Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Go Where?

Are we willing to go where he says go despite the circumstances? 

Numbers 14:34-42 "Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years--a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have Me for an enemy. 35 I, the LORD, have spoken! I will certainly do these things to every member of the community who has conspired against Me. They will be destroyed here in this wilderness, and here they will die!"

36 The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land--the ones who incited rebellion against the LORD with their bad report-- 37 were struck dead with a plague before the LORD. 38 Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. 39 When Moses reported the LORD's words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief.

40 Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. "Let's go," they said. "We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the LORD has promised us." 41 But Moses said, "Why are you now disobeying the LORD's orders to return to the wilderness? It won't work. 42 Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the LORD is not with you.

Here is one of the biggest "ops!" ever in human history, the Lord told the children of Israel to pack their bags and prepare to move into their new homeland, but instead of being passionate about what God was telling them to do they choose to be scared of what God told them to do.

It has been a long trip and God has done amazing things to reveal himself to his people. They have spent a lot of time in the wilderness, they have complained about the wilderness, but now they decide that it would be better to stay put and maintain the status quo.

God's Children Won't Go

Just a year ago they had watched the Lord work all kinds of miracles as he brought the Egyptians to their knees. The Lord proved that he had complete control over the Egyptians and that he was strong enough to save his people. These are the same people that saw God bring about plagues against the Egyptians and kill there babies.

It seems like that instead of believing that God would be just as powerful against these new people they decided that they should go back to Egypt where God was more able to help them.

God's people have spent a lot of years in the wilderness but they decide that it would be better to stay put and maintain the status quo, that is until they get word of the cost of their disobedience and then all of a sudden it looks like going to the Promised Land is a pretty good idea after all.

God listened to Moses prayer and did not destroy his people but he didn't ignore their sin. God let the people have what they asked for, if you don't want to go into the promised land then you can stay here in the wilderness and die, you said that was a better option didn't you? (Numbers 11:1, 14:2)

Don't look down on God's people because staying is our favorite option too. We like to settle for good enough as we gaze into the promise that God has given us. Instead of looking at how easy it would be for God to overcome the obstacles we decide to sit it out and enjoy the wilderness that we used to complain about. (Exodus 14:11-12, 15:22, 16:1-4, 17:1-4 just to name a few.)

God's Children Won't Stay

I guess seeing the ten guys struck dead will make you change your mind. Like little children that realize that they have made their parents mad, the people decide that late obedience is better than the consequences that they deserve, now they are ready to believe that they can do it. God has told them that they are staying and they say "hold on God, now we want to trust you."

First they won't go, now they won't stay, from one rebellion they progress to a second, now they want to conquer the land even though God said he wasn't on their side. We love the verse that says "If God is for me who can be against us?" but the opposite is also a harsh reality "If God is against us who can be for us?"
Faith is acting like it is so, even when its not so, in order that it might be so, simply because God said so.
-Tony Evans
We all like to spy out the land to manage risk, without realizing it, we constantly access situations to minimize the possibility of embarrassment or injury. Following God is scary stuff sometimes but we have to realize that God isn't here to make us comfortable and Jesus did not die for our sins so that we can be comfortable. The lifestyle of the New Testament church has been lost through that ages.
New Testament disciples are soldiers (Philippians 2:25; 2 Timothy 2:3–4; Philemon 1:2), athletes (2 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 12:1–2), and crucified new creations (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We run (Hebrews 12:1), fight (2 Timothy 4:7), and take up arms (Ephesians 6:10–18) so that we finish well and accomplish God’s purposes while we live.
-Ryan Lister on DesiringGod.org
There isn't always any human logic behind what he is asking, but if we listen to the wrong people or we let our fears put us in a box that looks safe there is a good chance that God is going to reprimand us and we will miss out on being a part of his work.

I need to be obedient in everything that I do, if I decide to wait and do it later in my timing then the Lord may not be with me. I need to have faith to move forward with passion about what God has asked me to do even if there are people around me telling me how difficult or dangerous it is going to be.

Help me to know your will Lord and give me faith that lead me to obedience.