In Christian worship, faith in God must be constant at all times: bad or good. Why? It is because God does not fail or change like humans. The antithesis of faith is fear and should be avoided in worship. Scripture says:
âFor I am the Lord, I change not; therefore you, the sons of Jacob, will not be consumed. Malachi 3: 6
1 Fear is very contagious and deadly:
In the book of Numbers we witness one of the powerful story of fear and disobedience to the will of God. God’s people of Israel lived in Egypt for 400 years in bonded slavery. Moses was born for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel. God has promised his people the land of Canaan which is rich and full of milk and honey for their possession.
God is showing Israel all kinds of great miracles in their deliverance from Egypt.
â¢ The king Pharaoh of Egypt who enslaved them was greatly humiliated when he was forced to let them leave Egypt.
â¢ They crossed the Red Sea as if they were walking on dry land.
â¢ They were fed “Mana” from heaven.
â¢ Everything they needed was given to them.
â¢ But again and again, they growled and complained.
2 Faith, rare and difficult to develop, conquers the impossible:
They were going to own the land of Canaan that God had given them. Moses sent them to find out what the land was like and what kind of people were there.
The sent rulers returned and gave such a disheartening and frightening report on the country. They said:
â¢ They were the Anaks, the Jebusites, the Amalekites, the Hittites, etc., and we cannot oppose the people because they are stronger
that we are.
â¢ They are like giants and we love grasshoppers.
â¢ Why has the Lord brought us here to destroy us.
* They growled and complained that they wanted to go back to Egypt.
Result of their fear and discouragement:
â¢ The congregation or the people were afraid.
â¢ People were crying.
â¢ They forgot the Great and dreadful God who miraculously brought them out of Egypt, and wished them to stay in
Egypt rather than die here.
â¢ They asked a chief to send them back to Egypt.
“Let’s make a captain and go back to Egypt.”
â¢ They spread fear throughout the people.
3 Faith in the midst of fear:
âLetâs go immediately and own the country; because we were able to overcome it.
âAnd Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who searched the land, tore their clothes. And they spoke to all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land which we have passed through to seek is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord takes pleasure in us, he will lead us to this land flowing with milk and honey. “
4 The power of faith:
A songwriter said this based on this incident:
“We are able to go up and take the country
Own the land of the Jordan by the sea
Though the trials are about to hinder
God will surely give us victory
Go only on the right side
Pass on the righteous side of God “
4 Result of their infidelity before God:
God was angry and wanted to destroy this generation, but Moses pleaded with God to forgive the sins of the people:
“The Lord has long suffered and is of great mercy, forgiving iniquity”
God forgave the sins of the people and did not destroy them, but swore that none of these people will see the promised land. Many of them perished in the wilderness and did not see the Promised Land as they continued with their sinful lifestyle. Joshua, Caleb and their descendants will enter the Promised Land.
5 Warning for Christian believers today:
What do we learn from this lesson?
â¢ The believer’s faith in God must be consistent at all times because God is faithful and true to fulfill his promises in our lives as
Christian believers. God doesn’t lie, change, or fail like humans.
â¢ In times of struggle or fear, the believer should remember how faithful God has been in the past; and will remain the same.
â¢ Don’t let fear come over you in difficult times or life’s trials.
â¢ The devil will assail you with fear, and many times these fears are unreal and unfounded. God did not give us the spirit of
fear, but power, love and a healthy mind.
â2 Timothy 1: 7
â¢ Here is a God who brought them out of Egypt with his mighty hand; they crossed the Red Sea like dry land; he fed
them with “Mana” from heaven; gave them all the desires of their hearts: over and over again they complained, growled and
even built idol to worship.
â¢ While as a Christian believer you point an accusing finger at these believers, aren’t you and I doing the same thing?
â¢ Is your faith consistently rooted in the Lord?
â¢ Have you not forsaken the Lord because he did not answer your prayers on time: and you have plunged into diabolical or demonic practices?
sects to help you?
â¢ As Christian believers, we must at all times and under all circumstances have our faith firmly anchored in the Lord. He will never fail
we. I am the testimony of this in my own little life. And many believers all over the world has proved Him to be faithful and true.
â¢ He will never disappoint those who trust him. “Everything works for the good of those who love him.”
Let your faith be consistent at all times on your Christian journey. Even the times when you don’t understand, give in to Him. If he takes pleasure in us, he will give us the desires of our hearts as Caleb and Joshua said. This means that we have to love and obey Him, and He will give us our heart’s desire as He promised.
Faith is so relevant and the biggest thing in Christian worship. “It is by grace and by faith that we have known the Lord and are saved”; it is by faith in God that believers are supported in their daily life; and by his grace by faith, we will see Jesus someday when the “bubbles” of life are over. “Without faith we cannot please Him.” Faith can only be cultivated by taking the time to study, meditate, believe, and rely on the word of God. If we do not have faith in the word of God, we will perish and die like those who perished in the wilderness. We will never enter paradise either. Canaan is a type of paradise.
Reverend Uche Ikpa.
Photo: Cross Cards
Production and editing of Amarachi films
Show: Riches of God’s Grace: Cambridge Television: Thursday 5 p.m.