How Much Faith Do You Have?
Over the years I've preached dozens of sermons surrounding the Israelites Egyptian redemption. That of course is when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
They were slaves to the Egyptians for four hundred years and during that time they cried out to God to free them from their oppressors. When the time came and God used Moses and his brother Aaron to demand Pharaoh to release His people from bondage, that generation of Israelites witnessed God's great power more so than any previous generation of people.
They saw ten great plagues brought upon their captors, but not them. Remember how the Passover was born? The Israelites marked their homes with the blood of a lamb and God's angel spared their firstborn children and animals, but not the Egyptians. God parted the Red Sea to allow them safe passage and had the Sea close up over those who chased them.
You would think after witnessing all of that, these people would be on fire for God the rest of their lives. What was God doing? He was showing His love for them in the mightiest ways!
But what they did next has always baffled me! The Israelites made it clear that they would rather die in Egypt (in slavery), than remain in the wilderness of their escape. (Exodus 14: 11) In other words, they couldn’t get it through their thick skulls that God was going to continue to lead, guide, provide and protect them all the way to the Promised Land. No matter how it looked God had it all under control. I can't believe they had already forgotten the great things He had done for them.
Remember how they went without water for several days and when they came upon a stream the water was to bitter to drink? Their attitudes changed, they felt betrayed and deserted so they blamed Moses for leading them into the wilderness to die. They are about ready to string up Moses when God tells him to throw a stick into the water and it became drinkable (Exodus 15: 22-25). Then the people were happy again and full of faith.
We've all probably read this story with some sarcasm and ridicule thinking, those folks had very little faith. But the truth is, it sounds just like you and me sometimes. Jesus told His disciples that a little faith goes a long way when He talked about the faith of a grain of mustard seed. He also talked about the faith of little children. Wouldn't it be great and wonderful if we truly had childlike faith, the kind that doesn't waiver. No wonder Jesus used the faith of a child as an example (Matt 11:25).
Think about it, as little children, we believe in the impossible, we believe in things that we can’t always see. We trust our parents. We don’t reason our way out of believing that they love us. It’s only after life experiences build up in our memory, that our minds develop the spiritually neutering condition called doubt.
So, how do we overcome doubt? How do we acquire childlike faith and keep it? The Scriptures teach that we must love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength. Jesus said it was the greatest of all the commandments. That is the key to overcoming doubt. When we love God with all we have, doubt will flee and we will see the hand of God work like we've never seen before!