March 3

Numbers 11:14, 16-17 (NIV) 14I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me...

16The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.

There is only one man that is meant to be the leader that all look to, Jesus of Nazareth. God brought Moses to the place where he recognized that carrying the burden of all the people was not meant for an under-shepherd. Jesus is the Great Shepherd, and He employs many under-shepherds. Even when we cast it upon the Lord, it can just get to be too much for us to deal with. We were meant to share the load with our brothers and sisters in the faith. As we gather with them, God places His Spirit upon them (now within them) so they can be His instruments. They help God ordained leadership carry the burden of the people.

When we try to carry it alone, we find ourselves facing depression as was Moses. He asked the Lord to put him to death. All the complaining just became overwhelming. But when we stand together with a team filled with the Spirit, we share the load and build one another up. Each finds his place of ministry and we work together as God intended.

Jethro had given Moses this advice earlier, but what was lacking? The elders needed the Spirit to truly be able to carry Moses' burden for the people. A worker can do physical activities and make decisions, but a Spirit filled worker helps to carry the burden for the people.

Meditation: Do I rely on the Spirit to help me carry the load in the fellowship I attend?

March 3

Matthew 14:31-33 (NIV) 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Jesus sent the disciples ahead while He went up into the mountain to pray. They rowed against a wind that kept them from getting across the lake. During the few remaining hours before dawn, Jesus came to them walking on the water. Jews considered the depths of the lake the Abyss. Seeing a man walking on the water frightened them, but Jesus told them who He was and that they need not fear. (Job 9:8)

Peter asked to come to Jesus on the water. Jesus invited him to come. That first step off the boat was quite a step of faith. Remember, the wind is blowing and the waves are rolling by. Do you step on the top of wave, or jump to a low point? Peter actually took a few steps but then got his eyes off Jesus and onto the waves and started to sink. He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord grabbed his hand and rebuked his doubt. As soon as they were both in the boat, the wind died down and the disciples began to worship.

Every storm in life is a test to see if we will walk through by faith or doubt. Sinking into that lake was the last thing Peter wanted to experience, yet the distraction of the physical caused him to experience what he dreaded most. Even then, in the midst of doubt, you can call out to the Lord and immediately His hand is there. We rarely walk straight across our storms without being distracted. Why do we doubt? Why don't we have more faith in what the Lord can do? It depends on where our vision is fixed. To what are we giving the most attention? It helps to realize that the Lord has allowed the storm so that our faith might be increased. Whether we pass or fail, when we end up in the boat together and the wind dies down, we end up worshipping Him. We see His might and ability a little more clearly and worship Him for who He is. "Truly you are the Son of God!"

Consider: Difficulty is often the path to spiritual growth.