There are things that are indicative of the position we are in, because with God, there is no middle ground…
IT IS, OR IT ISN’T… there is no middle ground with God, and when many are “on the fence”, God provides important lessons so that we can become aware of our actions – whether they are right or wrong, through the light of His Word.
“And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it.” Exodus 16.22-24
When God provided manna for the people of Israel, He established rules in order to put them to the test, to see what would be their behavior. From Sunday to Friday, the Lord sent manna, which could only be collected in established portions, because if more than that was collected, it would rot. But on the sixth day, He Ordered to be collected double the portion, but it would not rot or create worms because it was for the next day, the great and expected Seventh Day, the Day of Rest…
However, there is a deeper meaning connected to all of this, because when God said that during the first five days of the week people should only collect the portion of the manna necessary for a day, and in the sixth, gather a double portion of it, He did it with the sole intention to prove the loyalty of the people to His law. And why? Because the human being, due to their “Adamic” nature, has the tendency not to Trust, not to be Obedient, not to be Dependent, and not to be Disciplined.
This is an important biblical episode that portrays well the significance of FOUR PRINCIPLES that need to be followed so our relationship with God can be successful.
TRUST IN HIM
The principal of trusting is not easy for humans to practice. When we are children, our confidence level usually is at 100%, because we have no reason to be suspicious of others; but as we grow, we not only accumulate negative experiences as we also listen to the most experienced voices alerting us to such things like be “cautious”, “pay attention” and “be careful” because the world is a dangerous place and not everyone is deserving or worthy of our trust.
After, what happened? Came love… and when you got married, you entrusted your life, because everything that the other person said to you—you believed, you believed it was true, that is why you joined your life to his in marriage. Is it not true? Well, it has to be even much more with God, you must believe in His Word, trust Him above everything and everyone and not in your own strength, knowledge, or wisdom.
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56.11
DEPENDING ON HIM
In modern society, before the financial crisis that many countries are experiencing, including Portugal, it’s not few the cases of people who are in the situation of having to depend from a third party, whether it be of their own parents, a relative, or even of an institution.
And what does this financial and material dependency usually cause? – Shame, humiliation, worthlessness, desolation, despair, disbelief in a promising future.
However, depending on God is completely different because this attitude brings peace, inner balance, and self-worthiness, Faith in a better future, prosperity, stability, prevailing, and assurance!
But what does it mean, in practice, to depend on God? It means to put His Direction above your own direction and to put God’s thoughts above your own thoughts. And this way, you will begin to be directed by His Thoughts, which is His Word.
For example, think of how many mistakes you made in your teen years for not having listened to your parents’ voice? Is it not true? However, when you choose not to listen to God’s voice, the “damage” is much larger and worst—truly, it is devastating, for without God, you will not have anyone else to turn to.
Note the example of Job, who chose to depend on God till death, even though nothing was leftover of his world, no children, wealth, prestige, image, influence, recognition or even respect:
“But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause—” Job 5.8
OBEY HIM IN EVERYTHING
Many people associate the act of obeying to being subservient, the loss of freedom, of free will. But there is a big difference between obeying the whims of others or even the laws of a country and OBEYING GOD!
It is true that as children or citizens, we must obey our parents, fulfill our legal and civic duties, but all of this is very different from the obedience that God expects of us, because it implies PUTTING HIM IN FIRST PLACE and never, under any circumstances, make decisions in our lives without first CONSULTING HIM—because we just do not want to take the risk of disobeying Him.
Remember the advices that your father gave you? Remember when the Pastor told you to do something and you did the opposite? What were the consequences? Surely, they were not the best…
Throughout your life, in addition to your own inner voice, you will hear many “counseling voices” that will believe that they know what is best for you. However, the Supreme Advise, the one by which you should always guide yourself by, is solely and exclusively found in the Word of God, because it is always accurate and never, ever, will you be deceived!
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 5.6
TRUSTING, DEPENDING, AND OBEYING GOD IN EVERYTHING but, before everything, BEING DISCIPLINED!
It is your ability of self-discipline that will enable you to fulfill with the first 3 principles, that is why this fourth and final lesson should not, in any way, be neglected or left to chance.
Surely, you know what indiscipline leads to! – To the disregard of the established rules, to the values of society, to the Word of God. An undisciplined person, is hardly obedient, is suspicious and much less seeks to depend on God!
Be disciplined, doing everything in order to never lose your Communion with God—beginning with putting into practice, daily, the first 3 attitudes.
Think about it: how many things did you lose for being undisciplined? Too many? Well, you want to continue losing? It is entirely up to you to turn around this situation!
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12.1