NUMBERS 13, 14 “THE DYNAMICS OF GOD’S VISION”
GEORGE BARNA ASSERTS THAT LEADERSHIP REMAINS ONE OF THE GLARING NEEDS OF THE CHURCH. PEOPLE ARE OFTEN WILLING TO FOLLOW GOD’S VISION, BUT TOO FREQUENTLY THEY HAVE NO EXPOSURE TO EITHER VISION OR TRUE LEADERSHIP. AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF RESEARCH, I HAVE REACHED SEVERAL CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE FUTURE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA. THE CHURCH IS DYING DUE TO LACK OF STRONG LEADERSHIP. IN THIS TIME OF UNPRECENTENTED OPPORTUNITY AND PLENTIFUL RESOURCES, THE CHURCH IS ACTUALLY LOSING INFLUENCE. WHY, BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LEADERSHIP!
This is what we find in this text, God was positioning His people to cross over to Canaan, however it would take leadership and the following of God’s vision to get the job done. Are you a true leader, and do you understand that the vision belongs to God?
I) THE DESIGN OF GOD’S VISION (13: 1-33)
1) The first thing to consider in this design is God’s plan. (God gave the vision to Moses (vs. 1)
2) God always gives His plan to His man. (Bible: Hab 1, “write the vision, make it plain and the people shall read it and run with it)
3) Consider with me the uniqueness of the plan. It was God’s vision, but he allowed the people to choose the process. (Deut. 1:19-33) (You would think that the plan would succeed if the people in the plan choose the process. (some of us are complaining about the process you chose)
4) God told Moses who to pick. Make sure you pick a leader from among them. (vs. 2) (these men would be the representatives of God to see the vision process through.) ( They were not only selected, but they were respected!) ( Can I trust you with God’s vision for True Tried?)
5) Secondly, God gave the leaders’ a prerequisite. (Be of good courage) (vs, 20) ( God was sending them into less than pleasant situation with hostile people (lites, kites, hites and the sites) (vs. 29)
6) But I need for you to be of good courage, in other words, see the best of a bad situation. Secret: Vs 2 says; “I have already positioned you to take the land.”
7) What happens when you are of good courage, You see things from the proper prospective. (God told them to plot out the land, look at the people in the land, but ensure you look at this thing the right way. (They were to scout out the rebels, check out the resources, but not predict the results.
8) How does one know when they have the wrong prospective, when you begin to see things “in your own sight and in the sight of the enemy.” ( 10 of the spies looked at this thing from their own eyes, Joshua and Caleb looked at the land from the lenses of God. Notice the speech: 10 of them said; we cannot make it, but listen to Caleb We are well able to overcome the land, Joshua said; If the Lord delights in us, we can take the land. (what are you saying today? What you are saying depends on what you are seeing? (ill: Bro Steele/Bro. Hall “he admitted that he did not see what I saw.” ) Moral: true leaders see what others cannot see because they see from the lenses of God! (Bible: we walk by faith, not by sight!)
II) THE DANGERS WITHIN GOD’S VISION (14: 1-5)
1) The danger of operating within God’s vision is when leaders publish a bad report. ( when leaders seek to tear down what God has set-up)
2) Bad attitudes always trickles down! ( Ill: 10 of the 12 spies gave a bad report and it affected the entire congregation. It equates to slightly over 20%. 20% is the amount of people who are serving/giving in the church)
3) What are the dangers of a bad report?
a) Causes despair in the congregation (1) (they cried out and wept, they had lost hope.) (secret: no need to be in despair, whenever God exposes us to division, he is allowing us to discover who is really on the team. (Bible: 1 Cor. 11:19 “there must be factions among you that those who are approved may be recognized!” )
b) The congregation becomes disgruntled. (2-4) (they began to question the Lord and leadership saying “we, why and would it be better” (some of us right now are longing for the good ole days here at True Tried while others are too busy trying to make it like your last church)
c) Discredits the leader. (4) “we don’t like our pastor, so we will pick another pastor from the ministerial staff. (Preachers, be careful when the people are calling you with their issues and not me)
d) Discourages the leader. ( the leader begins to doubt his calling to the congregation.) (pastors leave the ministry not because of the pressure of ministry, they leave the ministry because of the people in ministry! (not sermons and counseling, but lack of servants and too much cackling! ) ( some of us are like chickens, too much cackling! )
III) THE DECISION CONCERNING GOD’S VISION. (14: 19-38)
1) Whenever there is a bad report, God always renders a decision. (bad reports do not go unnoticed or unharmed.
2) What does God do when he hears a bad report? Before I address that, what should the leader do when he hears a bad report. (have dialogue with God.) (vs. 19) (secret: why you are busy talking to people about me, I am talking to the Lord about you!) ( your words are harming, my words are helping! (pardon them, have mercy on them!) ( ill: some of our leaders are too busy to pray. You cannot pray for them, if you refuse to pray with them!)
3) What does God do when leaders provide a bad report. (He delays the vision (vs 31-34) (destroys the complainers) (not in one day, he allowed them to wander/wonder what Canaan would be like but die of natural causes) (deal with their dependents
4) What does God do with those leaders who give a good report? Even though the vision is delayed, the people were destroyed, dependents were damaged, because you gave a good report, God says, I will deliver despite the gossip, nay-sayers, those who refuse to buy-in to the vision!
Ill: The New York Jets play the beloved Colts on today. In sports, there is a term called “on paper” simply means that based upon who is on the team, they can determine who will win before the game begins.
We all know the Colts look good on paper, but consider the Jets. They have a loud mouth coach, a rookie QB and team filled with has-beens and players who have been ran off by other teams. But you see, no matter how it looks on paper/odds are, you still have to play the game.
Another thing about the Jets, they are on a four-game winning streak which started with the Colts giving them some grace but went on in the playoffs winning some games which on paper they should not have won, but you see that’s why you play the game!
If the Jets happen to lose today, they would have accomplished enough already to have established themselves as a winning team.
This is how God works in the church concerning his vision (especially True Tried), he takes loud-mouthed people, rookies and a congregation of has-beens and others who have been ran off from other ministries to get the job/vision accomplished.
And just in case, God doesn’t do anything else for True Tried, he has done enough to establish our church as a winning team!
There is another scenario that did not look good on paper, they had counted Him out, the longer it went, the more momentum the opponent gained. All day Friday, the enemy rejoiced, all day Saturday they celebrated, but they did not count on Sunday!