Are You Trusting in the Formula Too Much?

Do you have a ‘go-to’ formula that you like to follow? 

Your “go-to” might be something that you know you can always rely on to work.  I must admit, I have “go-to” things that help me and I really struggle when I am challenged to not rely on them.

There is a danger for us in becoming too comfortable with certain things rather than trusting in God.

Sometimes we struggle to embrace the new because we have placed so much confidence in the past ways.

In Numbers 20 we join the Israelites in the wilderness and to our surprise, they are complaining. This time it is about water.

Upon hearing their complaints Moses and Arron seek God for help.  God instructs them to take the staff and assemble the whole community.  With everyone watching Moses was to speak to the rock and the water was then going to come flooding out.

Moses did as he was told to a certain point.  He got the staff and assembled the community.  But then Moses spoke to the community, not the rock, and then hit the rock two times with the staff.  Water did start to flow out but this was not what God had asked him to do.

God became angry with Moses and Arron, Numbers 20:12, so much so that He excluded them from entering the promised land. Today I want to explore the question of why Moses didn’t follow what God said because I think we can get tripped up by the same things.

The first thing we notice is that Moses spoke to the people, not the rock.  Moses was really angry with the people.  He had been hearing their grumbling and complaining for such a long time.  Moses wasn’t focussed on God and the impending miracle, he was focussed on himself and the people.  

Sometimes God wants to use us to do something miraculous, but we are focussed on ourselves or those around us. We want the resolution or relief to come but we are so focussed on what we are experiencing or the voices of those around us that we take our eyes off God and what He is wanting to do.

Then we have the staff.  God told Moses to bring the staff with them as they performed this miracle.  We know from previous events that this staff was very significant.  This staff had turned water into blood, dust into gnats, hailstones to fall and plagues of locusts to swarm.  It had even turned into a snake.

This staff was very powerful, and Moses had developed confidence in what it could do.  So, when God asked Moses to bring the staff, he didn’t give it another thought.  But God did not ask Moses to use the staff this time or simply to use his voice.  If we think back to the very beginning of Moses calling to be the leader of the Israelites we see that he wasn’t confident about his voice.  He didn’t feel that his voice was good enough, which is why God chose Arron to accompany him.

At that moment Moses chose to rely on what he knew and was confident in rather than having confidence in God.  

There are going to be times in our lives when God is asking us to trust Him and step out in an area that we may not be confident in.  We may have been struggling in that area for a while so it’s scary for us to approach it again.  There comes a time when we need to leave our secure things behind, just like the staff, and use that which we are not confident in, our voice.   

God was with Moses and all Moses needed to do was listen to God and trust in Him and everything would work out. Is there a staff in your hand that you keep using? Have you become so dependent on it that you are not as reliant on God? What if God is wanting you to not use that staff but start to use your voice today?


Lord, I am sorry for the things in my life that I place confidence in over You.  Please help me to lay those things down and to trust You especially with those areas I feel weakest in. Amen



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