What plotting, pushing, & striving reveal regarding our trust

Quote from Max Lucado on mint background.

Our response to setbacks, challenges, and attacks reveal how well we know and how deeply we trust Christ. When others come against us, do we truly believe He’s our defender? When someone or something threatens our job, will we trust He’s our provider? And what about when our boss gives someone else that promotion we’ve worked tirelessly for, the one we’re certain will catapult our dreams? 

Will we rest and wait on God or clench our fists and fight for “what’s ours”?

Years ago, I sensed God calling me into greater ministry, but I didn’t receive much more information than that. Unfortunately, instead of patiently waiting for His revelation, I began planning and plotting my way. I determined precisely where I needed to go and what steps I needed to take in order to get there. And when doors remained closed all around me? I pushed and shoved my way into full-on striving mode. As a result, what God had intended to bring me deep joy and fulfilment became ugly and exhausting in so many ways. 

We cannot strive and yield, and when we’re not yielded, we’re far less apt to hear God’s voice and experience His power in and through us. What’s more, our actions reveal places of doubt; areas in our heart where we haven’t given God full control.  

At the time, I felt certain I battled against others—those I thought were holding me back. But I was actually opposing all-powerful, all-knowing God. Through my behavior, I was declaring Him false and unfaithful. 

When, in stress and angst, I fought for a certain opportunity that perpetually seemed out of reach, I demonstrated that I didn’t truly believe in the goodness, wisdom, and power of God. Because if I had, I would’ve rested in Him, finding joy in that season, trusting my Savior to lead me, always toward His very best.

Trusting that He truly knew what that best was and had the power to bring His good and pleasing, soul-fulfilling will to pass. 

This seems to be the lesson He taught Miriam, a woman chosen by Him to help lead the Israelite nation. Initially, she served God and her people with joy. After God conquered her people’s enemies in Exodus 15, she “took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced” (v.20). Leading them in song, she became the first worship leader and also the first female prophet mentioned in Scripture.

National leader.

Worship leader.

Woman who spoke God’s Words to His’s people.

What influence she held! I imagine she felt incredible joy to be used by Him during such a pivotal and celebratory time in history. 

But then time dragged on and she became discontent with her role and her younger brother’s leadership. Perhaps she didn’t always agree with his decisions. Maybe she doubted whether or not he consistently heard from God. And as the oldest sibling, she might have harbored seeds of resentment that eventually began to bloom into rebellion. 

Whatever the cause, she grew dissatisfied with her God-assigned role. 

She might have allowed her growing discontentment to convince her that her position hadn’t in fact been God-assigned, or that God’s assignment wasn’t in fact good and life-giving. That she deserved more. 

She certainly could’ve provided ample reasons as to why. She’d been the one to save her baby brother from death by drowning or crocodile. She’d also spent nearly all her life living in slavery while he enjoyed forty years of luxury in the enemy’s palace. Besides, she was just as much of a prophet as her now grown brother. 

Apparently, she shared her complaints with Aaron, her other sibling, because they fell into cahoots together and said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He spoken through us, too?” (Num. 11:2). Their words suggest they were contemplating usurping their baby brother’s leadership.

But they couldn’t, because Moses’s authority came from God. And God made it clear, He would not tolerate Miriam’s fight for power. He dealt with her desire to elevate herself, in essence, above the sovereignty of God, by humbling her in a public and shameful way: He gave her leprosy, which caused her to live in quarantine, removed from the camp she’d so desperately wanted to run, for seven days.

Long enough for the truth to sink in: She could not force God’s hand.

Quote pulled from post on mint background.

She could, however, receive joy, fulfillment, and intimacy with Him, not through striving or performing, but through surrendered obedience. 

The same is true for us. Sometimes, when promotions and raises pass us by or sinful humans seem to sabotage or perhaps even take credit for our hard work and success, we forget. 

We forget that God is good. That He sees everything you and I experience and encounter, along with all that’s up ahead. We forget that He has a plan for us, is molding us to fulfill that plan, and has promised to lead us toward His very best. 

For Miriam, that meant serving as a national and influential leader under her younger brother’s authority. For me, that meant repenting of my sin, acknowledging my ignorance, and choosing, anew, to trust and follow my God however and whenever he led. 

What might this mean for you? Is there an area you’ve tried to force? Influence you’ve fought to hold? And if so, what does that say regarding your view of God? 

Yet, the better question is: what might our days, our energy and stress level, look like if we regularly traded our striving for yielding, our discontentment for trust, and our pride for intimacy with the One who gave His life that we might truly live? 

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Make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode:

The Miracle in the Mail: Michigan Mom of 3 Recalls Heartwarming Blessing Her Family Received | Sparkle Speak Faith Over Fear

Do you believe in miracles?Special host Kathryn Calibeo of the Sparkle Speak podcast stops by to share an exclusive preview of her podcast and one of the interview moments that left her with chills.   DISCOVER MORE EPISODES OF SPARKLE SPEAK: Missionary & Former Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Gina Sheets: https://apple.co/40ap8aJ  Cancer Survivor Kim Merrefield: https://apple.co/3XSkNqT  Artist Sadie Wilson: https://apple.co/3WLTpK5  Beauty Concierge & Blogger Shauna Garneau: https://apple.co/3wIPjYo  Widow Ruth Anderson: https://apple.co/3HpnKbw  Host Kathryn Calibeo: https://apple.co/3WWr4R3    CONTINUE LISTENING TO SPARKLE SPEAK WITH MARILENA RUVOLO:Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3g4XKJ6LifeAudio: https://www.lifeaudio.com/sparkle-speak/20-marilena-ruvolo-trusting-god-with-financial-peaceSpotify: https://spoti.fi/3wGojZN SUPPORT SPARKLE SPEAK:Website: https://www.sparklefaith.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/_sparklefaith_See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. The Miracle in the Mail: Michigan Mom of 3 Recalls Heartwarming Blessing Her Family Received | Sparkle Speak
  2. Not So Divine Detours (Genesis 12:9-29
  3. Courageously Proclaiming Our Faith (Genesis 12:5-8)
  4. When We Fear We've Blown it (Genesis 13:1-4)
  5. Bravely Embracing the Unknown (Genesis 12:1-4)

Check out the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode:

5 God-Given Guarantees That Will Never Expire (Genesis 46:2) Your Daily Bible Verse

 Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: http://www.gracefox.com Follow Grace:Facebook: http://www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. 5 God-Given Guarantees That Will Never Expire (Genesis 46:2)
  2. From Prophet to Rebuked (Mark 8:33)
  3. Did Jesus Ever Say He Was God? (John 8:58)
  4. 3 Promises That Bring Hope in Life's Storms (Acts 27:25)
  5. When Others Wound or Mistreat Us (2 Corinthians 7:2)

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