His Deepest Longing

Exodus 17:2 “Moses replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?’”(NIV).

Observation: The Hebrews had recently begun what would be a forty-year odyssey of desert wandering. Having satisfied their need for food, they then quarreled with Moses over lack of water. Moses ultimately drew a fresh spring from pure rock by God’s command, but he first addressed their attitude by establishing equivalency between him and God: “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put God to the test?”

Application: Moses clearly cast the issue at hand in terms the fleshly person can never understand: a challenge to a leader God has set in place is a challenge to God Himself. Everything within us strains against this reality. We each naturally want to be our own man, our own woman, but God calls us to live not in the natural, but the supernatural. Moses understood equivalency. Set in by God, knowing he had God’s mind in the matter, he rightly discerned that criticism of his leadership was criticism of God. 

The instant I gain a modicum of authority over a spouse or employee, I seek to bring them into conformity with my agenda. “It’s for their own good,” I say. “I’ve been given this authority or that responsibility, so I must wield it, and they must yield. I only have their best interests, or the firm’s, or the family’s, at heart.” The truth is, I am driven by my own imagined best interests. 

Christ never used His authority to direct His flock. Rather, He became a servant to the point of laying down His life for us. He wasn’t seeking to be right; He was seeking a bride. The father heart of God passionately searches the earth for those who would be voluntary lovers of His Son. There will indeed come a time when He will reign as King and Judge, but this time is not yet that time. 

To prepare me for that day, He has placed me in a crucible. He puts me in a place of fear between the sea and Pharaoh’s army, and then sits silently on His throne through seasons of my hunger or thirst. I cry out, but the heavens are as brass. All the while, His deepest longing is that I would trust His bridegroom heart to protect me and to provide all I need. His heart is ravished by my love, immature though it may be. The Hebrews didn’t begin to grasp the depths of His love for them, so they complained. How fully do I grasp His love? Have I entered into such a place of intimacy that I know in advance that He will meet every need?

Prayer: O Lord, when I consider Your beauty, I am undone. In that moment there is no doubt, no lingering question of Your commitment to me. Take me afresh into that place of deep knowing of Your love.

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