Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 6, 2013

I guess I get my point

When you were young, could you have ever imagined how many twists and turns your life would take?  It seems to me that almost every week can be an adventure.  Many of my (and your) adventures are of my own making, and some may be a test from the Father or a temptation from Satan.  At any rate, I haven’t found life to be just a smooth, easy road.  I do have to tell you about the adventure (of my own making) that happened last Sunday.  Our church was having communion, and the bread stuck to the bottom of the cup.  As a recovering type A personality, I tackled it with gusto and inadvertently spilled the cup of grape juice … onto my pants, the blue chair I was sitting in and the carpet.  A solemn, spiritual event for me became … an adventure.   My reading over the last week has reminded me of the adventuresome journey that the children of Israel experienced upon leaving Egypt.

I must admit that there are times when I look at how the Israelites handled their unusual adventures with a bit of condescending disdain.  How could they see the miraculous way that God delivered them, and still be such complainers?  Reality, however, reminds me of similar attitudes that creep into my mind, and often exit my lips.  They blew it, but so do I (and maybe you do too)!  Along the journey, after miraculously being granted freedom, they responded with a lack of faith.  How quickly they seemed to forget the incredible protection and provision from Almighty God.  Oops — sometimes I forget what God has done in my life and let doubt become my friend.  As you read further, note some statements from The Prayer Experiment, by Jay Dennis that relate to those grumbling Israelites and just maybe, you and I.

Faith measures the size of God; sight is controlled by the size of problems.

What an adventure it was to leave Egypt, and then to quickly be boxed in by the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army.  How quickly freedom from Egypt lost its allure.  Look at how they responded.  They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?”  Couldn’t they just trust God?  There I go again! It must be that I never struggle with doubt when encountered by a Red Sea experience. Yeah, right!

Faith is based on what God said; sight is based on how we feel.

Through God’s great power, the sea parted and the children of Israel crossed on dry ground. Wow!  But those rascals did it again. After a trip of three days in the desert with no water, they came to a place with bitter water.  Centuries later, it is easy to see that they should have trusted God, but they grumbled.  God, in His grace, miraculously made the water sweet.  Couldn’t they believe that the One who brought them out of Egypt and took them through the Red Sea would provide?  If I have the audacity to call them rascals, what should I call myself in moments of fear?

Faith focuses on “Who”; sight is limited to “how”.

As they continued to travel, the adventure became difficult because of the lack of food.  They actually compared having all the food they wanted in Egypt to starving in the desert.  It would seem to a spiritually minded, never doubting soul like me that these people needed to wake up and  remember what God had done for them in the past.  If they needed to wake up and remember God’s favor on them … so do I! It is so easy to lose sight of what He has done.

Faith looks to God as the Source; sight trusts in possessions, power and people.

Make no mistake, the children of Israel failed God with their lack of trust. They eventually paid dearly with a long adventure in the wilderness.  And if you and I are honest; we must admit that we too often live by sight and not by faith ourselves.  I wonder what we miss of God’s blessing because of our stubbornness.  I guess I get my point … I need to live with a heart of trust that reflects on God’s power and provision for the Israelites….and for me!  How about you?


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