Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
We can sometimes feel the unfairness of life’s events or experience the momentarily unjust situations we find ourselves in. When we start grasping at spiritual straws so to speak, we tend to pull out some old spiritual formula that worked by faith in the past but now has lost the same delivering impact we thought it should have.
Becoming overwhelmed with uncertainty and not able to hear God’s voice for the noise our thoughts are making, we become desperate and grasp at any spiritual relief similar to grabbing a pain medication for the throbbing pain. Our souls sometimes forget that relationship with the Lord is a day by day involvement from a personal point of the heart. Our thoughts and love toward Him are renewed every morning as God works and continually renews His love and covenant with us. Lam. 3:22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Our love relationship with the Lord is a growing, maturing, and a living force of personal involvement. It is not some formula acted upon to invoke the blessing and the favor of God. He is not some talisman or lucky-charm we call on or rub when times are hard. He is a loving God who loves us with a full and pure heart. Isa. 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
The dangers of treating God like a dispensing machine for personal gain can cause us to become ungrateful, unloving and callus of heart. Forgetting our intimacy with God may put us in a position of ungratefulness and desperately grasping for any kind of deliverance.
Moses was under pressure to meet the needs and resolve the complaints of the Israelites. The people were thirsty and needed water as they had once before in the desert. Ex. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. God had instructed Moses at that time to smite the rock and the miracle of water came forth for the thirsty crowd and their animals.
Here they were again, in another place and time, needing water and complaining as loudly as before. God instructed Moses to speak to the rock to bring about the miracle provision of water for the people. Num. 20:8 Take the 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 shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Moses was obviously fed up with the complaints of the people and maybe the pressures of leadership. His reaction in calling the people rebels was personal and expressed frustration and grasping for answers. Num. 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
Moses thought the old method or formula per se would be good enough to bring about a repeat performance, but it cost him his peace and destiny. Num. 20:11 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. 12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Ouch! That was not the result to a life of ministry Moses was looking for. God said, “Speak to the rock,” but Moses smote the rock twice. Moses was not in obedience to the word of instruction God had given him and the result cost him dearly. Why did God let the water run even though Moses did not do what God said? I don’t know, but what I do know is that God is faithful when I am not. Moses was grasping at straws and had allowed the circumstances of his personal life to weaken his ability to be at peace within his own relationship with the Lord. Moses was focused on the rebellion of the people and how it affected him personally, rather than the grace of God.
Are you grasping at straws right now? Are you dealing with something too great for you to carry? Then grasp the foot of the solid cross that does not waver in its ability to deliver our souls from any onslaught that comes our way. The bloodstained cross is where we met Jesus our Lord and it was the power that saved us and still is the power that will bring us through the murkiness of life’s troubles. 1 Cor. 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Grasping at straws or a religious formula will lead to a letdown. However, grabbing and holding on tight to the cross leads to the heart of God where we are affirmed as His beloved. Let us use our strength to wrap our arms around the one who conquered the cross. He will never disappoint our eternal souls and lives. In Jesus name!
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Great word Norm!