Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water." John 4:10 (MSG)
As I have been reading through the Bible chronologically this year, I have become a little intrigued by Moses. In the past, Moses fascinated me because I could relate with how he felt about public speaking. Because Moses did not believe himself to be a good speaker, God allowed him to take his brother Aaron along to speak for him.
I will admit that I have certainly felt that way in my life. This is the kid who could barely get through a presentation of a research paper in a very small college class without hyperventilating. :) My professor exclaimed, "Breathe, Christy!" And there was laughter. LOL
So imagine how I initially fought those feelings of sharing my testimony publicly later in life. Even in my 30s I felt sick at the thought of speaking to a room full of people. I often wished I could have taken along one of my well-spoken girlfriends from church to speak for me. But God was always faithful and I am never more dependent on the Holy Spirit for strength and power than when I stand up and speak to a group. Only through Him...am I able.
I have claimed the verse, "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." 2 Corinthians 3:5
But there are many other Moses moments that I have been dwelling on in the past few weeks.
1) The Bible tells us in Number 12:3, ...Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
2) Numerous times the Bible references that Moses fell facedown before the Lord.
3) Moses' face was radiant from being in the presence of the Lord. (Exodus 34:29)
Yet, Moses did not enter the Promised Land. It almost doesn't seem fair.
This morning, I read Numbers 20, where Moses struck the rock to provide water to the Israelites, instead of following God's instructions and doing it the way He told him.
This seemed very uncharacteristic of the Moses I have studied thus far and it is something I am continuing to process.
The Instructions: The Lord said to Moses, "Take the staff and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink." Numbers 20:7-8 (NIV)
Easy enough, right? The instructions were clear.
The Act: So Moses took the staff from the Lord's presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. Numbers 20:9-11 (NIV)
Now, I must admit that as I have read this passage before, this didn't really seem like such a big deal. So, Moses gave the rock a couple of taps...the water came out and it was all good. Except it was not all good because this guy Moses, to whom it had been said was the most humble in all the world, suddenly did not act with humility and reverence before God.
So why did he feel the need to do something extra?
The Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible Commentary puts it this way, "The conduct of this great leader on this occasion was hasty and passionate...He had been instructed to speak to the rock...and, instead...he spoke to the people in a fury."
The moment he messed up? He was hasty and passionate...
How many times have I become hasty and passionate and done something extra that God did not tell me to do?
Honestly, for me, I struggle the most with trying to discern exactly what it is that God wants me to do. There are things that seem like a good idea, good things to do...but maybe I need to spend a little more time hearing from God facedown first.
I don't want to miss a blessing because I'm making hasty decisions and doing things my way instead of God's way. Because that's exactly what happened to Moses.
The Consequence: But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." Numbers 20:12 (NIV)
The take away for me:
Seek to be humble before God and before others. I read on a church sign a long time ago, "Just when you think you're humble, you've lost it!"
Why did Moses try to make himself look good in front of the people? When have I done the exact same thing? Let's not get "too big for our britches" as my grandmother used to say. Jesus said, "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23:12 (NIV)
Trust God at His Word. Don't interfere with His work in progress. Follow His directions. Nothing more...nothing less. Again, I wonder how many times I've taken matters into my own hands and missed out on a greater blessing.
Honor God above all else! May He always get the glory! Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8 (NIV) It's not about us. It's not about me.
Lord, please forgive me when I have acted hastily and passionately in the past instead of waiting to hear from you. May I regularly fall facedown to seek Your Will for my life. Thank You for providing the Living Water that saves my soul and satisfies my thirst. May I live my life in a way that demonstrates Moses' best moments! In Jesus Name, Amen.
For His Glory,
(c) Christy Long 2011. All Rights Reserved.