Moses hits the rock twice in hopes of receiving supernatural H20 for his tired tribe, and the smack of the stone seals his faith. It must have been the most disappointing day of this dude’s life (see Numbers, chapter 20).
God (who Moses was extremely close to) asked him to use his words not his force to perform this latest miracle of provision. And in complete disobedience Moses decides to use his magical staff to draw water from the stone instead of simply speaking to it. His punishment: He wouldn’t take part in the new territory, God’s promised land. In fact God’s friend Moses passes away days before walking into all that God had given Moses and His people.
What some often miss is that this wasn’t the first showdown Moses had with the Rock. Moses was actually first asked to strike the stone with the staff…and he did. In obedience he hit the rock and water came forth, and so in complete disobedience and disregard of God’s secondary request, Moses did the same thing in round 2 that proved to be productive in round 1.
I assume I would do the same. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it! We have seen God work in certain ways, we have seen him provide using specific strategies, and we have seen him use us in supernatural fashion. But at the end of the day we must remember a primary principle of the Creator many of us claim to follow:
He values our present dependency over our past effectiveness.
He values our present abiding over our past experiences.
And He values our present faithfulness over our past fruitfulness.
I have figuratively hit that rock too many times simply because it worked in the past. I didn’t hit it because He asked me to, I didn’t hit it because I sensed the Spirit of God moving me to, I hit it because it simply seemed like a good idea from my past successes.
Too many people make decisions in the present, because of what worked in the past.
Too many leaders make decisions for their future, because of what fruitfulness they experienced in the past.
And too many churches hold on to the same strategy moving forward, because it seemed effective in their past.
Before we move making decisions about the future, we must honestly ask the question:
“Am I basing this decision on past successes, or what the Spirit is presently asking me to do?”
The world is changing, and usually how God is asking us to engage it is as well.
Don’t presume on the power and presence of the Spirit. Don’t misstep, crediting our past successes to individual strategies instead of the Savior, who did a new work then and wants to do a new work now.
Don’t hit that rock unless you’ve been asked to!