Are there times when two people see the same thing yet have totally different experiences? Let me give you an example.
Two people went to the same church service. One left annoyed that the service was so terrible. The singing was too loud, and it lasted too long. The praise team did not sing the right type of music and they sang out of tune. The preacher was as dry as cornbread, dull, and preached way too long. He couldn’t preach his way out of a wet paper bag. They left wondering why they even bothered showing up.
The other person, attending the same service, felt as if an angelic host was leading the music that day. The song selection was glorious. The only issue they had with the music was they wished it could have lasted longer because of the presence of God. The minister’s message spoke to their heart. It was as though God had a specific word, just for them. They left feeling refreshed and renewed in their spirit.
How can two people attend the same service and see the absolute opposite? But we see this many times in the Bible, as well. Let me give a couple of examples.
In 2 Kings 6, the prophet Elisha had upset the plans of the Syrians by telling the King of Israel the Syrians’ battle plans. The Syrian king sent a powerful army where the prophet was during the night so that he was surrounded. When the prophet’s servant woke up and looked out the window, fear gripped his heart and he asked Elisha what they were going to do. Elisha told his servant to not be afraid. God’s got this. Notice the prayer of the prophet. It wasn’t for deliverance, it was for sight (vs.17), that God would open the servant’s eyes. Two men looking out the same window, see two totally different things.
In Numbers 13, Moses sent out 12 men to scout out the promised land. Ten came back with a negative report, but two came back with a good report. Joshua and Caleb declared, “let’s go now and get our land.” What they were saying was, “God’s got this.” Twelve men walked through the same promised land, yet ten saw something totally different from the two.
How can this be—people seeing the same thing but seeing something entirely different? It’s simple. It depends on what eyes I am looking through. My natural eyes see a problem, but my spiritual eyes see an opportunity. The question becomes, are we walking by faith or by sight (2 Cor 5:7)? The ten spies were walking by sight. In verse 33, they said they looked like grasshoppers compared to the giants. When you compare yourself to your problem, you will lose every time. If David had compared Goliath’s size to himself, he would have known he could not win. But he compared Goliath’s size to God, and he knew he could not lose.
What I see comes down to my expectations. What do I expect to happen? My expectations/hopes are based on what I have faith in, my abilities or His. The Phillips Bible declares faith is being certain of things we cannot see (Heb 11:1).
The spies saw what they looked for.
The prophet and the servant saw what they looked for.
The two people entering into a church service saw what they looked for.
What are you looking for?
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; Proverbs 29:18 AMP
For we walk by faith, not by sight: 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV
Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 Phillips