March 10

Numbers 14:44-45 (NIV) 44Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord's covenant moved from the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

The Israelites had come right up to the border of the Promised Land but refused to go in because of fear. When they heard the alternative, they changed their mind. "If it was God's will before, won't God bless us if we do it now?" They wanted to save themselves from the consequences of sin by obeying now, but it was too late. They had already complained, whined, and refused to obey.

The cloud did not lead them even though they were now willing. They decided to go anyway without Moses and the Ark of the Covenant, without God. They were soundly defeated.

Timing and circumstance affect the will of God. It was God's will for them to enter in when they first heard the report. After their reaction to the report, it was no longer God's will. They had to reap the consequences of their decisions. You can't go back in time and make it right. You have to face the music. If at any time you decide to go back to escape the consequences, God will not be with you. Deal with the consequences of sin the best you can. If you are repentant, God will be with you as you face them. Since they had failed to obey, the next best thing was to obey God in the days to come, not go back and try to change things. Obey instantly when the first instruction comes. It is a tough lesson with heavy penalties. Learn to obey the first time. Realize that God's instructions are the best route for you.

Prayer: Lord, sensitize my heart to realize your leading is the best direction. Help me obey your voice and not give in to fear.

March 10

Matthew 17:18-20 (NIV) 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" 20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Faith is like being pregnant. There is something in your womb or there isn't. It is not about how mature it is, but how certain it is. When the disciples were asked to heal this boy, something in them said, "We can't." They must have said and done all the right things, but it is not about a formula. It is about faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is the evidence of things unseen. Jesus had no problem casting out the demon, because He knew it was God's will and God's time and that God had the power. He was certain.

"Why couldn't we do it?" they asked. They lacked sufficient faith. It doesn't take much. A mustard seed is much smaller than as a pinhead. If you have that much you can move a mountain. Indeed, nothing would be impossible to you! That doesn't mean you can run around rearranging mountain ranges. In Jesus' day, moving a mountain meant moving an insurmountable difficulty or obstruction. When you are sure of God's will, your words spoken into a situation are His command to the natural or supernatural world.

Some texts add, "This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." It is my humble opinion (I am not a scholar) that these additions were placed in the text by early copyists for clarification. IF that is the case, or if someone relayed later that Jesus did say that, the prayer and fasting are the means of certainty in knowing the Father's will and timing in a given matter. With that certainty, one can act in faith. The principle is true, regardless if you accept the additional text or not.

Consider: We must take time in His presence to know the will of God in a given situation if we are to be the channel for His power.