God, Us, & the Physical

Image courtesy of FrameAngel / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A woman I know, I'll call Leah, had an experience with God that was grounded in a physical item.  Several other people have had experiences that were related to this particular item as well.  I find it interesting how often God uses items in the physical world to interact with His people.

This happened in the Bible as well.  One particular story comes to mind from Numbers 21.

"The people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."  The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.  So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us."  And Moses interceded for the people.  Then the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live."  And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived."  Numbers 21:5-9 (NASB).

God could have just as easily pronounced them healed if He wanted to, but He chose a physical item for the people to look at in order to give them healing.

Unfortunately, we tend to get attached to those physical items that God uses.  I suppose it's because we serve a God we are unable to see with our own eyes, so if He gives us something physical, we grab hold of it as tightly as we can.

The book of 2 Kings tells how, many years later, Israel misused the bronze serpent that God gave them for a specific purpose and a specific moment in time.

"Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king.  He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.  He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.  He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah.  He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan."  2 Kings 18:1-4 (NASB).

Israel began worshiping the tool God gave them rather than worshiping the God that gave it! 

Israel's focus on the bronze snake brings me to think about Leah again.  I've noticed her beginning to struggle, and I see her return again and again to that physical item, as if it is a talisman that will bring her closer to God again. 

I don't know Leah well, so I can't say everything that's going on in her life, but I know that the answer to her problems are not found in something that is created, in something she can touch.  It has been used by God many times, but it is only useful as He allows it to be useful. 

Over my life as a Christian, I have had more than one special experience with God, and each one came through a certain set of experiences.  If I want to have another experience with God, I could try to go back to where one of those experiences took place.  I could bring back the same people if I wanted; we could sing the same songs or do the same activities. 

But the power is not in the place, the people, the music, the activities, or the things.

The power is in God.  Click to tweet!

When you want answers to a problem, look to God.  When you want to experience God, look to Him. 

He might use a song or an item or a place or a person that He has used before, or He might have something new for you.  Let Him give it to you rather than try to take something that isn't there anymore.

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2 Responses to God, Us, & the Physical

  1. Thanks for sharing these words Kirra. They are meaningful and I pray that God will use them to bring others closer to Him. Good idea with the "tweet" link. I'll have to figure out how to do it!

    How are you feeling?


  2. Donna, I'm feeling so much better! I still have a cough lingering but that's minor compared to everything else!

    I'm so glad you like what I had to say. Idolatry isn't always obvious, and good things can become idols, too!


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