Tuesday, May 02, 2017

"Walking" in Faith

In the Bible, God tells Abraham that he is going to give Abraham’s family the land he is living in. Of course, at this time, Abraham’s family has just two people in it. Then, after Abraham died, there was a famine in the land, so Jacob moved the family to Egypt temporarily. Temporarily meaning 400 years.

Eventually, it was time to move back. So, Joshua and 2 million Israelites stood on the shore of the Jordan River. Melted snow from the mountains added to the river, so that it was a mile-wide raging torrent. How do you get men, women, and children across the river?

For someone who parted a sea not too long before this, parting a river is not too big of a problem. But there is a twist.

When God parted the Red Sea, Moses stood up and said, “Hey, guys! Watch this!” And they did. Now, Joshua told the people, that when they saw the priests carrying the Ark, they should follow them. And they did.

The priest carried the Ark down to the edge of the river, and started to wade across. When they got to knee-deep, the Bible says God pushed to river back to a city 5 miles upriver.

God is giving two pictures of faith. Sometimes, if we are pursuing a God-given objective, and there is an obstacle, we need to watch and wait. And sometimes, we need to start wading. That is, we need to begin moving in the direction of the objective.

How do we know which to do? Faith is believing that what God says is true, trusting he will be acting to bring it to pass, and obeying what he gives us to do. Which means sometimes we wait, and sometimes we wade. The only logical difference  I can see in both situations is what God said, what people heard, and what people did in obedience.

I believe God is an active communicator still. I believe God is speaking to each child almost continually. His children mostly are not paying to attention. So, they miss his voice.

He speaks in different ways. Sometimes, he underlines verses in the Bible. Sometimes, he whispers thoughts in our hearts. He sends dreams and visions. I even read of a couple of instances where people heard audible words. Faith requires us to be alert to his voice, so we know whether to wait, or whether to wade.

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