Before we proceed to the last installment of this article, let’s have a review of this moment in Moses’ life. I was in school mode, thus the tabular presentation 😁 You can also read the first part here.
Surrender, not just compliance
Have you ever had an exam where an item had 2 blanks and you need to get both answers right—because if you get just one correct answer, it’s still wrong? Yeah, I feel you. Moses does too. The exam was about the water and the rock. God’s instructions on both instances were clear and simple. First instance: bring your staff, strike the rock. Check. Second instance: bring your staff, speak to the rock. Che…eehh… Nope, not a check this time. He got the first part right (bring the staff), but the second one he missed (speak to the rock, not strike it twice).
This 2-items-1-check moment reminded me that incomplete obedience is still disobedience, and that incomplete obedience reflects incomplete surrender. I realized this when I look back at my own life and remember those moments when I did not obey completely. It may not look like there’s anything wrong with it at first. But time and again, it exposed the true state of my heart. Inside of me lies this defiant, stubborn, rebellious part that did not want to obey God. And I learned, just like Moses, that it does not please God.
There is another dimension of obedience that I also learned here, and that is compliance. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against compliance (we could actually use more of this in our lives). However, God made me realize that obeying just for the sake of compliance is not what He is after. Take the Pharisees for example. They have everything in the Book of the Law memorized and they comply with it. But God desires more than just empty fulfillments. He desires relationship, and in that relationship is a heart that obeys because it is surrendered. He is not after a completed checklist. He is after our heart.
Big word, big impact
“Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me.” I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken as I read this line again. Trust. Big word. In any relationship, trust is a big deal. I have learned that trust is built on a person’s character. The more experience you have with a person’s goodness and faithfulness, the more that you will trust that person.
Imagine witnessing God’s miraculous acts and wonders just as Moses did. Seeing the Red Sea part before his very eyes must have sent his trust level in God off the charts. Come on! The waters practically divided into half so they could cross on dry land. Ahh-mazing! And yet, when faced with another water issue, his trust level seemed to drop. It was at this point that God reminded me that trust should be on the basis of who we believe, not on what we’re believing for. So whether we’re believing for something small or for the impossible, God wants us to trust Him.
As I look up the word trust, faith would show up as one of its synonyms. I find this very apt in view of our relationship with God, because trusting Him is putting our confidence in Him. Pretty much what the bible has to say about faith…
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
And we know that faith please God (Hebrews 11:6). Our trust in Him honors Him. For all that He has done and all that He is, He deserves all the honor we could give. So dear one, I pray that today and everyday we will choose to honor God by trusting Him—simply and completely.
My hope is that you will not see this article series as something that just digs up on our failings and struggles. We are all in the process of growing in our relationship with God. My prayer is that we will take this time to reflect on the things that God wants to work on in our lives and respond in a way that would honor Him. We’re all in this together, my friends 💕
As a treat, here’s a reflection sheet you can download. Click here for your free copy.