Exodus 14:15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”
It strikes me just now that even though Moses had just delivered one of the most magnificent statements in the whole Bible of faith and trust in God, He wasn’t feeling all that filled with faith himself. The people had been crying out in almost complete unbelief, but here God seems to indicate that Moses had been crying out too. I know I would certainly have been in a pretty good panic by this point! Spiritual leaders are often portrayed as superhuman, when in the final analysis they are simply human, used by God. Elijah is the most often quoted example of that, when he fell into severe fear and depression immediately after participating in one of the most dramatic victories in the whole Bible. (1 Kings 18-19) However, other examples abound. Just about every “man of God” the Bible tells us about had times of indecision, doubt, or even major failure. It’s not that God creates some “perfect specimens” to do His work, it’s that He uses people as they are, with all their weaknesses and failures, strengthening, guiding, and growing them even as He works His will through them. And the process is lifelong. Sometimes we think of Moses as being perfected by His encounter with God in the burning bush, (Exodus 3-4) but examples of his faulty humanity abound, not just here but throughout his life, to the point that he was unable to enter the Promised Land because of his presuming on God. (Numbers 20:1-12) Just because God has used someone, even as powerfully as He did Moses, doesn’t mean that person doesn’t need to stay fully humble before Him. This is a lesson that, sadly, many people have failed to learn. The minute we think that God’s wisdom/power/whatever that has been manifested through us is actually ours, we are in real trouble!
This is a lesson that I was not that fast to learn, but I’m getting a refresher in it right now! It was liberating to finally get it through my head that God’s smart and I’m not, but at this point I’m being schooled in faith and trust. I preach faith to others all the time, telling them to get their eyes off of themselves and onto Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2) but I am being reminded that I am as dependent on God for my “faith supply” as anyone else. He does supply, abundantly, but receiving that supply is a choice, not a labor. Actually, as Hebrews 4 says so beautifully, we have to cease from our labors in order to enter into God’s rest. (Hebrews 4:9-11) Our effort, then, is not to work up faith, but rather to let go of our pride and everything else and receive God’s gracious provision. I am not to berate myself for my lack of faith, but rather rejoice that God has more faith to give me.
Father, thank You indeed for Your gracious provision of everything I need, from faith to the very air I breathe. Help me be a good steward of that provision, both of the tangible and the intangible, so that Your purposes in giving it to me would be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!