Sitting in my cabin, I hear the Whisper beckoning me to open the door. As I push the wood frame open, the cool breeze gently kisses my face. I step out onto the vast hillside, watching the waves crash onto the cliff’s rocks below me.
“This is what happens when you take Me out of your box. There is so much more than you ever imagined, and you get to spend the rest of this life and the next discovering and exploring this with Me. Take me out of the box.“
I was comfortable, complacent, familiar, and bored in my cabin – thinking that this was all that there was to experience. Stepping out of the confinement of my own construction, I am awakened to the wonder for which I was created.
* * * * *
The mundane and seemingly repetitive nature of this life can easily dull our senses, causing us to shift into “autopilot”. Even as we face trials and tribulations due to our own sinful inclinations, it can be tempting to expect things to unfold as they have in the past. Our experiences can cause us to become numb to the ways of the Lord, constantly urging us to step out of what is familiar and into the unknown with Him; the God of new beginnings and unexpected miracles still desires to move and work in new ways in our lives. However, as we are so quick to place God in a box and place expectations on Him as to the ways in which He will speak and interact with us, we can fall prey to the god of pride and control who will rob us of the new things that God has for each one of us.
In the beginning of the Israelites’ journey towards the Promised Land (as recorded in Exodus 17:1-7), Moses faces the grumbling, thirsty Israelites at Meribah who are bitter towards him because of their lack of water. He turns to the Lord, who commands him to strike the rock in order to cause water to flow from it and meet the needs of the people. Later on, in the midst of the wilderness wandering in Numbers 20:2-13, Moses and Israelites are back at Meribah, complaining about their lack of water. Same place, same problem. God commands Moses to speak to the rock to cause the water to flow from it. Instead, in his frustration, Moses strikes the rock rather than being obedient to the new way in which God wanted to work.
The frustrations and problems of this life can cause us to become complacent to the voice of God. Instead of waiting and obeying the voice of God, we can choose to rely on the methods that worked in the past. Rather than relying on a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord, we succumb to the “vending machine God” theology that tells us that God will respond in the same way every time if we do what “worked” before. While God will always stay true to His promises to protect, surround, and provide for us, He is very careful to leave out the details regarding His methods of deliverance on these promises. This causes us to remain in a constant state of reliance and expectancy, curiously waiting on the Lord to act.
God is steady and faithful, true to His word and His promises; He will never leave us, forsake us, or leave us to our own devices as we choose to stay close to Him. He is bigger than we could ever imagine, grander than we could ever dream, and more creative than we ever thought possible; why would we expect Him to work in our lives in the same fashion each time?
Will we dare to take God out of the box? Will we choose to lean in and embrace the mysteries of God? Will we take Him at His word, knowing Him to always be faithful, and wait with anticipation to see His miracles unfold?
Expect the NEW THING; take Him out of the box, and wait in wonder.