Somehow during the madness of this week I was able to have a phone conversation with a close friend of mine. Granted, it was in five minute spurts over the course of a whole day, but it was the first real adult conversation I had all week. I ended up unloading all of my frustrations to her, the poor woman. We were talking about disciplining a two year old. She said something that I thought was so wise and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
She said, “Remember, when you are disciplining William you are not only teaching him to be obedient to you, but you are also teaching him to listen and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit does not shout….he whispers. He needs to learn to hear you the first time.”
She thought we were talking about my son, but I think the Lord was trying to tell me something through her. I have been so busy shouting at the Lord telling him I need his grace to get me through this week that I haven’t been able to hear him. She is absolutely right…the Holy Spirit whispers. The Lord is more patient than me, however. He will wait at as long as it takes to get your full attention and for you to be obedient. I have been calling out asking for God to speak to me all the while drowning out his voice.
A long time ago I read a book called Is That ReallyYou God? by Loren Cunningham. The only thing I remember about the book was that it said, 'If you are having a hard time hearing the Lord, go back to the last thing he told you. Ask yourself if you have been obedient.' I thought long and hard about this. What was the last thing I heard from the Lord? Then, I got it. Out of the blue I remembered what God told me to do, and then the sinking feeling as I realized I didn't do it.
I know that there can be a plethora of reasons why we aren't obedient to God’s calling, but one of the biggest reasons why I am disobedient is insecurity. I always think there is someone who is more talented, more equipped, or more knowledgeable. Guess what…who cares! So what if someone could do it better?
There is no competition in the body of Christ! Competition comes from a spirit of comparison, and THAT is not from God. The Lord doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. Trust in the fact that he knows exactly who you are….and he chose you.
We miss out on opportunities because we let insecurity keep us for accomplishing God’s will. We will never experience God’s supernatural power or provision if we are too insecure to trust him or too worried about looking foolish. Think about Noah. He built an ark in the desert before one drop of rain had ever touched the earth.
“They chased the Israelite's from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water.” Joshua 7:5
I realized after reading this verse that our insecurity doesn't always have to be in who we are, but sometimes it’s about where we are.
The Israelite's were backed up against a deep quarry. A giant hole behind them and an army in front of them! One false step and they could have been free-falling into a black abyss. The Israelite's had every right to feel insecure about where they were at!
It is curious, however, that after all the miracles the Lord had done for them, they still gave up the fight. This was after God delivered them from slavery, parted the red sea, made sweet water in the desert, gave them manna, and sent quail in the desert! All those miracles and they still didn't trust God to deliver them. I can’t help but think that it wasn't God’s will that they were struck down at the quarry.
We may not be skipping along the edge of a quarry, but we may be teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, our marriage may be on the rim of divorce, or we may be spiritually on the rocks. Insecurity in where we are financially, in our marriage, or spiritually can cause us to be disobedient to God's purpose.
I asked myself why the Bible phrased it like that. Why were their hearts like water? What is it about water? Then, it occurred to me that water has absolutely no resistance. It conforms to any vessel permeating its every part. The Israelite's unreservedly gave themselves over to insecurity and fear. One wonders what would have happened if they didn't. What glorious miracle could they have added to the long list of God’s provisions?
What opportunities and experiences have I missed out on because of my failure to feel secure in God’s supernatural power and provision? What could I have added to the already long list of things that the Lord has done for me if I had been obedient to God?
I guess the root of the problem is that we are insecure in God’s provision, protection, love, and purpose for us. If we were secure in the Lord’s omniscient power, we would stand at the quarry of our lives and shout, “Do your worst and watch how my Savior delivers me!”