Fight it Out with God

4:07 PMHeather

Earlier this week, I blogged about how authentic faith dares to engage in a wrestling match with God as we work out an intimate and honest walk with Him.  I am learning more and more that authentic faith doesn't hide behind a mask of happiness that covers an inner turmoil.  Authentic faith deals with our disappointment and heartache by wrestling through the questions that come with trials.  Daring to wrestle it out with God. Daring to be honest with Him--even brutally honest.

On the tail of my earlier blog post, I knew it was from the Lord when my One in a Million study brought me to Numbers 20:13 this week.  As I've mulled over this passage, I knew I couldn't wait to share.  

These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he showed himself holy among them.  
Numbers 20:13
 
And, so, here you have a special Saturday edition of Clinging to the Vine.  I feel compelled to write today, and not sleep another night without sharing.  Because I believe someone needs to hear this message that's burning on my heart.

Someone who is fighting against a tough situation that brings anger.  Frustration.  Disappointment.  Defeat.  A loss of hope.  A ton of questions.  A situation that rocks the very foundation of their believe in a good God.  Because what they are facing isn't good.  Not good at all.  So, how could a loving God allow THIS to happen?  Where is He now?  In the midst of your hurt, He feels miles away.  And cracks are beginning to appear in your faith.  

Let me tell you something, bloggy friend, that I believe God intends for you to hear.  Fight it out.  Yep, fight it out with God.  Dare to quarrel with Him about your feelings and your circumstances.  Shake off the thought that a perfect and strong faith never questions.  Don't buy the lie that an authentic faith never includes stumbling or wrestling.  

But, quarrel it out with Him.  Moses is known as a great father of the faith.  One of my all time favorite animated movies is still The Prince of Egypt.   Such an amazing story of a baby saved at birth so that he might someday save his people.  A baby adopted into royalty so that he might someday serve the King of the Universe.  A young man redeemed from a murderous act fueled by anger to the appointed deliverer.  

But, one detail that the animated movie leaves out is this quarreling with God that happens in Kadesh, just at the edge of the Promised Land.  Those grumbling Israelites are at it again.  In Numbers 20, we see them quarreling with God (again) about their circumstances. How does Moses respond?  Moses ignores God's commands to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water.  In a moment of doubt, Moses got in the way of himself and struck the rock.  Twice.  

Guess what?  The Israelites were still God's chosen people.  They were still his very own.  And while Moses was not allowed to walk into the Promised Land due to his unbelief, he still makes the Hallway of Fame in Hebrews 11 as a man of great faith.  Moses did not lose his standing as a follower of God.  He wasn't kept out of heaven.

Glimpse of GRACE:  Please don't take today's post as a license to go do whatever you want.  That is not what I mean.  What I do want to convey is that God knows we are made of dust.  God knows we wrestle with unbelief.  In fact, 2 Timothy 2:13 tells us:

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.  

Here is my point.  You are working out your faith when you dare to wrestle with God.  You are authentic and honest in your approach to Him when you trust Him to be big enough to take your anger, your disappointment, your questions.   Have at it.  Pound your fists against the chest of the Almighty if that is where you are in life.  He knows it anyway.  Might as well be genuine and authentic and trust in your relationship with Him enough that you can ask the hard questions.  He can take it.  Honestly, He can.  You are not disowning your faith when you engage in a quarrel with Him about your gut wrenching experiences.  

The Israelites questioned and quarreled.  Of course, it would be have been great if they could have maintained a perfect faith in their wilderness.  But, in those weak moments when they weren't sure God really knew what he was doing, they were real enough with him to acknowledge where they were.  They didn't turn their backs on God.  But, they ran at Him, believing He could handle their doubts.  And wrestle they did.  

And they were still God's chosen people.  

Even more amazing?  Did you catch the second part of Numbers 20:13?  

...where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord...
             ...and where He showed Himself holy among them.

Sure, as a mom, I wish my kids didn't question my decisions or my authority.  I wish they could trust my good intentions for their well being.  

But, it doesn't make me love them any less.  It doesn't make them any less my kids.  When they come to me and let me know their feelings and we can sort it out honestly, we build intimacy.  I can generally tell when they are disgruntled.  And, I'd rather them come to me for a productive conversation so we can move forward.  

How much more so with our Heavenly Father!  If you are in a time of wanting to quarrel against your circumstance, then here's my word for you.  Go to Him and ask the hard questions.  Quarrel away.   He knows you are disgruntled.  So, get real and get honest.  

And sit back, my bloggy friend.  Scripture tells us God's response in those places of quarreling. 

He shows Himself holy among us.      

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