Believing Our God Is Holy
Dragging out of bed after having a fever for days, helping my husband navigate laser treatment for a detached retina and completely unable to minister for a week, I opened my Bible to the passage of the day in my daily reading plan. Numbers 19-20 began with “The ordinances of the Red Heifer!” Lord, how is this going to keep me from falling back into a deep depression that I had very recently crawled out?
As I read on, keeping my mind open to the Lord’s voice, I found myself digging for treasure and rereading chapter 20:1-13. Moses’ sin against God seems so small in my human eyes. But I see with His eyes something that I have not seen before. God said, “Take the rod…assemble the people…and speak to the rock before their eyes….” (Numbers 20:8) Moses took the rod, gathered and spoke to the people, then struck the rock not once but twice. By the grace of God, the people still received water and did not have to suffer because of Moses’ sin.
God immediately responds to His “chosen” leader, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore…” Moses would not be able to enter with the next generation of God’s people the Promised Land.
I imagine this playing out with an obedient Moses – having the rod in hand, his eyes seeking his God, humbly standing in front of the rock, an expression of anticipation glimmering in his face, raising his arms in worship, compassion for the people, brother at his side and gathered before the people, Moses simply speaks to the rock with the words that the Lord gives him and the water comes flowing out in abundance to the parched people and flocks. Moses and Aaron on their faces this time in adoration, as the people follow their example. The imagined scene is peaceful, beautiful, humble and memorable.
Only God would get the glory, the people would believe even more in Him and consider Him holy.
Unfortunately, Moses with the rod firmly grasped in his hand, raised it above the peoples’ heads, angry eyebrows glaring at the people, raised his voice with shameful words, questioning whether he and his brother should bring forth water for them. Moses struck the rock draws all attention to himself, once then twice! The thirsty people drank deeply, are embarrassed by the words of their leader and bowed before him, thanking him for the water. Moses was at the end of his rope with them, he and Aaron had fallen on their faces countless times before the Lord begged Him to spare them. Moses now crossed the line, did not believe and was not keeping Him holy. Was Moses believing in himself, his own ways and plans now?
We have served in The Balkans for five years. Many of you have joined us in “fall on our face” prayer for the people of this pioneer field. We have shared meaningful, spiritual and discovery conversations with many of our friends and neighbors. The Lord has allowed us to start several discovery Bible studies with various people, but they have all grown cold.
We continue to meet new people through our engagement with the city youth center. We continue to press into asking questions that will lead to deeper conversations that allow us to offer the gratefully received prayer. We continue to seek the Lord’s face and His word for personal guidance, encouragement and inspiration. We long to see our friends and neighbors to come to know Jesus. But as of today, not one has chosen Him.
This story of Moses stirs up a need in my heart. A need to deeply lean my entire life into the Lord and not murmur, not question. But to stand firmly on His clear calling, remain standing upon belief in His holiness, believing He is moving where I cannot see. This story reminds me that I need to share stories from His word and ask my friends frequently to read with me because God’s word speaks for itself into the hearts of lost people. I don’t need to teach them, but let them feast from the pure word.
This story reminds me that my daily obedience to His ways has a lasting impact. This story reminds me to keep falling on my face, hungering for His holiness and believing in Him. This is not about me, grasping my plans and hitting my ideas over the Lord’s head! This mission is about being His, hearing His voice and walking daily in obedience because my God is HOLY! My God longs even more than I for prayer, worship and His word to be read by my friends and neighbors. Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief.
What are you still waiting for? What are you ready to throw your hands up about? What are you not praying about anymore? Join me in renewing our passion to be His, hear His voice and walk daily in obedience even when we see nothing.