The children of Israel saw the acts of God in ways that few others ever have.
“He made known His ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” Psalm 103:7
In the wilderness, they witnessed miracle after miracle. Imagine walking on dry ground between walls of water or seeing water come out of a rock on demand.
Time after time they faced crisis' and God came through in awe-inspiring ways. They saw the acts of God again and again. Yet it never sank into their hearts [except for Joshua and Caleb]. Every time they faced a disaster their response was the same: whine and complain until God came through. God was faithful, He always helped them, but He was not pleased.
And no matter what happened, they knew they were where God wanted them to be. They had the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. It was impossible to miss these outward, visible acts of God. They were following God, complaining most of the way. In all fairness, the crisis' they faced were real. It is painful for your family to run out of water in the middle of the desert. It is fearful to see the most powerful nation on earth closing in on you to crush you. But this shows us that God looks for a response of faith in crisis and there is never any ground for complaining against God.
Unfortunately we quite often have the same reaction when we get into trouble. Our first response is, “Why are You doing this to me, God?” And then we have a pity party so we can complain and feel sorry for ourselves. And God does come through in His time. He remains faithful, but we have lost an opportunity to grow in faith by, like Job, worshiping in the midst of disaster. Until we progress beyond this level all we will see are the acts of God.
”It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be...the problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit Him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness.” AW.Tozer
To Moses, on the other hand, God revealed His ways. The few who see past the acts of God will come to see the ways of God. Moses and his family faced the same hunger, the same fear, and the same emotions as did everyone else. If anything, they were intensified in Moses for he was looked at as the man to have all the answers [and threatened with stoning if he didn’t!]. Yet Moses could see past the acts of God to knowing the ways of God.
The Israelites in the wilderness were childish and immature. They could only see what was in it for them. Moses wanted a relationship with God, and with him God talked as a man does to his friend. God’s desire is for mature sons and daughters who want to know Him, who want relationship with the Almighty, and who are willing to pay any price to get. They will sell all they own to purchase the jewel of greatest value.
I quoted A.W.Tozer above. He is right. God has done everything on His side. Of His own free will He was provided salvation, cleared sin out of the way, sent the Holy Spirit, and Personally designed our lives for relationship with Him. He has provided the way. The question remains: How badly do we want it?
On a scale of 1 [it would be nice] - 10 [I’ll die without it] how badly do we want it? Where are you on this scale? For many Christians deep, intimate relationship with God is something they pay lip service to as they go merrily on their own way, doing their own thing, and watching the acts of God. A few pursue God with everything they have. Most are somewhere in between. This is not a condemnation, but a challenge and, as usual, I am speaking more to myself than I am to you. I need to shake the apathy off my own life, throw caution to the wind, and run after God as if my life depended on it - as indeed it does.
”As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” Psalm 42:1-2 Amp.
”O God, You are my God; earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land, where no water is.” Psalm 63:1 Amp.