I am choosing Willingness....
The past several weeks, the Not-so-Popular Truth of Generation Z Series went great! We had 6 young ladies share Jesus with us. These gals are shining Jesus at all around them. They are experiencing a real & growing relationship with Him. They are digging in scripture. Asking the hard questions of leaders.
Catch up on these inspiring posts if you missed them:
Intro to Generation Z-#1, Gen Z-#2, Gen Z-#3, Gen Z-#4
There is a new generation being raised up for a change in our land. I see a coming back to the One True God and I do not want to be left out! I want to be part of this New Thing God is doing!
This younger generation is not content to believe just because someone tells them to. They were born into a world already learning the importance, more than older generations, that just because it is on the internet or social media does not make it truth. Having truth and lies put before them every single moment of each day has made them want proof.
The younger ones weigh out other’s words until trust and authenticity have been formed.
In other words, these younger ones will not be the content to sit in church, listen to praise music & an encouraging sermon and leave convinced that Jesus is God. This will not convince them that Jesus is essential to fill a void we were all born with.
If I had made the above statement during the introduction to this post series, it may have look like the souls of our younger ones were doomed.
BUT GOD….you see, God is moving! God is raising up a new generation to go beyond. To go deeper. To know why they do what they do. Why church attendance is important, and why spending time disconnected to everything but Him is vital to know Him more.
God is raising up a generation that desires to know HIM. Not about Him, but to know Him as real and powerful. Knowing He loves them deeper than anyone ever could, but also knowing He expects reverent fearing because HE IS GOD!
Throughout this series, I have thought of the story of the Israelites and how we, the American church, may be more like them than we want to admit. (and what does any of this story has to do with the younger generations of today? let me explain)
I know! I know! We never want to compare ourselves to those rebellious, wandering Israelites that couldn't see God any further than their nose!
First of all, remember back with me. There was a generation of people who never entered the promised land, but instead lived on the outside edge. Right there, but never living in the amazing & rich land God wanted to give them.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE ANOTHER GENERATION (like the Israelites) THAT STAYS ON THE EDGE OF WHAT GOD HAS FOR US!
...ON THE EDGE OF WHERE COMFORTABLE & CHALLENGING MEET!
NOPE, I WANT TO BE SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS PRESENCE, HIS MIRACLES, HIS POWER, ......JUST HIM!
To summarize this story from the Bible, God had shown Himself powerful, faithful and mighty. God had been faithful to provide when there was no earthly way. He delivered them out of slavery. He provided a good leader. He had them see His Presence in a cloud & then in a fire. He provided the exact amount of manna each day. When they grumbled because they were bored with manna, he sent them quail by evening.
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God had proven Himself a thousand times over. All they had to do was listen for His voice, trust it and move on in obedience.
As miraculous and faithful as the Lord had been to this people, they were determined to continue to trust their short- sided vision over God’s voice with every single challenge they encountered. They weren’t willing to trust God’s eyes were able to see farther than theirs.
God said “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” (Deuteronomy 1:8)
This command was straightforward, right?! Not vague, but direct.
Just "Go…the land I GIVE YOU”.
I’m beginning to believe the Israelites may have had some Baptist blood in them, because their reply to that simple command was to nominate & create a committee! 😊
They formed a committee of 12 men to go check out the competition. Now anytime we have 12 opinions, there will be conflicting views. Final verdict was 10-2 that Canaan was a land of giants that would bring them death and defeat. They decided it was unwise to go into the land.
Unwise! The decision was to NOT do what God clearly instructed. Hmmm….
So easy to sit here and talk about those rebellious Israelites, isn’t it?! But maybe we should turn the microscope around now.
Twelve men spies were sent in to this land God told them to go in & take. Only two trusted and had faith to believe God was big enough to make this happen! Only two were able to see the giants through spiritual eyes. I think Joshua & Caleb saw those giants in the land already defeated, laying dead and not a threat!
Only two out of TWELVE truly believed God was bigger than what they could see. They didn’t believe God could, or would, do it without them & the capable army. We do realize that God never needed their military for the victory, right?
I wonder if God looks over at Jesus at times and shakes His head saying, "I thought we made it pretty clear in the beginning of the book? Must not have been clear enough!"
Can we only trust God with things if it doesn’t appear too big? Or too hard? Or too crazy? How often do we listen to the majority and just brush off the voice of God? We go to and ask the advice of others who appear to be in tune with God instead of marching on in obedience to what we know He wants us to do?!! How crazy is that?! About as crazy as we think those Israelites were. haha
At the time, it appears logical, responsible or like a real good alternative when in reality it is just pure disobedience to do what God asked us to do. ☹
I heard a quote that has stuck with me about this very thing:
- PARTIAL OBEDIENCE IS JUST PLAIN DISOBEDIENCE -
Brushing off the voice of God is dangerous! It's a cancer to our soul. At first it appears all is well and good. But underneath it continues to grow until it will cause pain and heartache. It is life defeating.
Disobedience never brings about blessing.
I’ll conclude with this is the part of the story- the generation that determined to go with the majority, to go with the vision they could physically see instead of the vision and voice of God, died without God’s best! Without fulfilling God’s plan. Without tasting the sweetness of the fruits, honey & prosperity of the land God promised to give them!
This entire generation wandered around on the edge of what God had prepared for them! They forfeited the most amazing fruitful and blessed land they had ever seen in their lifetime to settle right there on the edge and called it God’s best.
They seemed content to just to wonder around, doing life in the land of settling. God allowed this generation to live this time doing what they felt was good & best and asking His blessing.
All the while, they starved themselves of bountiful, fulfilled and super satisfying life of abundance in every fashion. All because they wouldn’t trust God to do as He promised. ☹
They lived life backwards. The Israelites, God’s chosen, lived a life less than God’s best and then they died. Never experiencing the amazing goodness God wanted to share with them. Never seeing God’s love poured out as beautifully as He wanted them to know. Now I’m sure they didn’t see it that way! They may have even called themselves…’blessed’.
I mean they looked like good God fearing people. They continued to go into worship and go through the motions and sacraments just the same. They appeared to be living a life for God.
But what was underneath was disobedience. They liked it the way it was...to be able to live their own lives while appearing to be living for Him….hmmm.
This generation of Israelites demanded their way over God’s. Demanded their vision over His. Demanded control of their lives. Guess what, let them have it.
The Lord tried to give them His very best. He told them plainly. He had already won the battle & assured them of victory. All they had to do was ‘Go & take it”.
They didn’t trust His voice or His plan. The majority demanded their way. The logical way.
God let them have their way. Letting them live the rest of their days as they knew better than He did.
They thought they were the smart ones. At first anyways! Then slowly then entire generation of going-thru-the-motions Israelites died off. They never experienced what God had prepared for them! All because they wouldn’t trust God as trustworthy and able.
They never recognized and submitted to the Almighty Powerful God as being bigger than their ideas or plans. How sad.
But God. After that content, going-thru-the-motions generation died off, God's people were ready.
NEW was coming! (to be continued)
next week we will look at who inherited the wonderful, abundant land & why!
Father, help our generations recognize your awesome, all-knowing and generous power! Show us our wrong ways before we wonder around dying without experiencing your fruitful land.
Please open our eyes to see our circumstances and world with Your eyes instead of our own! Help us to know where you lead is always the abundant and best of everything. Keep us ever mindful of who you are…the GREAT I AM who Was, Is and Is to Come! Amen
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