By Konrad LaPrade…
For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the Exodus Stretch Campaign. If you are not aware of the campaign, you can read more about it here. It is our prayer that through this campaign we will faithfully honor Jesus and raise $500,000 towards our facility needs. We also pray that God will stretch our finances, family and faith.
I understand experientially what it means to be financially stretched. Anyone who has ever had a baby understands what it is like to have their family stretched. But it’s a little harder to understand what it means for God to stretch our faith.
However, as I have studied and reflected on the book of Exodus with my wife, I’ve come to understand that God stretches our faith by taking us from a position of comfort and control, to a place where we must wait on Him to act.
Consider the Israelites. In calling them to the Promised Land, God didn’t just hand them their new home. Rather, He stretched them, helping them to understand that their comfort didn’t come from possessions, or a place, but from Him.
Deuteronomy 8:2-5 reads: And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
This passage has huge implications for Exodus in our current situation.
- We worship a God who has led us out of the wilderness–a God who is at work in the life of the church, bringing more and more people to hear the gospel! This was very clear at the 5th anniversary celebration when we were able to see all of the ways God has blessed us through the past five years.
- We worship a God that stretches out His hand to drop manna from the sky. He calls us to pick up this manna, but He also desires to teach us that we don’t live by His gifts alone but by the pleasure of His grace.
As we remember that we worship the giver of the gifts and not the gifts themselves, it will be exciting to see what He does among us!