Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why Dropping the Drama is One of the Best Decisions of All

When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness the third time, he tried to entice Him to step outside the will of God in a flashy show of angel-power that was designed to kill or destroy. (jump off the temple) 

Jesus answered him by saying, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (Luke 4:12 NASB)

His answer, a quote from Deuteronomy 6:16, is a reference to the events at Massah. You probably know this story. The children of Israel had traveled in stages from the wilderness of Sin and had arrived at Rephidim (Moses renamed it Massah - or test - because of the testing there). 

There was no water at the camp, and they began to grumble, whine, and complain. As usual, the people overdramatized the situation, saying that they, their children, and all the livestock were going to die of thirst. 

Moses was afraid they were about to stone him, so he cried out to God, Who instructed him to strike the rock with his staff. Moses did just that, and water flowed out. 

Not once had God failed to provide for the people. He had given generously every time they asked. Neither arguing nor threatening Moses were necessary. 

The multitude of Hebrews, however, were no different than we are today. They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it, and they were not willing to wait for it. 

They didn't want to ask for a miracle. They wanted the miraculous to miraculously appear.  

The problem that day at Rephidim/Massah wasn't that they asked for water. The problem was the WAY they asked for it - defiant, demanding, disrespectful of the One who had just delivered them from slavery. 

Ultimately, the people continued with their grumbling and demanding attitudes, and it cost them dearly. Not only did most of them spend the rest of their lives in the wilderness, but they also missed the face to face encounter with God that only Moses enjoyed. 

Not long ago, something minimal happened at the farm. The Farm Hand gave me one of those looks and said, "You're probably gonna write about this, and overdramatize it, like you do everything." 

I put my hand on my hip and, sassy as ever, told him, "I am a writer, you know. Drama is kinda my thing." 

His wife was there, too. She just shook her head and smiled.

I laughed, but there was a little sting to his words. And more than a little truth. 

I wonder just what my drama and exaggeration of the difficulties I've encountered have cost?  

What have my grumbling and complaining cost? 

What have yours cost you? 

It's easy to see an immediate need with no immediate answer in sight and totally panic, rather than wait in faith for God's answer. 

It's easy to look at the poor choices of loved ones and think they will never change. 

The easy wilderness response to fear and hurt is panic, grumbling, and doubt. Nevertheless, our response needs to be one of humility, faith, and consistent, persistent prayer. 

Today, let's drop the drama and remember to thank God for the answers He's already given. Let's simply present our needs before Him today and ask that living water will flow through us and those we love, just as it did at the rock of Horeb. No grumbling allowed. 
This ministry of prayer and outreach (digital and in-person) is only possible because of the generosity of your support. Literally, I don't get a salary until there are enough donations to cover it. If you'd like to help, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Separating the Wheat From the Chaff 

#Jesus #grumbling