just a couple of weeks ago sounded just like me– they were even voiced in the first person!–and I racked my brain trying to figure out when, where, why and how I ever started thinking like that. It is so unlike me, even 12-year-old me would be ashamed. It was no one but the enemy sowing seeds of discouragement and distraction to get me so off course that eventually, I would quit. Except, God showed me what was going on and it’s GAME OVER!
Guard your heart. Guard your thoughts. Guard your perception of yourself. Don’t compare yourself to the circumstance, compare the circumstance to YOUR GOD! He’s willing, He’s able, and above all, He promised!
I pray that every one of you will find the strength to fight for your mind and for your visions today. I pray that God would expose the enemy’s derailment tactics in your life and show you how to fight against them strategically. Lord, help us to guard our hearts and our thoughts and see ourselves the way You see us. You sent us for a reason. You called us for a unique purpose. No one else can do what you’ve specifically ordained us to do, so help us to achieve that by staying in the fight and trusting to you lead the way. Amen.