After decades of wandering the wilderness with grumbling Israelites, I’m sure Moses was tired, angry, and just maybe losing hope of the promised land. I sympathize with Moses; I, too, have grumbling people in my life that ask for endless snacks and drinks all day! But I also relate to the Israelites. I bring my grumbling to God often. “Are we there yet, God?” I question. But I’m so thankful for his mercy towards me. And I am also thankful for His correction, even when it interrupts my pity party, for the Lord corrects those He loves (Proverbs 3:12).
Moses was close to entering the Promised Land after years of wandering in the wilderness. Yet we read his disobedience prohibits Him from the land of milk and honey. However, at the end of his life, he tells the Israelites to keep their hearts pure and stop being stubborn towards God.
Moses and the rock illustrates that I can’t give up and go my own way, even when it feels good at the moment. Obedience and surrender are required of me all the time, not just when I feel like it.
Yep, I have to surrender even when I feel stubborn! And, yes, some weeks it’s very hard to surrender my heart. But the Father helps us work out that frustration by providing His Holy Spirit to help.
A surrendered heart produces a sanctified life. Sanctification is the process of becoming set apart - to be refined and purified. And we can’t go deeper with God or mature as believers until we surrender our hearts to Him. We can rest assured that every time we choose to surrender our hearts and minds, we not only go deeper in our faith, but receive the fullness of joy from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Do you find yourself being stubborn to the Lord’s loving correction in your life? Maybe you’re just plain tired and need some encouragement to surrender your heart to God. Here's the thing we must remember as believers: even in the midst of very valid anger, exhaustion, we must surrender our hearts. We don't want anger to lead to sin (Ephesians 4:26). The only way to keep our hearts open to God is to surrender over and over again, even when we are tired of wandering in the wilderness.
Moses' example shows us that we have to keep following God's commands, even when we are weary from the journey of life. Next time you are feeling a little stubborn about the process of sanctification, I invite you to open your heart to God the Father. Perhaps our prayer of surrender might sound something like this: "God, I am feeling very stubborn right now. I need your Holy Spirit to help me surrender. You are good, and your ways are always good. Amen!”
Memory Verse: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV
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