Sunday, December 27, 2009

Missions and Success

I just finished reading Numbers 20 as I read through the Bible and I was struck by Moses' failure that caused him not to enter the Promised Land. I enjoy teaching about the uncomplicated truth of how God values simple obedience and I often am brought back to 1 Samuel 15 where Saul is given a mission and essentially accomplishes most of what he was supposed to do, except he skips over some of the details and keeps some of the spoils and… makes all kinds of excuses and blames everyone else.  In verse 22, Samuel tells Saul that God desires obedience over our sacrifice.  Pastor Danny alluded to it today. Sometimes we get caught up in "doing" and forget that what God really wants is relationship (and all else flows out of that, including our "doing").   Back track to Numbers 20- Moses was supposed to speak to the rock and instead, he whacks it twice.  God had an illustration he wanted to make and Moses messed it up. Verse 12 says that he didn't hallow God (make holy) in the eyes of the people.  But then strangely enough, he says in v. 13 that God was hallowed among the people.  Which is it?  The answer was that because of the miracle, God was ultimately glorified but in the actions of Moses, he wasn't.  What do we learn from this in regards to missions and our service to God?  1. The means doesn't justify the end 2. The measuring stick is not the outcome or result but the obedience of the servant. 3. The heart behind the obedience of the law is critical.  Regardless of your agreement with the theology of Mother Theresa, I like a quote she once said, "God hasn't called me to be successful but rather to be faithful". Obedience is key!

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