Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Listen Carefully

I was reading Numbers 20 yesterday and I can't shake it from my brain. The Israelites are in the Desert of Zin. It's hot. It's the desert! The people complain against God that they should have stayed in Egypt because they are now going to die in the desert. God tells Moses to speak to a rock and water will come out of it for the whole community to drink. Moses and Aaron gather the people, Moses uses his staff to strike the rock, and the water comes gushing out. Problem solved. People happy.

God is now hot. God is angry with Moses and Aaron. Why? Moses used the staff and did not speak to the rock. It is so easy to miss this. For this reason, both Moses and Aaron will not be allowed to enter into the Promised Land. As a matter of fact Aaron will die before the end of the chapter.

Do you see what is going on here? When God speaks, when God tells us His will, His expectation is that we will listen carefully and follow perfectly. I cannot tell you how many times I listened to God, fast forwarded to the end result, and then made my own plans on how to get there. That's what Moses did. The voices of the Israelites were ringing in his ears as God spoke with the solution to the problem. He didn't follow God's exact command. The fallout was not good.

I wonder how many times do we hear from God, understand what God wants, but we make decisions on how we think it should be done instead of continuing to listen for how God wants it done. This challenges me to be all the more sure I am listening carefully, that I am developing my relationship with God more intentionally, and not hurrying off to do things my way.