Throughout Advent, we posted blogs each week based on the Lectionary Readings for the previous Sunday. It was truly an awesome experience to travel through Advent with the universal church by praying, meditating, and responding to those texts. We loved it so much, thought we’d do it again throughout Lent.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Isrealites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked a the bronze snake, they lived.
— Numbers 21:4-9 (NIV)
Following Jesus requires that we change as we move from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. We cannot stay where we are. We ought to be continually pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, we press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
The Israelites had forgotten all the provision God had made for them, and they began to look back to their past and long for the “good old days.” They became impatient at walking the path on which God was leading them, and they grumbled and spoke against God and Moses.
Do we ever look back to how things were before God led us to the place where we are and long for the way things used to be? Do we grow impatient with the process He is working through in us and speak against God and those whom He places in our life with whom we journey?
When we use the language of the kingdom of darkness — complaining and arguing — we take our guard down and leave an open access for the father of lies — Satan — to come in and lie about everything God has told us. These lies lead to death, and we must confess our sins and pray that God will forgive and heal us. We must welcome and invite God back into the areas of our lives where there is division, hatred, and lies, and ask Him to take it out and fill us with his unity, love, and truth. We must keep pressing on!