Monday, June 29, 2009

Self-examination: Pride (Striking the Rock)

I'm reading a book right now that has me re-examining my life as a Christian quite a bit. It is full of little Truths that when I truly look at my life, I'm realizing that I've not been living my life as much for the Lord as I might have once imagined. I'm beginning to look deeply within myself at my motives, my priorities, my focus and I'm not always very happy with what I see. But the good news is I know as the Lord reveals these things to me I can take them to Him and He will heal me.

So, here is the most recent self-examination:

Numbers 20:1 - 13 tells about how the Israelites arrived at the Desert of Zin which is where Miriam died and was buried. Once again as had happened several times during their wanderings, there was no water and the Israelites began to complain. Moses and Aaron went to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and the Lord spoke to them. He was very clear in His directions.

"Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock from the community so they and their livestock can drink." (emphasis added - Numbers 20:8)

Moses gathered the Israelites, but instead of just speaking to the rock, he took the staff and struck the rock. Not once, but twice. The Lord cause water to pour forth as He had promised, but Moses actions had consequences.

"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)

In the past I've read this and just not gotten it. I guess I've been under the assumption that Moses struck the rock out of anger because he was so sick and tired of the Israelites complaining. But the Lord's response leads me to wonder if that was not the true reason for Moses actions. That to root of that action was something much deeper. Regardless, I can only imagine the despair that must have filled Moses when he learned his actions were going to keep him from the Promised Land.

The book I'm reading speaks of this incident and relates it to our lives as Christians in today's world.

"The body of Christ today is encouraged to search the Scriptures for desired promises, hold those Scriptures up to God and demand fulfillment. This could be the ultimate demonstration of the pride of man. This uses God's authority and principles for self-promotion! The Lord wants us to learn to use the rod - but for His purposes. When pride (self-centeredness) enters into spiritual authority, we are in grave danger. He is seeking those who "tremble at His word" to be His habitation
(Isaiah 66:1-2). We must treat Him as holy or we, like Moses, may find ourselves banned from the promised land."
(There Were Two Trees in the Garden by Rick Joyner)

When I read this the first time I was struck with a holy fear. Have I been doing this in my life? Moses was described as the most humble man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3). If this humblest man on the earth can fall victim to pride and self-centeredness, someone who has basked in the glory of the Lord to the extent that he had to wear a veil on his face, what makes me think that I won't fall in the same way?

This is why it is so extremely important for me to continue to ask the Lord to show me areas of my life where pride is taking root (or already has) and to ask Him to pull out these things from my life. It is only through Him and by His power that this can be done. The process of pulling these "weeds" out of my life may be painful at times, but being told by the Lord that I won't see the promised land because I've not honored Him as holy is far worse.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Can you say "prosperity preaching"? Right on Ang! We should be praying for discernment and wisdom before all else.