As the Israelites entered the beginning stages of their wilderness experience, a pattern emerged that is not uncommon to us today. It is a pattern that is perhaps best characterized as continued lapses in forward faith. Lapses in a faith that writer and pastor John Piper refers to it as “faith in future grace“. You see, there would seem to be no indication that the Israelites ever ceased to believe that God brought them out of Egypt in a miraculous manner. However, they continuously struggled with faith in His ongoing provision. Put another way, there seems to be a repeated disconnect between their belief in God’s power to set them free and God’s power to sustain them.
Is that not a problem that we have as Christians today? We will readily admit that it is Jesus that has saved us, yet we so often turn to our own devices when it comes to our ability to persevere daily in our Christian walk. Like the Israelites, we struggle with forward faith. We so often view our struggles in light of our own abilities, when we should really be looking at them in light of God’s sovereignty. Like the Israelites, God has set us free from slavery. And, like the Israelites God has promised to lead us into the promised land of heaven. Thus, it is crucial that we remember that our responsibility is to walk in faith, not in our own strength.