When Stacy wrapped up Week 2 pointing out that oftentimes God's instructions don't make sense, I was nodding in agreement. Then, as I was working through this week, I found myself thinking, "That doesn't make sense either ... or that ... OR THAT!" Do you know what, though? Despite that similarity, there was also a noted difference in this week's bookwork...
Not everyone moved forward in faith like Abram did.
When this caught my attention, I set out to make a list to compare when someone did move forward in faith versus when they didn't. Here are just a few examples...
CIRCUMSTANCE - God uses Moses to lead the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt, but they appear to become trapped between the Egyptians who are pursuing them from behind and the sea that's before them.
Israelites' Focus - On their circumstances and own capabilities
Result - Fear and panic, questioning Moses and doubting God!
Moses' Focus - On God's character and capabilities
Result - God uses Moses to part the Red Sea so the Israelites can cross safely and then sends the waters rushing back to wipe out the Egyptian army!
CIRCUMSTANCE - Moses leads the Israelites to the promised land, sending in 12 spies to check it out and report back. Ten of the 12 report that the people are huge and they can't possibly defeat them! Two, Caleb and Joshua, disagree.
Focus of the 10 - On their circumstances and own capabilities
Result - That generation of Israelites, though forgiven by God for not trusting Him, were forbidden (by Him) to enter the promised land and sentenced to 40 years of wandering in the wilderness as consequence for their disobedience.
Focus of the 2 - On God's character and capabilities
Result - They’re the ONLY two Israelites from that generation who go on to enter the promised land after the 40 years of wandering!
CIRCUMSTANCE - After 40 years of wandering, the Israelites are finally ready to enter the promised land, but first they have to conquer it. Joshua and his troops do exactly as God instructs (march around the city once a day for six days blowing trumpets and on the seventh day do it seven times, then shout).
Joshua's Focus - On God's character and capabilities
Result - "The walls come a tumblin' down" just as God said they would and the Israelites enter the land He'd promised them!
Ahhh ... don't you love a good list? Even with just those few examples, it helps paint a clear picture of where our focus should be. If we want to move forward in faith, we need to put our focus on God ... on His unwavering character and more than capable hands. When we do, it's easier to remember:
"God is the only God. There is no other option."
With that in mind...
Reflect and Respond:
Where's YOUR focus and how can/does keeping it on God help you move forward in faith?