If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:
- MONDAY: Numbers 13:1-33
- TUESDAY: John 10:1-21
- WEDNESDAY: Luke 5:1-11
- THURSDAY: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
- FRIDAY: Galatians 2:11-21 (Acts 15:1 for context)
- SATURDAY: 2 Corinthians 10
- SUNDAY: Mark 5:21-43
eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!
Sermon Notes: “I Caught a Thought” ⤵️
Main Passage: Numbers 13:30-33
Is it possible to catch an attitude?—Like when you see someone’s name on your phone and it triggers a bad response.
Can you catch faith?
Can you catch fear?
Can you catch an idea?
Can you catch a vision?
Can you catch a word from God?
Caught Between Two Thoughts
The Israelites have come across the desert from the Red Sea to the Jordan River and Moses sends spies into the Promise Land. This is the conflicting report that is brought back:
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.”Numbers 13:30-33, NIV, emphasis mine
The Israelites were caught between two thoughts:
- We can and we should. (Verse 30: Joshua and Caleb’s report)
- We can’t so we shouldn’t try. (Verse 31: The other ten spies’ report)
Just like with the Israelites, there will always be two thoughts: (1) that God will come and deliver you and (2) that the devil will come and destroy you.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10, NIV
The Israelite nation relied on the report of the spies to get:
(1) a picture of the promise of God and
(2) a prediction of the outcome.
The bad report kept them from going in:
They weren’t stopped by the giants but by the thoughts,
not by something that was bigger than them,
but by something they thought was bigger than them.
The devil attacks your “faith immune system.”
He can’t take away the promise from you,
so he tries to move you from a place of faith to a place of doubt
so you never take hold of the promise.
The spies mission was to sneak into the Promise Land—to not get caught—they did get caught: not by the giants, but by their own thoughts.
Thought #1: The Size of the Promise (“I have everything I need in God.”)
Thought #2: The Size of the Problem (“Even though I believe God is big, I’m too puny.”)
You Catch What You’re Close To
Some people don’t need to raise their hands to have more faith,
They need to delete some of their contacts on their phone.
You don’t feel it while you’re scrolling on social media,
But you feel it when you stop.
You catch a thought of offense or judgment —>
(“Why is God blessing them more than me?”)
And you reap an attitude of frustration.
You become a victim of your own judgment:
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”Matthew 7:1-2, NIV
Have you ever asked yourself
“Where did that thought come from?”
Where that thought comes from determines where it leads to.
I’ve never heard god speak audibly out loud, so when I say God spoke to me, that can be misleading… but Peter heard him literally when Jesus told him to let down the nets [Luke 5:1-11]. Before he caught the fish, he caught a thought. [The command from Jesus and the trust to obey.]
God speaks to me in my thoughts.
The devil speaks to me in my thoughts.
I’ve got two thoughts on the same device.
I’m caught between two thoughts:
Between Caleb and Joshua who said we can
And the other spies who said we can’t.
Comparing Ourselves to the Wrong Thing
Have you ever thought “I’m not enough”? It’s all over our society. Even professional athletes struggle with this doubt.
We don’t compare ourselves to God’s calling on us,
But on a fictional account of someone else’s life.
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years,
not because of their enemies,
but because of their thoughts.
Before it was a feeling, it was a thought: Pastor Steven shares about him dealing with depression while knowing, “Rejoice in the lord always” [Philippians 4:4]. [Nick: If you are dealing with long term depression and/or suicidal thoughts, do not feel ashamed to reach out for help, seek professional counseling, and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. God can and does show up in community and services like these.]
The apostle Paul writes to the early churches about not being led astray by false teachers [2 Corinthians 11 and Galatians 2]:
Don’t be led astray like Eve,
Who allowed something beneath her to speak to her,
Don’t be led astray by false teachers,
Who tell you that you need works when you only need grace.
Power to Demolish Strongholds
The enemy can’t take what God gave you, but if he can get you to catch a thought that you don’t deserve it, he’ll stop you from entering into it.
What happens in physical battles can happen in spiritual battles:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV
Strongholds = Thoughts that oppose the promises of God:
- “If they really knew you.”
- “What are they thinking of me.”
30 People do not despise a thief if he stealsProverbs 6:30-31, NIV, emphasis mine
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
We came into this service to catch a thief and to get our promises back.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV, emphasis mine
We take demolish our strongholds and take captive our thoughts to make them obedient to Christ.
The woman with the issue of blood was bleeding on the inside,
Like many of us who bleed emotionally on the inside,
But she heard that Jesus was on his way to heal someone else,
Here comes hope, and she caught his cloak, caught healing,
Because “she thought“:
27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”Mark 5:27-28, NIV, emphasis mine