Leading to a Deeper Faith

Psalm 50, 53, 60, 75

Psalm 14 15 NIV

Some of my really good friends a few years ago started to hold a dinner on Sunday nights after church. This dinner was absolutely awesome back in the day. It was the highlight of my week. I know we are supposed to say church is always the highlight of our week but this was even better than church. Hopefully I am not blaspheming right there. Haha.

The reason why it was so awesome was all of my favorite people gathered under one roof, having a meal together, talking about God, life and just having an awesome time. The way the dinner worked was that everyone would simply bring something with them to the meal. Whether it was a side dish, a plate of cookies or some beverages. The host would normally provide the meat and everyone would chip in to make it an awesome meal.

In the beginning everyone would chip in to help out to clean up. We all sought to do our fair share of the work. Eventually, we started to invite more and more people. The problem that arose was some of these new people didn’t contribute their fair share to the meal. When it’s just one person this isn’t such a big deal but when it’s a larger group of people it is more of an issue. People also stopped contributing as much to clean up. This left the group that was contributing doing more work and for more people. People grew too complacent in not contributing to the meal.

In my life I tend to do the same thing. Humans just have a natural tendency to get complacent in things like our relationships or work. The people of Israel in Psalm 50 had become complacent. They were going through the motions making sacrifices but it had become an emotionless, passionless ritual that lacked the heart behind their actions. Now, dry seasons where you don’t feel God with you are just a part of life. I think these may have even been manufactured or designed to make us want him, commit and submit to him more. I think too many Christians are afraid to admit that they have or are in one of these times. We view these times as negatives and feel like we should never have these moments in our life.

There are natural rhythms to life and at times complacency happens. Sometimes we find that we have become complacent or sometimes its told to us (ugh hate/love that I have people in my life who will do this). I don’t think we need to get hung up on the guilt or shame though. God uses discipline to help his people (Ps. 94.12, Rev. 3.19). He even rebukes those who hate discipline (Ps. 50.17). Discipline is ultimately to our benefit. Discipline is not always suffering the consequences of your actions. Rather, discipline from God is always for your benefit. It is to help you grow. God doesn’t just punish you to hurt you. In the TOTC commentary for Psalm 50 it describes how truth being realized or spoken in our life should be received. “But the truth is meant to heal, not only to convict.” This a great concept. I believe it allows us to look at failures in our lives and cast our future in a positive growth mindset.

This morning in a weird coincidence I was reading about Moses and the people of Israel as they left Egypt and wandered into the desert. They went three whole days into the wilderness with no water. Now this left them empty and physically wanting. Their reaction is not great but I think this incident illustrates something to us. God led them out into the desert, God knew there was no water, God knew that they would need water, and God clearly ended up giving them water because the Bible doesn’t say that they all ran out of water and died. So, what was the point of the whole incident? I’m theorizing but maybe God wanted them to ask him for water. He might have been trying to make them more dependent upon him. Out of this incident in Exodus 17 the Israelites were able to see that God would provide for them. The hopeful reaction from the people was supposed to be trust and faith that God would provide for them. Their period of physical dehydration was supposed to lead them to deeper faith.

Knowing that the difficult or challenging things in our lives may be godly discipline or our complacency could allow for growth, healing or growing in faith and love for God as I wait for him gives me a good perspective for handling these things.

Hope everyone keeps their eyes focused on God and that we can walk with God through whatever circumstances we are going through.

Daniel Wall

 

Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+50%2C53%2C60%2C+75&version=NIV

 

Tomorrow’s reading will be 2 Samuel 10,  1Chronicles 19 and Psalm 20 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

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