001. A NEW THING
Have you ever received a revelation from God or seen Him show up in an amazing way and decided that must be how He always wants to do it? Have ever been a part of something great that the Lord was doing and thought this is how I want things to always be! I totally have! Sometimes, we just want things to stay the same, even when they get harder and harder to maintain. I’m not about to say that all tradition and every comfort zone is a bad thing, but i will say that they should never forfeit the leading of the Spirit. When they do, they have become old wine skin (Luke 5:37-39).
Here is the deal, God may want to do things differently than He has in the past! This shouldn’t surprise us, because it seems to be His way, “I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?“ (Isaiah 43:19 ). As Christians, we are the byproduct of how much God loves to do new things. Paul says, you are a “new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Moses had to learn this the hard way with the two instances where water came out of a rock (Ex 17:5-6, Num 20:8-12). In one, God tells him to hit the rock with a stick (Exodus 17:5-6). In the other, He tells him to simply speak to it (Numbers 20:8-12). The first, Moses is physically doing something and God does the rest, but it took faith to even hit the rock and hope water would come out. Yet, it did! The second, takes more faith because Moses can only speak, but he has something now that he knows already works. Should he play it safe or do the new thing?
Whether, it was pride, control or fear of man, Moses ends up doing what worked, in a previous season, instead of following the new way God wanted to do things. I can’t blame him though, because the hitting the rock with a stick thing worked really well before! I’ve been in seasons of life where there has been much fruit and I thought, “all we need to do is more of the same!” Yet, that’s not how God typically does things.
In Moses’ case, God Definitely didn’t want to do more of the same. All he had to do was just speak and let God move. It was a situation where if the Lord didn’t show up, Moses would look really dumb or possibly get stoned to death by an angry mob. That’s exactly where we need to be for faith to mature! Well maybe not the stoned to death part, but definitely the looking dumb if God doesn’t show up part!
Unfortunately, Moses ended up hitting the rock, and not just once, but twice. Think about it! He had to work harder to keep doing what worked in an old season. You know what this feels like, if you’ve gone through the crucible of trying to keep the good old days alive when God wants to usher in the new. If Moses had stepped out, in faith, on the new thing God was doing, he would have only had to speak. Ultimately, Moses’ unwillingness to do a new thing, even to the point of disobeying the Lord, kept him from entering the promise land, it kept him from his destiny. Now, I know God is always working for the good, because He is, but I also believe there are consequences to avoiding or rejecting the new thing, He is doing.
There are lots of lessons in these two passages, but I believe we have to beware of thinking we have God and his ways completely figured out, acting from a place of fear or control, rather than faith. Otherwise, we may stop asking Him how He wants to do things next, or worse only hear what we want. This highlights my constant need for His voice. I must intentionally stay in relationship with Him, spending time with Him, seeking, asking, waiting, listening, and acting in faith. Even when I want to play it safe and just do what worked before, I have to remember that I have the Spirit of God in me, and He may want to lead me into the Promise Land, by doing a totally new thing.