Monday, January 13, 2014

The First Step Toward Spiritual Maturity

Disbelief is both ugly and sad. It results from a short memory. I am not referring to the disbelief of non-believers but of those who made the choice to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. How many great things has he done in your life? How many times has he saved you from the brink of disaster? How many times has he provided for you when you had no provision? How many times has he quieted your troubled Spirit and been there to carry you through impossible times?

Yahweh is good and he is good all the time. He is faithful even we are not. Yet we doubt.

Israel should be a constant reminder of how ugly disbelief is to Yahweh. With a mighty hand he rescued them from Egypt. He practically carried them to the edge of the promised land, defending them, feeding them, guiding them. The entire time they complained, rebelled and caused as much difficulty as possible. Now here they were on the edge of the land Yahweh had been promising them since the time of Abraham. His command was a simple one: Go and take the land.

They sent spies in to test the waters and 10 of the 12 came back with a bad report. The people refused to enter. The people are too big, too mighty, the cities are fortifies, they would all be killed. This they spouted off in the face of the one who used force, never seen before, to bring them out of Egypt. They said this in the face of the one who parted the seas to rescue them. They said this in the face of the one who brought water from rock and fed them every day with food direct from heaven. They said this in the face of the one who gave them the might to defeat every enemy they had faced. And Yahweh's response:

How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? (Numbers 14:11)

How long? How long must we learn the same lesson time and again? How long does he have to show us his love and compassion before we believe? Ho long will it take before we start trusting him with today, tomorrow and our eternity? What is wrong with our memory that we start every day as if we have had no experience at all with Jesus? How long?

A lack of trust means we are stuck drinking milk instead of eating steaks. It means we have to continue wearing diapers until we trust enough to learn our lessons. It means we will be 8o years old and still not have obtained the spiritual maturity Jesus wants for us. Yahweh sent Israel back into the desert because they were not ready to receive the Promised Land. He will also keep us at this stage until we have learned to trust because without trust we cannot grow. He desires us to have more and be more but he will not allow us to progress until we have gained the lesson of faith. We need better memories.

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