Have you ever been pushed by someone else to do something that is not in your best interests? It happens all the time when it comes to your faith. So I want to rescue you. This is the Pastor Chris rescue package #1. I want you to identify the voices that are pushing you to “Turn off the tap!”
In a previous post I pointed out how it is we who turn off the tap of God’s blessings. God is willing to give us more than we expect, but we end up limiting Him, just as the Children of Israel did in the wilderness.
What God has prepared for you is way beyond your expectations. It contains more than you will be able to access in a whole lifetime.
“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9
Yet we are all inclined to say “When” before God has run out of what He has for us. We do that for our own reasons and also because of other voices that push us to stop receiving from Him.
Dishing Out the Blessings
Maybe some of you can relate to my experience. I have been in places where a feast has been prepared. When the plates of food are being served out I will be asked, “Is that enough or do you want some more?” Before I can answer the question my wife will speak up and say, “That’s plenty. He doesn’t need any more than that!”
Now, if I recall correctly, the question was asked to me. But, alas, I had someone else speaking up for me. The blessings were there to be dished out, but I had an assistant seeking to limit what I could receive.
Then there are those other occasions where a banquet spread has been laid out and I have the pleasure of circling the table selecting my favourite morsels. Again my wife Susan has spoken into my experience by looking at my plate and making a comment. She might say “Haven’t you had enough?” or “Don’t have too much of that fattening food”.
Voices in Your Ear
In the same way that Susan speaks into my dining experiences, trying to get me to limit what I take out of the abundant supply, there are voices in your ear that try to stop you receiving from God’s abundance.
The voices may be accusatory, saying that you are unworthy of the blessings you expect or hope to receive. They may remind you that many much more worthy people than you have not had the blessings you believe for, so you had better give up right now.
The voices may even be condemning, with grinding reminder of how little you pray, how selfish you are and how utterly unworthy you are of what you have already received. They challenge you about what you have done with all the blessings you’ve already received, reminding you that you have absolutely no right to expect anything but rebuke from God.
There are voices of pride, reminding you what a fool you will look like when your faith venture falls flat on its face. Voices of fear raise the spectre of loss of position or goods, due to the folly of seeking more from God. Intimidation points out that you will only become a target for the enemy’s attacks if you keep pressing on as you are. And so it goes.
Where do you Draw the Line?
If one voice doesn’t stop you, another will pick up the chorus. They are trying to press your buttons to see which one will shut you down and cause you to draw the line. Just how stupid are you prepared to look? Just how daring are you prepared to be? Just how much insecurity can you stand? Just how much opposition does it take to bring you to a halt?
Ultimately, however, no matter how many voices ring in your ear, it is You who draws the line. It is You who says, “Enough”. It is You who decides you have pressed on far enough.
It is never God who says, “You’ve had enough”. It is You who makes that call. It is You who says, “When”.
Now, it’s not a sin to come to your limit. This whole Rescue Package is about helping you open the pipe, not feel guilty for turning off the tap. I am simply opening your eyes to what goes on and what you do in your faith journey.
Heroes Go All the Way
I have a couple of faith heroes from the Bible. Principal among them is Moses. I love the way he handled several situations, against all the odds imaginable.
At the Red Sea Moses had the Egyptians pressing toward him from behind, while the sea blocked their forward movement. They were hemmed in with nowhere to go. The people panicked and complained bitterly and fearfully to Moses. The intensity must have been enormous, not to mention the stress.
Stress is defined as being in a tough situation and having no power over the outcome. That about sums up the situation for Moses on that day. Yet Moses stood wonderfully firm in faith. He stood up and declared that they would have victory over the Egyptians that day.
None of the voices shouting in Moses’ ear were able to dissuade him. He did not turn off the tap for the miracle they needed. He persisted in believing in God, and God came through.
I long to be that kind of man of faith who keeps the tap open until the fullness of God’s best has been poured onto my plate.