People Who Say Such Things: Know 1% Is Enough

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April 3, 2020

Exodus 14:10-14 (NIV)

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

CONSIDER THIS

Today’s text unfolds the worst case possible doomsday scenario. The newly freed Israelite former slaves stared down the barrel of the most powerful army in the world. Red Sea on one side. Pharaoh’s army on the other. These are the moments that expose our deepest dispositions. Will we find fear or faith. Two people can face the very same reality and have diabolically opposite responses. We see it here on full display. 

The Israelites asked three questions and made a declaration. Moses offered three responses and made a proclamation. Note how they intertwine and correspond as follows:

Question #1: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?

Response #1: Do not be afraid.

Question #2: What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?

Response #2: Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.

Question #3: Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’?

Response #3: The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

Declaration of fear: It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Declaration of faith: The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Fear is a given. The question is faith. Here’s the interesting calculus of faith. Think of a spectrum of 0 to 100%. What part of the spectrum will be taken up by fear? In this case, the Israelites were at 100% fear on the spectrum. There was no room for faith in their response. Moses, however, spoke to them of the power of God. Moses knew all he needed was a movement of 1% to win the day. If he could push their fear back from 100% to 99% it would leave room for a 1% faith response. Moses knew 1% was all he needed. So did Jesus. 

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20.

The issue is not the size of one’s faith, but the strength of their God. It’s why when we want to see faith rise up we don’t try to talk to people into having more faith. Nor are we likely to be successful in trying to talk them out of their fear. We win when we witness to them about the nature, character, and power of God. 1% is all it takes. In another sense, Moses was the 1%. 

A sidebar word to you preachers/pastors in the house from one of your biggest fans (a.k.a. me): Don’t spend the focus of your preaching trying to talk people out of their fear. They can’t help it. Nor should you focus on trying to get them to increase their faith. It won’t work. The calling of the preacher is to proclaim to the people—in the greatest and most gloriously exquisite detail—the nature, character and power of their God. To preach means to participate with the Word of God and the Spirit of God in such a way that God reveals himself to the people through the power of Word and Spirit. Faith does not come from our motivational efforts. Faith is the gift of God and it comes by hearing a steady diet of this kind of preaching. You already knew that. Just a friendly reminder. ;0) And never forget, 1% is enough. And speaking of sidebars, IT’S TIME WE TALKED.  

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

People who say such things. . . 

THE PRAYER

Father, I want to be a person who says such things. I confess how I can put the emphasis on my faith or lack thereof and miss the point of who my faith is in. I don’t want to have faith in faith, but in Almighty God. Help me grow true, real, rich and deep faith—even a mustard seed sized faith. I would rather have 1% of the real thing than 99% of anything else. Come Holy Spirit, and train me to be such a person of faith. I pray in Jesus name, Amen. 

THE QUESTION

Do you tend to be a person who thinks they don’t have enough faith? How does this 1% principle impact you? Am I making sense here? 

P.S.

Seriously, Preachers/Pastors of local churches. I want to know who you are and where you are and how I can encourage you. Take 1 minute and let me know here. I promise not to send you a ton of emails. After all, who has time for more emails, right?! 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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