Today I want us to think about a question. Is it possible for God to tell you to do something and the next time in the same circumstances for God to tell you to do it a different way?
This may sound a bit confusing but let me state it another way.
Is what is right ‘always’ right?
Does what is right depend on the message of the Lord for that moment in time?
Now I am sure this is stirring emotions from Bible believers. Just stay calm. I am a Bible believer too.
Let me give you the following two scripture passages. Read them carefully and then I will comment.
‘Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.
Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me?
Why do you tempt the LORD?”
And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt , to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!”
And the LORD said to Moses , “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel . Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go.
“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and
You shall strike the rock ,
and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel .’
(Exodus 17:1-6 in the Holy Bible)
Now read the following passage in the Book of Numbers and see that again the people were complaining and wanting water. This time instead of saying,
“ You shall ‘ strike ‘ the rock’ God told Moses to “ Speak’ to the rock’.
“Then the children of Israel , the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh;
and Miriam died there and was buried there.
Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron.
And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!
“Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here?
“And why have you made us come up out of Egypt , to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”
So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces.
And the glory of the LORD appeared to them.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
” Take the rod ; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together.
‘Speak to the rock’
before their eyes,
and it will yield its water;
thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”
So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him.
And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”
Then Moses lifted his hand and
‘Struck’ the rock
twice with his rod ;
and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron,
“Because you did not believe Me,
to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel ,
Therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
(Numbers 20:1-12 in the Holy Bible)
Now you can see my point very clearly. Faced with the same problem twice The Lord God asked Moses to do two different things. The first time Moses was told to ‘strike’ the rock and water would come out, which it did.
The second time The Lord God told Moses to ‘speak’ to the rock and water would come out, which it did.
However the second time Moses did not do what God told him but did it the same way he did the first time. This time it was wrong and God did not allow Moses to enter into the Promised Land. Moses was able to see it from the top of a mountain before he died but he did not get to go into the land.
Are you listening to the Holy Spirit? Are you in tune with the Voice of The Lord God? We must be careful especially as ministers and servants of Jesus that we do things
We must obey not just the ‘call’ but also the ‘way’ to carry out the call!
God honored his servant and leader Moses
and the water came out
Moses lost the blessings of the Promised Land!
It is very easy to just do things the way we always have in serving Jesus. Many of us live our lives or even just follow the same form or worship or witness without even asking Jesus to lead us on every occasion.
As I have carried the cross around the world, Jesus is telling me over and over where to start and when to stop and which way to go and which road to take. Not only in carrying the cross but in my life Jesus makes me stay flexible and like soft clay so He can mold me and make me more in His image each day.
I must be lead of the Holy Spirit moment by moment. All of the leading of the Lord for yesterday is not sufficient for today. We cannot walk in yesterday!
Jesus said we are to ‘follow Him’! Now this does not mean Jesus is your coach standing by pointing out to you the direction. No, Jesus is our Savior and Lord and Leader and we are to ‘follow Him’.
The road of life is like a journey. That road has many twists and turns. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We are to follow Him. You cannot live day by day going straight ahead just thinking that what you did yesterday in the past is exactly what Jesus wants you to do today.
I too must seek this moment by moment walk in the Spirit. I cannot depend on the yesterdays of walking with Jesus. I want to live with a tender heart and a pliable will, open and free to move in the Power of the Holy Spirit. It is so easy to just do what you have been doing.
I will end with this question for you and also for me.
Were we to face the same message of the Lord God to do one thing one way at one time and a different way another time:
First, are we walking and hearing Jesus so much that we would ‘know’ His Voice.
Secondly, would you be willing to obey His Voice and change from the way you have been doing things to the ‘new’ way the Lord just told you?
Wow, this is profound. Why our reputation is on the line. What would the church think?
What would your friends think?
Are you really free to walk in the Spirit?
“Yes, Lord yes, to Your will and to Your Way!’
P.S. Remember, just like Moses you may get the result you wanted but personally lose the promise and blessings of God.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt