There is a famous story in my household that, yes, my parents told when they first met my now husband, and, yes, it is still told today. (Insert rolling eyes emoji here.) It was Father’s Day, I was somewhere between five and seven-years-old, and I had picked out a gift for my Dad that I was certain he would appreciate. (Mom bought the gifts back then.) I was positive I would be Dad’s favorite child for giving him this gift. In fact, I was so excited to give him his wrapped present, that when I dropped the small package in his hands, I am told I smiled and exclaimed, “Here, Dad! You’ll love it! It’s a new wallet!” I had blurted out the package’s contents so quickly, I am not even sure my Dad had time to remove the bow from the wrapping paper before he cried tears of laughter. Good ‘ol Art Linkletter was right…Kids really do say the darndest things. (Sometime, secretly, my parents decided they were glad they’d never put me on that show.)
There’s also another famous story about my Dad trying to teach me a lesson in how to be polite at right about the same age. He broke a cookie in half, specifically in a way that one piece would be bigger than the other. Apparently, I am told he held out the two cookie halves to me and asked me which one I would choose. So I am told, I immediately grabbed the larger half. My Dad, a little confused, gently tried to correct me through modeling what was proper. “Well, Cheryl, if I were choosing, I would take the little piece.” Evidently, I looked my father directly in the eye and asked, “Well, you got the one you wanted. So, what are you complaining about?”
Albeit, concerning a more serious issue, but Moses initially had a similar attitude. When God told him he would lead the Israelites to freedom, Moses immediately went to Pharoah to “double-check” that he had heard from God, and he told him about this new, great idea. Predictably, Pharoah didn’t appreciate Moses’ statements very much. This resulted, long story short, in Moses doubting God. The Lord responded by leading Moses to an experience (the burning bush) that directly reminded Moses of who He, God, actually was (in majesty), also explaining (in paraphrased terms) that the reason Pharoah wouldn’t agree with Him is because Pharoah did not “know the Lord’s voice.” Moses’ mistake? He took God’s promise, found a solution in his own frame of mind, and tried to bring it to fruition with his own hands. Not a good plan. It’s a little like announcing to your Dad the identity of his Father’s Day gift before he opens it, or lawyering your way into the larger half of a cookie at around age five, only to complete miss the lessons (surprise/joy, compassion) that the Lord was trying to teach. Moses wasn’t very patient, but that’s another sermon altogether.
In the following series about the “Names of God,” Pastor Dave is going to teach about each of the characteristics embodied by the Lord as evidenced by what He is called in scripture and how He refers to himself. It is often said that if you want a better relationship with someone, you get to know them better. Studying the informational content about the Lord will lead to the Holy Spirit’s transformational revelation/application of that content to your life. It is also important not to create a false impression of the Lord by making stuff up as you go along. Sometimes, these thoughts could end up rooting themselves in your life narrative as “core beliefs” (i.e., facts you believe deep down). Consider one of the many neat stories about Capital Christian Center and what happened when protestors showed up at the doors, complaining that CCC had let “lukewarm Christians” into the church. “No,” Pastor Dave replied, “We let sinners into our church.” So, what is your perspective? Is it like Moses…doubting the truth until boldly reminded of the Lord’s true nature? Or is it confident, secure, and in love with a Jesus who came to heal the hurting and the sick, not the healthy?
Questions for Reflection:
- Which half of the cookie would you have chosen? Why?
- What is one funny, yet endearing statement that a child has said to you? Please be encouraged to share.
- What do you think it means when Jesus says that to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must become “like a child”? How is this different than “child-like”?
- How does Moses’ experience apply to your life? Have you ever been sure of a promise of the Lord but “double-checked” Him to be certain? Has the Lord boldly demonstrated his majesty to you through circumstances as a result?
- Don’t forget, the Lord’s default name is “Abba” or “Father.” In other words, “Dad.” You can and should feel free to run into his arms at any time with prayer. When’s the last time you honestly prayed to the Lord?
House of Worship: Capital Christian Center – Lacey, WA