There is a path that all born-again believers must be careful not to tread, the one of expectancy. Now, I know that about ten verses just popped into your mind. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13) “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31) But I take us down the path a little further today, to a point that when the impossible does not happen, when the expected miracle does not occur, when we do not just begin to doubt, we begin to stop believing.
Our faith in Christ does not die here, we do not, and cannot lose our salvation, but we just quit, we have seen and tasted that the Lord is good, (1 Peter 2:3) we have witnessed miracles in not only our lives, but in the lives of others, we have seen mountains moved, but then it all come to an abrupt stop. Life does not get worse, “bad” things do not start to happen, but neither do any “good” ones any more appear, we are just simply living life, not in a dry and thirsty land, but neither are we beside the still water, sameness has become the path of life.
It really does little good to show miracle after miracle to most people, for in due time miracles are then expected and become common place, so life becomes sameness, and in the inverse of that, an occasional miracle can cause an individual to see life as nothing more than the repetitive, monotonous continuation of sameness spent not living but waiting, waiting for the next miracle.
The tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) comes to mind here, the Lord changed the inner most workings of the minds of thousands, if not more, of people, teaching them new languages they did not know, giving them no ability to understand the one they understood previously. Quite the miracle, but there is one thing that I have never quite been able to comprehend, why did they not simply begin to learn the languages of all that were present and then continue the work of building the tower. Of course, most of the work was being done by slave labor, or at least forced labor, so it is understandable that those would take any opportunity they could to flee, but there had to be some that gave this at least a passing thought.
Have you ever spent any time in contemplation of this statement, “There are no such things as miracles to God.” “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deut. 32:39) For us to go down the path of expecting miracles is to place a constraint on the Lord, and will eventually lead in one form or another to apathy. What good is a servant if all the work is done for the servant by the master, how is the master held in higher esteem when the worker is not called to serve, but only to receive?
Here is the beginning of the path I spoke of, the one that leads to apathy, to slothfulness, and eventually to hatred. When we expect, when we have indeed tasted that the Lord is good, when we have with our own eyes seen the miracles, we expect, and what we expect we begin to believe we deserve. The water was nice, now how about some food, the manna is alright, but how about some meat. “How about this, forty years of sameness, with a promise that you will not see the land I promised to your fathers, still going to serve me now?”
It is an enticing path, this path of expected miracles, and it runs right alongside the path to the kingdom, at least for a little while, and it is so difficult to tell when we have been routed off to it, until we find repetition of service to the Almighty is not enough, until the sameness becomes boredom, then monotonous, then hatred will not be very far away.
Every man of God wants to be useful to the Lord, but not every one of them needs Him to prove Himself to them, the delicacies are nice occasionally, but not necessary. Between the dry and thirsty land and the still waters is a place called sameness, here is where you will find the amount of service you are willing to give.