God's love is not dependent on your obedience!

      One of the things I am learning through our recent journey is that God is faithful and He takes care of His kids. Time and time again, we will get a check from a friend or find a bill has been paid that month, as we have been without financial support. There have been days that I have felt God is blocking me from getting a job. It has started to get comical as jobs that have been offered to me don't start for weeks or months upon being hired. I am finding my God has an incredible sense of humor as I have tried to push past Him and His provision and attempt to make things happen on my schedule. Today I was offered a job that doesn't start til October ... really? Thankful that is not how I ended my day but with His nudging me to read a chapter of an incredible book by Major Ian Thomas. He used the chapter today to show me where I had been and where many Christians are walking currently.

      Imagine with me the scenery of the book of Numbers as the nation of Israel was wandering throughout the desert for 40 years. They failed to enter the promised land because they simply did not trust God to provide the land that He told them He would provide. Then, being God, He provides every meal they need while wandering around in unbelief. God gives them manna, which is described as tasting like honey. It was a flaky cracker that He would drop from heaven every day for them. It was incredibly tasty but had one catch, you could not keep it for the next day. It would mold and become useless if you tried to store it. God was telling them to trust Him that He would give to them everyday while they wandered because of unbelief. Soon they began to grumble "we don't want these crackers anymore, we want the stuff we use to eat while in slavery". They desired to go back to Egypt, where they no longer were free and were oppressed. Ever feel that way? Ever feel as if you would rather go back to something you know than to travel through something you had no control over? Yeah, me too! I have cried out too many times saying I wish I could just go back, even though it was miserable, it was controllable! Wow, how much I have not been satisfied with God. All because of my unbelief.

      The incredible thing is that God loves us so much that our unbelief doesn't stop Him from providing for us and getting us through those times of wilderness walking. The day that they doubted God loved them and they needed water, they complained. The next morning they found manna on the ground. The days Moses went up to interact with God in receiving the 10 commandments, they grumbled. The next day, they found manna on the ground. When they forced Aaron to build them a Golden Calf and they worshipped it, they found manna on the ground the next morning. When Moses, in his fury, made them destroy the calf, they found manna on the ground the next day. When walking by the mountains that separated them from the promised land and they grumble, they found manna on the ground the next day. When they grumbled about having to eat manna, He gives them quail. When they grumble about that, they find manna on the ground the next day. Their grumbling, their disobedience and their foolishness did not stop God from providing for them. When they tried to walk back to Egypt in unbelief, God provided. When they worshipped other things, God provided. When the grumbled and wished they were slaves to the Egyptians and not free in God, God still provided.

       I see many of us forget the faithfulness of God even when we are not faithful. We believe God leaves us when we sin and He doesn't. We believe that He doesn't bless us anymore when we sin and He does. We act as if He is only God when His gives us what we want to only find out that He gives us exactly what we need.

       Maybe God is saying to you today, just as He was saying to the Israelites, "I haven't left you. When you tried to run, I was there. When you spit in my face, I took care of you. When you loved other things over me, I still was near you!" God does not leave those that are His! Are you struggling with sin? He is still there providing for you. Are you hurting because of shame? He is still there loving on you. Are you fearful He will blow you up because of your choices? He is still there saying "child I love you and NOTHING will ever change that!" Christian, trust that God's love is not dependent on your obedience. He will never leave you, nor forsake you! What an incredible promise through His grace!

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