When Faith Fails
I identify with Peter who called to Jesus as He was walking on the water, “Tell me to come to You on the water.” (Matt 14:28) Jesus gave him the command to come, and Peter set out, but didn’t get far before the reality of his situation set in and he began to sink. The desire of my heart is that I would boldly step into the realm of the supernatural in partnering with the Lord for Kingdom work, but then I get caught up in my circumstances, and find myself weighed down with dinky faith. If Jesus said that faith as small as a mustard seed could move mountains, then could my faith be microscopic? It all seems rather daunting.
In reading the account of Moses, He certainly seemed to be a champion of faith. He took his life into his hands in obeying God to speak to Pharaoh about allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt, and calling forth plagues on the Egyptians as God commanded. When Pharaoh finally let the people go and they found themselves backed up against the Red Sea with the Egyptian army in hot pursuit, the people panicked, but Moses simply did as God commanded, and the sea parted to provide a dry escape route. The Presence of God accompanied the Israelites in the form of a cloud by day and a column of fire by night to guide the people to Mt. Sinai in the desert. There, God gave them the 10 Commandments, the detail for all other rules and regulations, and precise instructions for constructing the Tabernacle. All of this required that Moses be able to hear God’s voice as we would hear any other human speaking to us. How many of us know anyone that hears God with that much precision and accuracy, much less that we would hear Him that way ourselves?
The Israelites resumed their journey from Mt. Sinai, and began complaining about everything, even the supernatural food God had provided in the form of manna. Moses felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of such a large group of people who weren’t going to be happy about anything. (I suppose our governmental leaders can identify.) But Moses did not try to fix the situation through sub-committees – He went to God – and the Lord provided two immediate solutions: 70 elders to assist with leading/administration, and meat for the people to eat for a whole month. Even these miraculous solutions were not enough to abate Moses’ anxiousness, and He questioned God about anything being enough. His dejection spilled out before he thought about Who he was talking to; and all the Lord’s previous miracles dissipated in the current crisis. Because I seem to so often find myself in similar places of worry and anxiety, and I know how difficult it is to pry myself out, it somehow made me feel better to see that Moses also occasionally had dinky faith.
But, the most comforting thing was God’s response to Moses – which could have been severe – but wasn’t. He simply said, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” (Nu 11:23) In the middle of threatening waves, people, and circumstances, we all need that reminder of Who God is – mighty and able to do for us as He has promised. His amazing grace reminds us without condemnation for forgetting. His amazing love always provides what is needed without requiring our faith for Him to act.