Biblical Living, Leadership

Jif or Peter Pan?

Photo by LI Chengxi on Unsplash

I get so paralyzed when I’m up against options. I’m not talking about big dynamic ones, I’m talking about the everyday ones you find in the grocery store. When my wife sends me to the store to get 5 things, I get stuck in the bread aisle wondering what the best option, Jif or Peter Pan! What that girl does with 20 minutes in a grocery store would be half a day for this poor boy.
I just get overwhelmed!
What if I make the wrong choice? My biggest plague is trying to save 15¢ so I’m always calculating options to see which is the best price!

And that brings up another huge ordeal. Why is it that we feel that the will of God must be cheap or free!? Tell me I’m wrong!

How many times have you received some sort of unexpected financial windfall and thought or even told someone else that the Lord is good and blessing you? And adversely, how many times have you endured hardship and difficulty and resolved that the Lord must be trying to get your attention and wants to teach you something?

We believe that the will of God is cheap or free!

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the story of the 12 spies headed into the promised land to survey the gift. This was going to be super sweet trip! Anyone would have been lucky to get in on this all-expenses paid excursion into the God-gifted land of promise!

God had commissioned this trip in Number 13:1 telling Moses to send in the search team to investigate everything and bring back a report.
I really get the sense that the Lord was super proud and excited about this gift he’s giving his people. He’s like my wife a month before Christmas. She’s such a gift-giver that she just can’t stand to wait another day before she gets to see the reaction of our kids faces when they see what she found for them! He’s proud of his amazing gift. He knows all the plans and details and he’s just ready for them to see it for themselves.

You know the story, don’t want to insult your intelligence. They come back with a measly few sentences of positive outlook and spend the rest of their time complaining about what should have been. That act alone leads me to believe that they were considering this promised land as one of multiple options rather than experiencing the gift brought by faith.

The penalty of this lack of faith was severe. Supreme to be more realistic-banished to 40 years wandering around a desolate desert. Harsh consequences for a lack of faith! They were suddenly paralyzed by fear of the growing giants they faced in the land.

Why had they so quickly forgotten about the walls of water that had stood on end for them to pass through so easily!?

And how was it possible that they had neglected the memory of the Lord’s most faithful daily provision!? And when that wasn’t enough, there was quail and when they needed water, they pulled up to a rock and Fiji water came out.

The signs the Lord had given them time and again were enough to convince anyone of his goodness and faithfulness, and yet those giants were just too tall.

You and I, in our infinite wisdom, would never be caught dead struggling through the certainties of faith that these few Israelites did so long ago. We most certainly would have been able to trust the Lord for his faithfulness much better than they did.

Could it be that we’ve been up against some of the same giants and yet, even with knowing the outcomes of stories like Numbers 13/14 and so many others, our faith still falters!?
We are caught weighing options just like those Israelites were back in that day and instead of exploring God’s amazing gift that he had already give them.

What about you today? Are you going to be one who looks at the face of a growing giant and remember the faithfulness of God or will you press into another the God-given gift for your life and proceed with the fulness of your faith?

I think the much stronger testimony to declare would be the message they were sending their children on that fateful day. The Lord sent them into the wilderness to wander until the generation that refused to believe had died, but by that time the mistaken would have been solidified. For every child left watching that day, the mark of a faithless generation would have remained. To their downfall, they wouldn’t be able to look at mom and dad and remember their faith-filled obedience in the face of such growing opposition!

The determination we need to adapt is simple, I’m going to believe the God I know more than what I see in front of me.

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