Friday, March 16, 2012

Our God is Able! (Pt. 3)

This is part 3 of 3 in the "Our God is Able" series.  This series covers a sermon that I preached a couple weeks ago at Center Line Christian Fellowship in Colorado Springs, CO. Each post covers one of the three points I covered on what happens when we move from asking God why to questioning His ability. Part 1 (HERE) pointed out that the first thing that moves us toward questioning God's ability is when we listen to the rabble.  Part 2 (HERE) showed us that it is easy for us to wrongly assume it is our responsibility to ensure that God's promises are fulfilled and when we're not able, we assume God isn't able.  In Part 2 we left off with God telling Moses how He intended to answer the peoples complaint for meat.  It's then that we see Moses move from asking God why to questioning God’s ability.  Let's dig in...

Starting in Numbers 11:21-23 Moses responds by saying,

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

In that short and simple question, Moses went from asking God why he had to carry the burden of the Israelites, to questioning if God was able to feed all of them.

God’s answer was simple.

23 The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
When God said “too short” He meant "lacking in power".   God was asking Moses if he believed that He wasn't able to fulfill His word.  I think partly the question God’s was asking Moses was if he’d forgotten all the other miracles He’d already done.
See, when we listen to the rabble and wrongly assume responsibility…

3. We question God’s reliability.

Moses had forgotten how reliable God had been up to this point.  But, here’s the truth. Our questioning of His reliability does not change what He’s already done and it doesn’t change what He’s able to or going to do.
Ephesians 3:20 says, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

Our doubt, our lack of faith doesn’t change the fact that He is able to do far more than we’re ever able to imagine. It also doesn’t change His faithfulness to fulfill His word.

1 Corinthians 1:9 says, God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is faithful. There are so many verses in the bible that speak of His faithfulness (I stopped counting at 60).  It’s in questioning God’s ability in these little things that we see the Israelites doubt God’s promises and His ability to do what He says. Eventually we see this played out on a bigger scale when God is preparing to give them the Promised Land.  They had complained so much that when the time came for God to give them their inheritance, they doubted God’s ability to fulfill that promise.  By the time they arrive at the Promised Land and send scouts in they had already doubted God and explored the land with that mindset.
God didn’t say, "Send scouts in to see if the land is suitable for me to give to you.” Numbers 13:2 says that He told them, Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites."

He said “The land I AM GIVING YOU.” He already knew it was suitable. He already knew it was what they needed and desired.  He sent them in so they would come back and confirm to the people that the promise was just as amazing as God said. But that didn’t happen. Their doubt caused them to come back with a bad report and cost them the opportunity to receive the promise.  Not only did they NOT receive the promise, the wandered in the wilderness for 40 YEARS.  A whole generation died before they were able to enter.  But that doesn't change the fact that God knew what was good for them and wanted to give it to them. 
He does the same for us. Jesus knows what we need. He knows what’s good for us and He aims to give it to us. 

Philipians 4:19 says, 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Our responsibility in that is to trust and believe Him. It’s a faith issue and we are to seek Him to develop our faith. Jesus’ disciples knew where to go. In Luke 17:5 the disciples said to Jesus, “Increase our faith!”. He is the one that increases our faith.  As He does, we are able to trust and believe Him and what He promises us.  Our doubt doesn't effect His ability, but our faith leaves us open to receive His promises.
Ask God why, it's okay. Seek Him for wisdom and guidance. BUT, don't listen to the rabble, know that it’s His responsibility and trust in His ability.

Remembering He's Reliable,
Bruce