I read two seemingly unrelated Bible stories earlier this week. But God showed me a common thread. I’ll start with the Old Testament one now, save the New Testament one for a separate post.
In the Old Testament story (Numbers 13-14), the Israelites followed Moses (and God) out of slavery in Egypt and were about to enter into their Promised Land. But they rebelled. Lost their faith. Wanted to turn back.
The enemies were too powerful, the obstacles too great.
So they rejected God.
The result? Instead of facing the battle—and getting God’s reward—they spent the rest of their lives wandering in the desert.
God’s indictment was strong:
“As surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the LORD's glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they tested me by refusing to listen.” Numbers 14:21-22 (NLT)
Frankly, that scares me.
See, our church has seen God’s glory. We’ve participated in His miraculous actions. Which means whenever He says “Do this” we have no excuse. We must obey even if the challenge is bigger than anything we’ve faced so far.
I wonder how many people throughout history have seen God work powerfully in one situation, then chickened out at the next challenge and spent the rest of their lives wandering in a figurative desert.
That’s not the life I want.
But there’s only one way to avoid it. Listen carefully to God and go wherever He tells us to go.
No matter how scary the obstacles.
(**If this sounds a lot like what I spoke on for First Wednesday it's cause it is the same thing. Part Two won't be.)