Exodus 17:1-6 NLT
At the lord ’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the lord ?” But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the lord , “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!” The lord said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.
How often do we as Christians behave like the Israelites, grumbling and complaining and worrying about our circumstances, full of doubt instead of following faithfully believing His promises?
Also, how often do we as leaders and ambassadors for Christ encounter those who are:
– grumbling , complaining, and worrying
– questioning our own leadership and faith
– not believing and trusting God
And is our reaction like Moses, who realized that the issue at hand was not his own leadership, nor the power of God, but was the lack of belief and faith in the people. Because if we have this Holy Spirit in us and guiding us, and we are sharing and following His guidance, and giving to others what we are taught – they are either unveiled to hear His Word, or they ate veiled and resistant to hearing and applying His Word.
But we do not beat the sheep if they are blind to the path, nor do we beat the sheep if a stumbling block has been paved in front of them. No, if we are following the teachings of the Good Shepherd, we will grow to be like our teacher. So we gently and lovingly offer healing to the blind eyes of the lost sheep which comes with calling on the name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and believing, and following. For the sheep that encounter stumbling blocks, we offer instruction and guidance on how to recognize those stumbling blocks – to see that:
– every trial is an opportunity to bear the fruit of patience as a blessed assurance of our faith and of His promises
– tribulation and suffering is an opportunity to bear the fruit of long suffering as a blessed assurance of our faith and of His promises
– persecution is and opportunity to demonstrate kindness and gentleness to those who think themselves to be or enemies, knowing not that we love them as our neighbors and brothers and sisters
And what better witness is there to non-believers than this peace that passes all understanding? This peace that holds us firmly in those times that the world can see clearly that it is not our own strength or our own power that is at work.
So what is our stone today? What is that insurmountable object that people would not expect to see us overcome? That object that we ourselves even do not believe that we can overcome?
There is someone that can overcome that obstacle, and He will use it not only as a witness to our faith, but as a demonstration of His power and glory and honor.
So let’s take it to Christ, hand it to Him in prayer and in faith, and ask that He either strengthen us to overcome, or that He crush it under His power as a miraculous sign to unbelievers, out that He guide us into understanding of His will and direction and purpose for the future.
Help me to follow faithfully.
Help me to remember the blessings of this Grace surpass this displeasure of any trials I might face.
Help me to see and correct those areas in myself that need healing and refinement.
Help me to see and help those around me that I can love and serve.
Help me to stay humble and contrite in heart before the perfect example of Jesus’ life.
Help me stay stirred and aware of this Holy Spirit working inside me.
Help me stay bold in sharing what I am taught and convicted of by the Holy Spirit.
Help me remember that if it is your words and they resist hearing them, that some will hate me because they hated you.
Help me remember that I am still in the flesh and that I should be careful to bridle my own tongue, so that my words are not careless, so that no one will confuse my weak and imperfect words with the perfect message of the Word of God.
Let’s continue to remind and encourage each other and to pray for each other, friends. Have a blessed day, beloved.