Reading in Numbers 32 this morning, I was struck by the words of Moses to the Reubenites and Gadites, regarding their proposal to inherit land east of the Jordan. Moses made it clear that such a proposal and act was rebellion which would result in the LORD's judgment against the entire community. The Reubenites and Gadites then said that they would leave their numerous flocks and herds behind, in these prime grazing lands, build fortified cities to protect their women and children, and cross over with their fellow tribes to help conquer the land. Only after which they would return to their own property. This satisfied Moses, who earlier had made the point to them that anything less than this amounted to a turning away from following the LORD. He noted too, the failure of the ten spies in their evil report to Israel, about taking the promised land, in their not following the LORD wholeheartedly.
There is one thing we in Jesus, and as the Jesus community can always do. Follow God wholeheartedly. There are many things along the way that can sidetrack us from this. But in God's eyes, and it should come to be seen as the same in our eyes, these "reasons" to be sidetracked are merely excuses from following the Lord. The bottom line for us is the words Jesus gave to Peter, who was looking at something that was bothering him, and would at least slow him down. "What is that to you? You must follow me." (John 21)
Tests will come along the way. Tests of our faith in so following. We may waver along the way, and be sidetracked. But we need more and more to realize that all the reasons we have to falter in our faith, really only amount to excuses. Excusing ourselves from following the Lord.
I have been good at this over the years. But in excelling at finding matters that slowed me down, or stopped me in my tracks, I have failed or have been hampered in following God in my life. The Lord, only by his grace, is helping me now to grow in this and do better. And hopefully we can help each other to do the same. And continue strong, in this journey of faith. Following our God in this journey. As he leads us on.
What have you learned, or what are you learning about this?