Emily Werness

Everything flows from who you believe yourself to be

When All Seems Dry

Don’t you love it when the Lord reminds you of truth when you least expect it? When you open a passage or story you’ve read hundreds of times and yet, there’s something new He draws your attention to?

This happened to me recently and I wanted to share in the hopes it encourages you.

I was working through a section of the Bible study I am doing with some women at my church (Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God”) and she referenced Moses and his obedience to following God’s instruction to strike a rock with his staff. He promised water would flow from it, refreshing the people (Exodus 17:5-6 & Numbers 20:7-12). In the context of the study, she was talking about the importance of trusting God’s word/instruction and acting on that rather than our own feelings/perceptions of truth. The Exodus passage describes when the Israelites were in the desert complaining they had been led from one death (slavery in Egypt) to another (thirsting in the desert). Moses followed God’s instruction to strike a rock with his staff and water flowed – God again provided for His people, demonstrating His power, but also the trustworthiness of His promises to them. The Numbers passage, referenced in my study, was a different scenario. God still provided water from the rock, but Moses did not follow all that God had instructed him, resulting in some pretty intense consequences.

That’s not what I want to share with you today.

The story stuck with me and as I thought about Moses and those faithless Israelites…wait, I need to stop myself there. Don’t you love how we are so quick to harp on Israel for complaining and their lack of faith when we tend to do the very same thing today? How, most likely, we would have responded in the exact same way they did?! I am no better and no different than them. I have chosen my own way and listened to my own feelings rather that the Lord’s truth on countless occasions!

So, as I was thinking about this story, the Holy Spirit hit me with one of those “ah ha” moments.

It was no mistake God chose to provide water from a rock for the Israelites. Nothing God does is ever coincidence and there are countless ways He is working out His purpose that we will never understand. It dawned on me that this moment, this miracle, points to Jesus. How have I never really seen this before? To some of you, this is definitely nothing new and the connection may be glaringly obvious…I’m just a little late to the party!

There are countless places in Scripture, many from the Psalms, where God is referred to as our rock:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:4

Then, there are also several passages that point to Jesus as a foundation:

“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation.” Isaiah 28:16

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Psalm 118:22

So, God is our rock; Jesus the cornerstone. What invitation did Jesus offer on more than one occasion during His ministry?

“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38

“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Jesus invites us to come and drink! He is the source of Living Water, of life! He makes your pastures green, He makes the rocky path before you level. He alone can bring life out of death, when all hope seems lost! God asked Moses for trust, for faith in that desert. Don’t you think it would have seemed crazy – gathering the elders, telling them they were going to go to a rock at Horeb and because God said so, water was going to appear when Moses hit it? It literally does not make sense; it is not possible. And yet, Moses trusted God. He had seen him move before, providing and protecting. Heck, they all just saw God part an entire SEA! So, maybe tapping a rock didn’t seem as out there, but it still required Moses’ yes. It required his obedience to do exactly as the Lord asked.

We know what happened – God was faithful to His word and water flowed from the rock. The people drank, their thirst quenched.

Jesus offers to quench our spiritual thirst; to taste life, to come receive ultimate joy and satisfaction! What do we have to do?

Come and drink.

Both of those words are verbs; they require action, movement.

Another way to put it, you must choose to tap into Him; even if it looks foolish to the world and the people around you, even if it doesn’t make sense – ESPECIALLY then. Do you trust He can still provide water from the rock? Life out of hopelessness? Joy out of mourning? Peace out of chaos? Will you take Him at His word and strike the Rock?

When you are broken-hearted and He promises He is near…

When you are in financial difficulty and He reminds you He is provider and sustainer…

When you or a loved one are suffering from unexpected illness and He says he is comforter and healer…

When you are overwhelmed with grief, uncertainty, or fear and He says to bring it all before Him, layered with thanksgiving…

Will you trust? Will you tap into Him?

People will not understand. When you are on your last dollar and have no idea where the next meal or rent payment is coming from and you choose to get on your knees and take it to Him, and trust He has you. When everyone around you runs hard and fast after the latest gadget, high, or fad, and you hang back, knowing there is something better. When you rock the single life, pressing into His purpose for your life, trusting He knows the desires of your heart, trusting that that is enough, that He is more than enough! They will call you crazy, disconnected, and disillusioned. But, you know your God is faithful. You’ve seen Him do it before, so you trust He’s going to do it again.

The peace, life, and joy He offers cannot compare to anything this world attempts to satisfy us with. We must follow where He leads, even if it’s into a desert or dark uncertainty. We trust He is with us; He is the Good Shepherd, leading us on. We must heed His instructions about how to live our lives because we know it is what brings life, no matter the circumstance, struggle, or celebration.

He is still making things new. He is still in the business of the impossible and the miraculous.

Do you trust water will flow?

Will you tap into the Rock?