You Know Better?
In Exodus 17:6, God instructed Moses to strike a certain rock when the Israelites complained that there was no water. As Moses obeyed and did so, water came forth from the rock. Interestingly, we read of a similar encounter in Numbers 20:8. However, instead of striking the rock for water, God instructed Moses to simply speak to the rock. Unfortunately, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck the rock like what he did previously and he even did it twice.
Moses thought he knew it better after leading the Israelites all these years as God’s messenger. In fact, he was so entrenched in his past experiences that he struck the rock twice! Like many of us, Moses trusted his wisdom and past experiences above God’s direction. He conveniently ignored God’s instruction because of what God had directed him to do previously. Friends, does this sound familiar? Have we conveniently trusted our past experiences of how God had dealt with us and have conveniently excused ourselves from the need to seek Him afresh for direction? Are we building our career, family and ministry the way God wants? Or are we just simply doing what worked in the past, assuming that it is what God wants now as well?
God spoke to Moses in Numbers 20:12, “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.” That one act of Moses cost him God’s calling on him to bring the people into the Promised Land. Many may ask, “What was so wrong with what Moses did? Didn’t he follow what God told him to do the other time when the Israelites needed water?” But, in so doing, Moses had disregarded and disobeyed God’s instruction, choosing to do what he had done before previously. Moses’ act of disobedience was dire in the sight of God and so is ours when we choose to ignore His instructions and choose to stay within our comfort zone, trusting our past experiences and knowledge.
Not only does God demand prompt obedience and value it from us above all else, our God is not a God of precedence. The only precedent that He has set for our lives is that concerning His character that does not change. God does not expect us to do something in a certain way just because He has told us to do it that way in the past or because somebody else did it before. He wants us to listen and do what He wants at that point, at that moment. He wants us to seek Him afresh at every decision point of our lives. He wants us to move beyond those general revelations to the specific Rhema that He has for us.
Let us pray.
Dear Lord, forgive me for valuing and trusting in my own wisdom and experiences above Your Word and direction. I recommit myself to seek your Rhema in my life diligently at every decision point. I choose to put aside my assumptions, experiences and wisdom to seek and embrace Your direction. I thank You that You are never a God of precedence. The only precedent that You have set in my life is that concerning Your character that does not change. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.