I used to read the Bible and be perplexed by the exodus. Here is a group of people that saw plagues, a sea parted so they could cross over… Dude, they even saw God descend to the top of Mount Sinai … Yet, they complained and wanted to go back to slavery. I would scratch my head in disbelief and be like, what is wrong with these people?
What is Faith?
When we talk about Christian leaders, you hear people say, “He’s a man of grrrreat faith.” They tweak the emphasis on the “great.” We kind of attribute a mystical component to faith, like it, is only bestowed on certain people by God.
Faith is not a mysterious power. It is quite simple really; faith is a decision.
The problem with us is that we read the Bible while knowing the result of the events. We do not consider the moment without hindsight.
Let me give you an example, God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites go. Moses feels he is not equipped to do it because he stutters.
I have a stutter so let me give you some perspective. There is no stutterer on this earth that has not been mocked or felt inferior at some point because of it.
The same is true when a person cannot speak English properly or pronounces words incorrectly. Eloquence is not a measure of intellect but unfortunately, people judge, based on it. The inability to communicate effectively is demoralizing and makes the person feel inferior.
I bet that one of those royal officials said to Pharaoh or each other… M-M-M-Moses is back. Listen, I wasn’t there but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that someone cracked that joke.
God wanted Moses to go before Pharaoh and stutter. God wanted them to look down on Moses and not take him seriously. God knew that Pharaoh would totally disregard Moses. It was a setup.
Let us look at another aspect of the story, Exodus 4:1-5
1Then Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to my voice? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”
2And the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3“Throw it on the ground,” said the LORD. So Moses threw it on the ground, and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
4“Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail,” the LORD said to Moses, who reached out his hand and caught the snake, and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5“This is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
God told Moses to show this to the Israelites (so they would believe) and Pharaoh knowing that Pharaoh’s sorcerers would be able to transform their rods into serpents as well. That was the point! God was puffing up Pharaoh’s sense of superiority. Pharaoh was going to get a beatdown of a lifetime from the one true God.
It’s about showmanship. God knows how everything will play out and He is creating this compelling story that will mesmerize and inspire people. You need to calm down and trust God. He knows what He is doing. You may say you’re not qualified, that’s part of the plan. Your job is to go with it, you don’t need to know the whole plot before jumping on board.
Do you trust me?
Through the events in Egypt, God was showing the Israelites who He is. Then afterward, God kept on asking the question, “Do you trust me?”
God can make the whole journey smooth sailing, but he wants to know if you trust Him. So, God will allow you to feel a bit of pressure.
Think about it, they leave Egypt and get to the Red Sea. God could have parted the waters immediately but instead, they had to wait and then realize that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them. They couldn’t escape, they were sandwiched between the red sea and the Egyptian army. They freak out instead of trusting God, then God tells Moses what to do and they escape. God knew how he was going to save them (which was beyond the comprehension of mortals) but he wanted to see if they trust Him after seeing His works in Egypt.
Afterward, they get thirsty and they forget the past lesson and complain. God provides water. They get hungry and complain, God comes through again. See each scenario was just God saying to them, “You’ve seen what I’ve done for you already… Do you trust me?”
Let’s be honest, we are none the better. How much has God brought us through? How many times did it seem like we’re done for? Yet, here we are, still standing. God gives us a little hardship to test our faith, to see if we trust him.
One thing that I have learned is that your breakthrough comes when your back is against the wall. When it feels like you are at your breaking point but you’re still holding tight to your belief in God’s goodness, you are moments away from deliverance.
Everyone has that moment of panic. I freak out too, then I remember that faith is a decision. You must think about all that God has done for you and you decide to trust God because He hasn’t failed you. Faith is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
Faith is simple, people are complicated
Worrying can feel like you’re doing something productive. People want you to worry about them. Let’s discuss our worry. Let’s freak out together…
The problem with developing your faith is that a calm spirit is irritating to people that are freaking out. A calm demeanor can be perceived as you not caring, being naïve, or even delusional.
I suspect that once you level up, God then moves on to developing you to handle other people’s lack of faith. To be honest, I struggle with this part. I try to allow myself and others about 5 mins to vent and then it’s over. If it goes beyond that, I get frustrated. If there’s nothing you or anyone can do about it then leave it to God and go about your business.
Now, can you imagine how fed up Moses used to get? The funniest story is Exodus 32:20:
And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
I don’t know about you but that’s hilarious. How mad do you have to be to do that? They really drove this poor guy up the wall. I’m surprised that he struck the rock and not them.
Dealing with others is a totally different ball game, hopefully, I’ll get better at it and can share some experiences with you. Just remember that faith is a decision and you need to show God that you trust him. It might even help to write in a journal as a reference to God’s faithfulness in your life. When your spirit is weary, pull out your journal and remind yourself that God is faithful.
I hope this helps in your journey. Until next time, take care