Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Partial Obedience

“But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” Numbers 20: 12

Honestly, this story has always been a bit disturbing to me. Moses has been described in the Bible as being the most humble man to have lived. God specifically chose him as the catalyst for bringing His chosen people to the Promised Land. He had suffered many adversities bringing the children through the wilderness and spent years on his knees in intercessory prayer for the deliverance of the Israelites.

In this instance God commanded Moses to take his staff, assemble the Israelites and speak to the rock for water to gush forth for the community and their livestock. Instead of speaking to the rock Moses struck the rock twice with his staff. God allowed the miracle to take place but as a result of Moses “doing the work of the Lord” his own way he was unable to enter the Promised Land.

Partial obedience is still sin for it is communicating to God that we know a better way to do the will of God. We trust ourselves over our God and we will suffer the consequences. Much like the children of Israel we may still benefit from our partial obedience when doing God’s work because He works for the benefit of the spiritual community, not the individual community. He will, however, not tolerate partial obedience because it displays disbelief, a lack of faith and an atmosphere of doubt.

When we are called to do the work of the Lord we are to do the complete work of the Lord, even if we don’t quite understand the mystery surrounding the command. Our Promised Land brings blessings if we follow what He reveals step by step.

Doubt divides our belief and trust but faith flourishes the spirit.

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