I wonder if this is how Moses felt as the leader of Israel. Every step he took forward was met with grumbling and resistance. Having only their own understanding to draw on, whenever a challenge was presented and God’s provision was not what they thought it should be, they responded out of a pattern of fear and complaint. In the end, this way of thinking led to 40 years of merry-go-round-like roaming, without destination, in the desert.
Even Moses had his moment of acting rashly. Drawing from his own experience, he disobeyed God when he struck the rock for water instead of speaking to it.
Momentarily, his heart returned to his earlier days in Egypt when he murdered the Egyptian for beating an Israelite. In his rage, Moses put his trust in his own actions, not God’s instructions.
The pull to remain on the merry-go-round of self-reliance is strong, but stronger still is the power of the One who frees us.
Although self-sufficient thinking is praised in our society, God wants us to be dependent on Him. It seems that from the dawn of creation the one thing He desires most is our hearts in close relationship with Him; trusting His methods, committed to obedience, and receiving His blessings.
Isn’t that just like a parent?
He knows what we do not, and if we live our life based on our own understanding, I believe, like Israel, we often end up forfeiting the abundant life God promised to us, dooming us to a life of wandering and feeling trapped, spinning on the merry-go-round of habit with “if only”’s swirling through our minds.
How do we exit? What will stop the spinning? Can we get off the merry-go-round and break these cyclical patterns?
What was powerful for Israel and in my life as well? A decision followed by action. Stepping off my current path and onto God’s, every time life begins to spin.
Choosing not to hold to the ways we set in our hearts is an intense fight. And when we lose, when we choose our own ways over God’s, we may find ourselves feeling defeated. But three things are encouraging even still:
So, here is the hard question. Are you able to trust what God says enough to take the leap from your own merry-go-round?
It will be uncomfortable, come with a bit of uncertainty and might have kind of a rough landing, but freedom from spinning is worth it.
Every. Single. Time.
So friend, let’s leap from our own merry-go-rounds into the steady arms of God our Father and trust His plans for our lives.
Memory Verse: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV