Our Part in God's Work
by Davin Dahlgren

Hidden behind the narrative of Numbers 20:2-12 is a beautiful picture of God's ideal for interaction between Himself and man. It is the way that God would always work if only man would cooperate. Sadly we, like Moses, too often mess up this interaction by doing things our own way. Let us examine God's method and apply it to our spiritual lives.
The Israelites feared that they were about to die from lack of water. They had no faith in God's willingness to provide for them, for they blamed Moses for leading them astray. (vs. 4) They felt this was God's punishment on them and they would have preferred to just die when the others had died earlier. (vs. 3) Dying of thirst in the desert was worse. They did not see the Promised Land, so they began to think Moses had sold them a bill of goods.
Moses sought God's guidance. God expressed His will to Moses: "Speak to the rock." The word of the Lord came to Moses, and Moses was to speak that word in turn to the rock. The rock would then pour forth water.
If only Moses had done as the Lord commanded, the image would have been complete. A word, ordered by God, uttered before the rock, to cause water to pour forth and satisfy men's needs.
Let us now turn to the components of this image -- the word, the rock, and the water.

John 1:1,14
Colossians 2:9
The Word:
Jesus is the Word. The spiritual truths revealed by God in the Scriptures became flesh as Jesus lived them out in His life. God's message to man is one of love, of God living in and among us, of power and wisdom, of rest from our labours in Him. Jesus is the bodily manifestation of all these things and more. He truly is the "fulness of the Godhead bodily."
II Samuel 22:2-3,47,
Psalm 62:1-2, 6-7,
Psalms 89:26, 95:1
The Rock:
God is the Rock of our Salvation, our refuge, our fortress, the firm foundation on which He is building His house of living stones. He is the source of all the glorious gifts of grace from the Word to the fulfillment of the Word, the outpouring of His Spirit.
Isaiah 44:3,
Zechariah 14:8,
John 4:10-14, 7:37-39
The Living Water:
The streams of living water flow through us and out of us to touch the lives of others. The power of God ministering life, love, and rest to weary travellers.
Now, let us see the picture more fully. The Word (Christ), ordered by God, uttered before the Rock (Yahweh), to cause Water (the Spirit) to pour forth and satisfy men's needs. This is the way God wishes to interact with man. He makes His will known to us. We must then obediently offer that which He has given us back to Him in faith. Then we will witness the working of the Holy Spirit in power.
The image is salvation from physical death from the lack of water; the reality is salvation from spiritual death from the lack of contact with the Spirit. When God worked, He meant to do it in such a way as to point us toward spiritual truth. We often miss the important spiritual messages by refusing to see anything but the physical occurences.
This pictures God's dealing with us in several areas:

Ephesians 5:15-18,
Luke 22:42,
Philippians 4:6,
I John 5:14,15
God makes His will known to us (We must be listening/paying attention). We align our own will in agreement with His. We pray for His will to be accomplished. God hears and His Spirit performs that will in mighty ways. This is truly effective prayer.
I John 4:14,
Romans 10:13,
II Chronicles 7:14,
Joel 2:28
God shows us His Son, the sacrifice and substitute for the judgment of our sins. We agree that Jesus is our sole hope of salvation, and tell God so. God hears and sends His Spirit to dwell within us. He also pours His Spirit out upon us for great works.
Hebrew 6:12,
Romans 1:2,17,
Romans 10:17, & 5:1,
Galatians 3:14
God makes a promise. We accept the promise and though we cannot at that time see the fulfillment, we praise God and tell Him how we look forward to the fulfillment. God hears and His Spirit confirms in us the truth of the promise, enabling us to proceed with the confidence that the promise is as good as done.
Isaiah 40:29,
Zechariah 4:6

The Pattern is repeated in many spiritual applications, but too often we miss it. How many times do we fall back on our own muscle or force of personality because of anger or frustration at the jeers and doubts of others when God has given us His Word of grace, a promise to be fulfilled which in itself would silence all His critics? Can we not appreciate His power? How often do we feel that His work rests solely our our shoulders to be performed with every ounce of our strength, when He only wants us to speak to Him in faith and He will do the work through us -- but by His power, not ours.
In II Corinthians 13:14, Paul closes his letter by wishing the blessings of the Godhead on his readers. Here again, the principles of God's ideal of interaction can be seen:
John 1:14,16-17,
John 16:28
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, our intercessor, allows us access to God though we do not deserve it. By grace, the Word became flesh and lived among us. He came from God and returned to God, satisfying all the righteous demands of holiness on our behalf.
John 16:27,
Romans 8:38-39
The love of God is unchanging. The God that created us, sent His Son to die for us, and accepted that work of Christ as payment in full, has done so because of His love for us. That love, our solid foundation, allows us to be accepted into His presence as His adopted heirs.
John 15:26, 16:7,
Acts 2:16-18
And finally, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is the result. God desires to have a meaningful relationship with everyone. God wants an intimacy with us that will allow us to work side-by-side with Him as He accomplishes great things here on earth.
How marvelous are God's works! How mighty His power! How wonderful His plan! How gracious He is to make us a part of it! May we listen attentively for God's Word. May we stand firmly in faith on the Rock of our Salvation. May we be willing conduits for the free flow of Living Water. May we seek to know God's manifest Will, acknowledge it before Him, and allow Him to bring it to fruition in and through us.

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