i. Crisis of Belief


When invited to join God at work, believers always face a crisis of faith. His invitations are generally God-sized assignments that can never be accomplished in our own might. We have a choice to make:

a. accept His invitation and experience Him in ways beyond anyone's imagination

b. believe that what He asks us to do is impossible and go on our way, missing an opportunity to getting to know Him better

This is not a once-in-a-life-time experience, but a daily decision. How you live your life is a demonstration of what you really believe about God.

Look at Moses' response to God when God's invited him to join Him in delivering Israel from Egyptian slavery.

Ex 3:11-14; 4:1-17

- "But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

- Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you…'

- Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"

Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"

"A staff," he replied. The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob - has appeared to you."

Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.

"Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

- Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 1Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

- But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."

Five times Moses objected to God's invitation, eventually begging God to choose someone else. Would we have done any better? However God very patiently answered every objection from Moses. What God was asking from Moses was a God-sized task. No way could Moses have performed this task on his own. He had to utterly depend on God to accomplish this impossible assignment.

Question 8: Who freed the Israelites from slavery?

Answer:

Question 9: Who did God invite to join Him in this task? Why?

Answer:

Question 10: Describe the crisis of faith that certain believers faced in the following Scriptures:


a. Josh 6:1-5 "Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."

What would have been your reaction if invited to defeat a city by walking around it and blowing some trumpets? Would you have felt confident to encourage others to join you?

B. Judges 6:33; 7:7 "Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel…The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place." (see also Judges 7:1-6)

Would you have felt confident sending 31,700 men home and attack an army numbered in the tens of thousands with only 300 men?

C. Matt 17:27 "(addressing Peter) But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

What would you have done if invited to catch a fish in order to open its mouth and find money to pay your taxes? Would you believe this as possible?

D. Matt 21:2-3 "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

In all of these situations would you have faced a crisis of belief?

Answer:

Remember there are only two choices when being invited by God to join Him at work:

a. Accept His invitation

b. Refuse His request

What we decide will show what we really believe about God. Only one of these decisions will lead us to a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father.

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