Monday, July 30, 2012

Responding to a Faith Crisis

When the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus, was about a year's journey to Kadesh Barnea - the edge of the Promised Land
Num. 13:1-3, 17-21 - 12 explorers - checked out the land for 40 days.
Num. 13:25 - 14:25  -  report:  2 in favor of going in and taking the land (Joshua and Caleb), 10 against.
Num.14:39-45 - "the Lord is with you now"

Question:  Is there something here for us?
Answer:  1 Cor. 10:11-13 (a) - "common to man" - be careful you don't fall.  We can look at these people because God hasn't changed and mankind hasn't changed either.

So.... Responding to a Faith Crisis
A serious point of decision (call) - life is full of these faith crises.
You have three choices:  Move forward?
                                      move backward?
                                      wander about?

(Similarities and differences)

Differences - (for them)

1.  Kadesh Barnea was life defining (they had to decide whether to go forward, go back, or wander in the wilderness) - Your decision may not be life defining.  BUT IT WILL BE LIFE AFFECTING

2.  K B was irrevocable - that was IT!   That generation could not repent of their decision.
You may have many chances.  However, you never know!!  ( you have no guarantee you will have a second or third chance)
NOTE:  God did not abandon them!!!   He cared for them 40 years in the wilderness.

3.  K B was a group decision.  Yours - personal/individual
NOTE:  It's easier to make a right faith decision if you hang with the faith crowd.  We are affected by peer pressure.


1.  This is not a crisis of confusion.
ie:  they knew God's will - may be a difficult decision, but it is NOT complex!  No question of what should do.

2.  This is not a sudden decision  - just have to decide whether or not to do it.
They had been  (A) - adequately prepared - had plenty of time and plenty of miracles confirming that God was with them, leading them, etc.
                       (B) - Divinely led.

3.  This is more than a test of faith.
It is a step in progress (growth) - life building, successive.

4.  Fear is natural (Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul)
But is also easily exaggerated  - sometimes it's selfishness, but that's many times a part of fear.
Faith is not that you don't fear, but in spite of that fear do what supposed to do.
A big portion of things we fear and worry about never come to pass.

5.  A proper response is no guarantee of ease.  2 Tim. 3:12
Example:  2nd generation Israel and the conquest of the Promised Land - lots of pain and suffering entailed in the taking.

6.  Your decision will affect others. - Num. 14:31-33
This is often repeated because (A) it's important - bears repeating
and (B) it's easily forgotten - overlooked and ignored.
Scripture says it over and over again.  Much of what God calls us to is not about us!!!  God is not concerned primarily with our happiness.

1 Cor. 10:11-13
In this case, the way out was to move forward!!
(God has given the land, you must go take it)

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