It was a beautiful day at the beach. My husband, our in-house 'meteorologist', kept a keen eye on an approaching storm, so we were safely tucked away inside before the first drop of rain hit the ground. There were others who obviously didn't have the app, because the storm took them by surprise. It blew in quickly. Enormous dark clouds seemed to appear out of nowhere. The wind was fierce. The once crowded beach was cleared within minutes as everyone ran to safety. Everyone, that is, except for one couple.
The storm was one of those that you just had to watch. Lightening danced on the water, mere seconds between each strike, and so close to us it was scary. But what was more amazing than the storm was the young couple who stood holding to their flimsy canopy tent. The sweeping wind tried to pry it away, but their hands were tightly clasped around the metal poles. We watched in amazement, praying for their protection. Why on earth would they risk standing out in an electrical storm for this little tent? A sudden jagged flash of light, joined by a loud thunderous crash was enough to finally send them running for cover. Relieved, I thanked the Lord for protecting them. I have never been any more shocked, however, than when they ran back into the storm a few minutes later, grabbed the poles, and stayed in the danger zone. All for a cheap tent.
The children of Israel had followed Moses out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. Their provisions were used up and their stomachs began to rumble. They complained against their leader. They said, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full!" (Ex 16:3) Talk about romanticizing the past! This scripture paints a picture of a life of leisure which was hardly the case. Did they forget they were slaves? This wasn't the only time they made that statement on their journey to the Promised Land. When life became difficult, they quickly wanted to go back. The Lord promised them a land of plenty, with military victories, and where they would be free from diseases. And yet they wished they would've died in bondage.
During the 40 year journey for the Israelites, they were in a growing process. God had brought them out of Egypt, now He had to get 'Egypt' out of them. Their lives were still in bondage as they lived in fear and unbelief of what God could do. How often they looked back and held on to how things were. They never really trusted God, even though they had witnessed His power and literally seen His glory.
Are we any different in our walk? How many times do we look back and ask what if? How often do we hold on to the 'cheap tents' in our lives and not put our trust in God. We run to Him to find shelter from the storm-and before you know it we are leaving the safe place, and running back into the storm for something of far less value. God promised the Israelites a land where they would have everything. The priority was to trust Him, but they failed miserably. We read of their lack of faith and shake our head in disbelief, but how often do we fail to stand on His word?
God promised to supply our needs,
yet we take matters into our own hands.
God promised to give us peace,
yet we worry.
God promised to meet us in the secret place of prayer,
yet we go for days without taking time to meet Him there.
We love God, but do we love Him with our whole heart?
Jesus gave us the greatest commandment in Mark 12:30
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength."
This means to love God above all. The REVEAL Research Project surveyed churchgoers and found only 11% of Christians who are actually propelled by their faith to love God and others with the whole heart. Can you believe that? So, 89% of the people in our pews are not whole-heartedly serving God.
When it comes to your relationship with God, ask yourself-- are you fully committed- unshakable- unwavering- steadfast- passionate- fervent- diligent? If you answered 'yes' to all of these, does your life demonstrate it? Most of us want to do something for the Lord- we are concerned- but often our schedules do not have any room for us to do anything. We are just too busy.
There is a big difference in being concerned about working for the Lord, and actually doing something.
There's a big difference is saying, "I will pray for you", and actually being in intercessory prayer for the needs of others.
There's a big difference in saying you love God with all of your heart, and actually loving Him to the point that you put Him first in your life.
Here's the thing -- loving God with our whole heart means it's more than just talk. Many say they do, but never have time for Him or His work. We have meetings, obligations, commitments, over-booked schedules, ballgames, appointments . . . and the list goes on.
What rivals God's place in your heart?
Make time for the secret place,
make time for reading and studying the Bible,
make time to diligently seek Him.
Be willing to let go of some of the things that keep us busy-
and do not run back for anything.