I’ve been trying to put an idea into words for some time – trying to find an example to describe it in a way that would make sense. The idea has to do with the core of this blog. What, at its core, does it mean that God is beautiful? I found it.  I found my example. And the answer to this question has some serious implications:

  1. It’ll change how you read and enjoy the Bible forever
  2. The movement of this idea from head to heart marks the shift from immature to mature faith

Have you ever stepped out to trust God financially? Were you shocked at how quickly He responded to your step of faith?

How many of you then stepped out again in faith financially? Were you almost as shocked with how God didn’t come through as quickly the second time round?

Take that example in your life and hold it to one side for a second.

Remember the children of Israel wandering the desert for 40 years with Moses as their leader? Remember how often they complained? Though they had seen the miracles of God –  the 10 plagues against the Egyptians, the parting of the Red Sea, the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, the miracle after miracle of provision – as soon as they were faced with another seemingly impossible situation they cried how to God, “Why have you brought us into the wilderness to die? It would be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 20:5)

Does that ring a bell of memory? I know it does for me. Though time and time again I have seen God’s miraculous hand in my life, when I am faced with a difficult situation my tendency is toward complaint.

But what of Moses? He had a different spirit on him to the rest of the people of Israel. He was not moved to doubt God and complain and He was esteemed by God. Here was the difference.

  • Israel was acquainted with the acts of God.
  • Moses was acquainted with the ways and the heart of God.

Israel’s eyes were mostly fixed on her circumstances and the things in the physical. They did not “know” God. The (experiential) knowledge of God was not inside them.

On the other hand, Moses knew God. Like actually knew Him. Not knew about Him. But knew Him. There’s a difference. He knew God as faithful and eternal. He knew that when God did a miracle it was not a once off flash-in-the-pan, wiz-bang boom entertainment to dazzle a crowd. It was a picture of His heart and His nature that never changes. It was an invitation to covenant. Therefore, when God opened a rock to give water to the people in the desert Moses was not moved by the miracle He was moved by God’s heart and nature as provider – “Oh God you’re beautiful that the almighty, all powerful, all glorious God would care about this people!”

It’s a subtle but profound difference.

That’s why God is slower to provide during our second leap of faith, slower again in our third. He’s not a genie to rub with prayer and get what we want. He’s a person who’s looking for deep relationship and for the most part we (including myself) just want a solution to our problem so we can get on with enjoying life. So the Lord hides Himself and says, “Come after me, come after me! I have more to show you of my heart. I’m not going to be your genie I want to be your Magnificent Obsession.”

So here are the implications of this shift permeating our hearts by the Spirit of revelation:

  1. This idea should shift us from reading the Bible to know facts to reading the Bible to see God’s heart on display.  Enjoyment naturally follows.

 

  1. This idea shows the importance of our heart’s shift to being as excited by the intimate knowing of a covenant-keeping God’s heart as by the work of God’s hand on our behalf. Mature faith naturally follows.

 

And finally, here’s a little litmus test to see what’s in our hearts.

When difficulty strikes what is the dominant question of God we ask?

Is it:

  1. Why God?

Or is it:

2. Where are you working in the midst of this God? .

Joel Ratcliffe

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