Posts Tagged trust
Numbers 33:4 “…also on their gods the Lord had executed judgment.”
God did more than just send random plagues on Egypt. He was accomplishing more than just trying to make the Egyptians miserable enough to release the Israelites from slavery. He could have accomplished that in one plague instead of ten.
God was executing judgment on the gods and on the pride of Egypt. He was proving their gods to be false, to be subject to His will, and to be powerless to save them. God was exposing the gods of Egypt for the false gods they were. Egypt considered the Nile River to be a god, so it turned to blood. They considered the calf to be a god, so the cattle died. He attacked the pride of their civilization and culture by sending flies, lice and frogs. He judged their fertility gods by destroying the crops with locust and fiery hail.
In Exodus 18, when they met up in the wilderness after the Red Sea crossing, Moses father-in-law said to him, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.” God proved to Egypt the utter futility of trusting in any god besides Himself.
This changes our view of trials.
Perhaps, when God allows plagues or hardship to come into our lives, it is not just to make us miserable. He is not just punishing us for being bad. Perhaps, like the Egyptians, God is destroying and rendering powerless those gods in which we have placed our trust.
Isaiah 26:13 says, “…masters besides You have had dominion over us…” It is these masters that God wants to destroy. Not because He is mad at us, but because He knows it is for our benefit that we have no other masters. Look at the prior verse in Isaiah 26, “Lord, You will establish peace for us…” This is His plan. This is His purpose. He wants to show us the utter powerlessness of those other gods in whom we have placed our trust.
Like Israel, God wants to deliver us from bondage.
Like Israel, God knows He must judge the gods of this world before they will release us. So instead of complaining about the plagues, let us instead turn our eyes to the God who is bringing us deliverance for that bondage. Instead of running from hardship, let us instead see the masters other than God who have had dominion over us.
And let us rejoice in the judgment of these masters, that we might live in the freedom of belonging only to our loving Father.
It’s the only way we get to the Promised Land.
In Luke 17 Jesus has an interesting discussion with His disciples. The followers have pretty straightforward request, “increase our faith.”. And Jesus responds rather straightforwardly,
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
Simple enough. Even a small amount of faith has great power. But then Jesus takes somewhat of a left turn:
“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
Huh? What does that have to do with the disciples request for increased faith? Actually it has everything to do with it.
If you are like me, you have no trouble believing that God can do anything. Part the Red Sea, water into wine, raise the dead? No problem…in theory. But I stumble over believing it enough to actually act on it. I’m selfish, and I want God’s will without sacrificing my own. I want Gods plan without having to give up mine. It’s not that I don’t believe God CAN do it, it’s that I’m afraid He won’t do it my way.
- I believe God CAN heal my finances, but I want the quick fix, not the pain of budgeting and sacrifice.
- I believe God CAN deliver me from addiction, but I don’t want the embarrassment of openness and accountability.
- I believe God CAN keep His promises to me, but I’m afraid to step out into the danger of the unknown.
I want my cake and I want to eat it too. I want Gods way and my way, and the two cannot coexist.
Jesus is saying to the disciples and to us, “Faith is not really the issue. Even faith like a tiny mustard seed can accomplish much. The issue is obedience. Do you BELIEVE enough to ACT? Do you believe enough to do things My way and not yours?”
Until we are truly ready to be that “unprofitable servant” Jesus talked about, increasing our faith doesn’t really matter.
What’s the thing that scares you most? That thing you know you are supposed to do, yet you’ll do anything to avoid it. If you are looking for God’s will in your life, that’s where you’ll likely find it.
The Bible is full of those who were afraid of what God had called them to do, even to the point of running away. I think the lesson we can take away from the likes of Jonah is that we can’t escape our calling or our destiny. By running away we only increase the pain (both for ourselves and others), and waste valuable years of our lives.
Could it be that you’ve constructed your entire day simply to avoid that thing you know you should do? Could it be you’ve constructed your entire life out of fear? Think about that for a moment! There are those whose whole lives are an elaborate evasion of their God-given mission.
Is that you? If so, remember: you can’t escape your calling, only prolong the process. Don’t waste a single day longer on avoidance and fear and regret. The days and years add up before you know it.
Use the comments feature if you’d like to discuss. Or you can email me directly at iBelieveDave@me.com. I’m always open for questions, comments, and discussion.