Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Four words that could keep me from victory

Yesterday I talked about Elijah and how he wanted to die because he processed the wrong data. In other words, his THINKING was messed up. Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” That is a verse that should make us pause for a moment and ponder it. If what we THINK is going to affect us so much that we become LIKE OUR THOUGHTS, and that IS what this verse says, then don’t you believe that we need to better examine our thought life? Looking back at Elijah, he wanted to die, because he was thinking the wrong way. In fact, not only was he thinking the wrong way, but he had the wrong information that he was meditating on.

Let’s look at another example in the Bible of people who processed the wrong DATA:

Numbers 13:27-33 Then they told the story of their trip: "We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! (28) The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. (30) Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, "Let's go up and take the land--now. We can do it." (31) But the others said, "We can't attack those people; they're way stronger than we are." (32) They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, "We scouted out the land from one end to the other--it's a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. (33) Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers."

Moses sent the spies into the promised land to spy it out. Now think about what I just said. They went to spy out the “Promised Land.” Who promised the land to them? God! If He promised the land to them, then they could certainly possess it, because God would go before them. Anyway, the ten spies reported back to Moses, and they all said it was GREAT land, flowing with milk and honey, and wonderful fruit. They seemed to be excited about the land God was giving them. However, at the beginning of verse 28, the ten spies speak FOUR words that eventually brought them defeat. Because of these FOUR WORDS they wandered in the wilderness until they died, never seeing the Promised Land in their lifetimes.

What were the words? THE ONLY THING IS. Just like Elijah did, they processed the wrong data. This was God’s promise to them that they would possess the land. It was God’s inheritance to them. God would MAKE IT HAPPEN. He would create a way where there seemed to be NO WAY. They limited God because of these four words. Verse 30 shows that Caleb tried his best to get God’s people PAST these words, but he couldn’t do it. “THE ONLY THING IS” was like a cancer that began to spread throughout the faith of God’s people.

Notice the difference between words of FEAR and words of FAITH. The ten fearful spies said, “THE ONLY THING IS…” and they went on to explain the reasons why God COULD NOT or WOULD NOT be faithful enough for them to possess the land. Wow! However, listen to Caleb’s words of FAITH… “Let’s go up and take the land—NOW. We CAN DO IT.” Caleb refused to allow the WRONG DATA to change his faith in God. As is the case so many times, FEAR won out. They didn’t possess the land until forty years later, AFTER they had wandered in the wilderness and everyone of that generation had died out. God wanted to bring them into this wonderful land but they couldn’t get past ‘THE ONLY THING IS…”

My friends, do you have a “THE ONLY THING IS” in your life? Do you have faith that God can do anything, except that one THING? Does it seem too big for God because you have been praying for some time and haven’t seen the answer yet? These four words are very dangerous and serious. God’s will and purpose for the Children of Israel was not accomplished for forty years because of FEAR. They forgot the miracles that God had very openly displayed before the world to see. In fact, if you read this story to its completion, you will see that the world had more faith in God than His own people did. That is why it is so important that when we are making decisions that we ask ourselves the question, “Am I going with FEAR or FAITH?” Many times we make decisions without properly consulting God. The Children of Israel failed to ask God what He thought. Obviously Caleb and Joshua did, but the others did not.

So, again, do you have a “THE ONLY THING IS” in your life? What about the situation with your family? What about your finances? What about your stubborn spouse? What about the problems at your job? Do you have more FAITH or FEAR? Do you truly believe that God can do ANYTHING? Or is there a “THE ONLY THING IS” that you can’t seem to have faith for. If you are being dominated by this ONLY THING, then you have processed the wrong data. The ten spies said that the people of the promised land looked at the Israelites like they were grasshoppers. In other words, they had no fear of them or their God. That WRONG DATA kept the Children of Israel from going forward. However, listen to what Rahab, who lived in Jericho which was part of the Promised Land, told some Israelites spies:

Joshua 2:8-11 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof (9) and said, "I know that GOD has given you the land. We're all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. (10) We heard how GOD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. (11) We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and GOD, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.

She said, "I KNOW that God has given you the land (that was more faith than God's own people had) We’re all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God…” This is what I was talking about earlier. The world that didn’t know God, had more faith in Him than the ones that He had performed miracles for. Why is that? Because of the FEAR that “THE ONLY THING IS” brought into their lives.

My prayer for you today is that you will no longer be dominated by these four words. You know what God says about your ONLY THING that seems impossible?

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

All THINGS are possible to him that believes. All things includes your, “THE ONLY THING IS.” It is all about being very careful of the DATA that you allow to be processed in your mind. I would like to leave you with an acrostic that I pray will help you process the correct DATA in your mind today:

Daily place God’s Word in your mind to MEDITATE on

How do you meditate? You just simply dwell on or think on something until it becomes cemented in your mind. We do that with worries, frustrations and hurts to name only a few. If we would ever get to the point where we daily mediate on God’s goodness and faithfulness and His Word, then we would be able to get past FEAR and move over into the FAITH realm where all things are possible.

Attack FEAR with PRAISE

When fear attacks your faith, and that is what fear does, then you re-focus on God by praising Him. When the enemy speaks to you through FEAR, then you turn the table on him by allowing that to be a reminder to stop whatever you are doing and just begin to give God thanksgiving and praise. Name the blessings of God in your life, and just begin to thank God for them. Begin to think about God’s goodness and mercy and verbalize them, either through the spoken word, or by typing them into a journal.

Train your mind to think within the boundaries of Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8 (MSG) Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

If what you are dwelling on doesn’t fit within the boundaries mentined in this verse, then get it out of your mind immediately. Do like David did, and what Caleb tried to do, and that is get your FOCUS off of “THE ONLY THING IS” which represents your storm, giant, or problem, and re-focus your thoughts on God and His faithfulness.

Attach yourself to some godly people with the Spirit of Caleb

Numbers 14:24 (MSG) "But my servant Caleb--this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I'll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

I Corinthians 15:33 (NLT) Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."

It does matter what you allow yourself to hear all the time. If you are around negative, fearful talk all of the time, it can’t help but get into your spirit. You may be married to someone who is constantly negative, or you may be in a work situation that is constantly negative. Even in that situation, it is imperative that you find some people with the spirit of Caleb, in other words, people of FAITH and not FEAR that encourage you in the Lord. There are many ways that you can do this: Sunday School, other small groups, attending church on a regular basis, reaching out to people (of the same gender) that you have wanted to get to know because they are faith-filled. Go ahead and do it…TODAY. Why wait?

I love you guys and pray daily for our church family. I call your family’s individual names out before God. I believe in you and thank God for you. Thank you so much for the comments that many of you have left, and please continue to do so. They serve as an encouragement to others. God bless!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day!

Pastor Rusty L. Blann


braveslpn said...

This was exactly what I needed at exactly this moment in my day.God is so awesome and I am so glad to be lead by a pastor that is lead by God. Mindy

Karateman said...

Caleb is the man.
Can do (anything else is unacceptable)
Always listening to God (no other voices)
Let go of all other hinderances (nothing to weigh me down)
Excell in the Power of our Lord (It is not about his age but his God)
Bring home the victory (His Train still fills the temple)

Karateman said...

Caleb is the man.
Can do (anything else is unacceptable)
Always listening to God (no other voices)
Let go of all other hinderances (nothing to weigh me down)
Excell in the Power of our Lord (It is not about his age but his God)
Bring home the victory (His Train still fills the temple)

Pastor Rusty said...


GREAT acrostic. Thanks for the post. Caleb indeed is the man with a different spirit within him!

Pastor Rusty said...


Thanks for the post and your encouraging words. I am so thankful that God used the blog to speak to you today. He is faithful. God bless!

Churchchipmunk said...

Awesome Message Pastor! Too often, this is where we the mind. We forget that this is where the enemy would have us battle and lose. But, I praise the Lord of Hosts that the battle is not ours but His and in that, the Victory is Ours! Whether in personal or workplace life, we should all take the time to clear our thoughts. I have so many inspiring words and verses spread throughout my desk and my house to serve as that constant reminder of not only who God is...but who I am in Christ Jesus! Thanks so much for your yielded heart to the Lord and for being such an AWESOME Steward of the Lord!

Treasure Seeker said...

Good stuff! I want to have Caleb's spirit and not be ruled by those 4 words. How many times have I spiritualized my "the only thing is..."
Thanks for the Word!

Cliff said...

Hey Pastor Rusty,
Thanks for helping us focus. Those four little words seem to find lots of ways to creep into our daily lives.
I love Caleb's spirit. I was just thinking Caleb is a great example for our young people. Can you imagine how popular he was with the rest of the Israelites when he said "Lets Roll"? I think they wanted to stone him. But he wasn't concerned with what they thought, only Gods plan.
How many times have we missed out on God's greatest blessings because we were more concerned with "the only thing is"?