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Obeying or Disobeying

   And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Take thy rod and gather thou the assembly together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, and it shall give forth his water and thou shall bring forth to them water out of the rock, so thou shall give the congregation and their beasts drink...and Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly and the congregation drank and their beasts also. Numbers 20:7,8,11
   Here we see a case of God telling Moses to do one thing and he does another. God specifically said for Moses to speak to the rock and Moses smote the rock. Did you ever stop to think about what may have made Moses to do that? Was it that Moses wasn't paying close attention when God told him? Was it that Moses only half heard what God said?
   Now remember previously Moses had been instructed to smite the rock and it would bring forth water. Did Moses hear "the rock" and assumed he knew what God was telling him? Was he so frustrated and disgusted with the children of Israel's whining and complaining that he was preoccupied and not really paying attention to God? This could have been the case. It could have been not a case of disobedience through stubbornness but a case of disobedience through carelessness, through frustration. Moses was caught up in listening to the complaints that he wasn't really listening to God. He was more concerned with the things going on around him.
   How many times do we see that situation in our own lives? We say we are listening to God but we only half pay attention when he does speak to us. We hear part of what is said and ignore the rest. We hear what it is convenient for us to hear and then choose to not hear the rest of it.
   Or was it a case of Moses not stepping out on faith? Since he had been told to smite the rock before, he knew that it would work. He knew God would bring water out of the rock if he smote it. Was Moses a little wary to step out on faith? Was his confidence a little shaken by all the complaining they had been doing? Have you ever had your confidence rattled and a seed of doubt put in by a lot of negative attitudes around you? Do you ever stay in the tried and true simply because it has always worked in the past? Are you wary to go into a direction you have never gone simply because it may take a little more faith to walk that way? If God directs you to do something different than you have in the past, do you have the faith to believe that it can be done that way? Do you have the confidence to take that giant step onto the unproven path?
   Moses knew that smiting the rock had worked before. He brought forth the water. God did supply. However by him not following God's instructions it cost him the ability to go into the promised land. God forgave him and allowed him to look into the promised land but he couldn't go there. Moses had slipped into the will that God allows yet not his perfect will. His perfect will would have been for Moses to speak to the rock and have it bring forth water. Instead Moses smote the rock. Moses still had the attention focused on the rock yet didn't go at it in the way that God intended. Sometimes we may have our focus on the thing God wants us to focus on yet we don't go about it in the way he intends us to. God had already demonstrated his glory once in the wilderness by water coming from the rock when Moses smote it, this time God wanted to show his power in a different way. He wanted to remind them that he was still the powerful God
   Oftentimes we run into this now. We still have our focus on doing something for the Lord but we get careless and oftentimes wander off into our own way of doing it. We fail to listen closely each and every time God speaks. If he has us to do something the same way 20 times with 20 different people then we assume that when he tells us to do it the 21st time that we will be doing it the same way. However that may the time that God picks to change the way we are doing it and if we aren't paying close attention to God then we could slip up and it could cost us one of our rewards. We could slip into the permissive will (what God allows) instead of staying in his perfect will.
   Don't let Satan cheat you out of something God has in store for you. Don't let your spirit get lax and into the ritualistic forms. Don't let your spirit fall so out of communion with God that you have trouble determining the real voice of God. After all Satan will deceive the very elect if he is able to.
   Think how the children of Israel were. Here they were in the desert fussing and complaining because they had no water. They were coming against Moses even for things he had no control over. Even though they were God's children they still fussed and complained. Here God was feeding them and taking care of them and they still complained. When we come against those who are our leaders blaming them for things that we think they are doing wrong , then we have a spirit as the children of Israel had. We never want to accept any of the responsibility when things are wrong but take the glory and credit when things are right. Even if we want to change things we are more willing to pass the buck. Oh I'd love to work with the youth but the pastor won't let me. I'd love to do a nursing home ministry but the deacon board said we don't have funds for it. I really feel like the Lord wants me to preach but my spouse won't support me in it. Just as they passed the buck to Moses so often we do too. They passed the buck by telling Moses that it was his fault they were there. And Moses reacted accordingly. Why should we expect our leaders to react any differently than they did then? After all both us and our leaders are still human . We still make mistakes. Just don't let the spirits from Satan deceive you into believing a lie for after all God is still God and he will still provide what is needed as we need it. Just as Moses was forgiven for his mistakes so we can be also.
Have a blessed day.

copywrited 1998 by Higher Faith Ministries. All rights reserved.

Copywritten 1996-2012 by Higher Faith Ministries Inc. Bristol TN. All rights reserved.