In every divine miracle there is a human element involved. That element is faith and it is demonstrated in desire, trust, and obedience. In a sense, it is man’s reaching to God to accept the miracle.
Many times God has already provided the miracle, you just need the faith to receive it. God has given you the promise and everything you need to possess it – all that is left is for you to possess your promise. But let’s be honest, that’s not always easy to do.
The children of Israel stood at the Red Sea wondering what to do next. They were between a rock and a hard place, literally. The enemy was closing in and there was no place for them to go. And then, a miracle happened. Moses stretched out his rod and God ripped the Red Sea in two, stacking the water like walls and leaving a dry path for Israel to cross.
I don’t know about you, but I’m probably not immediately convinced that walking through this watery tunnel is my safest option. Especially when I consider how many people we have to get through. The chances of some of us ending up in a watery grave seem to be stacked as high as the water.
God provided the miracle, but they still had to possess it.
Now fast forward. The children of Israel had possessed the miracle of the Red Sea, they had been miraculously provided for in the wilderness, and now they stood on the border of the Promised Land. The promise had been proclaimed, the miracle had been provided, but this time Israel failed to possess the promise.
What was different?
At the Red Sea, the enemy and certain death (or return to slavery) was behind them. They didn’t have much choice but to trust God. It was a different story at the Promised Land. The enemy wasn’t behind them anymore, the enemy was in front of them. Furthermore, they failed to perceive that even though the enemy was before them, death was still behind them, just as at the Red Sea.
God had sustained them in the wilderness and they had become comfortable surviving there. But it wasn’t God’s will for them to survive, He wanted them to thrive in the land of promise. Every miracle of the wilderness was one of survival (water, food, etc), every promise of Canaan was one of thriving. Because of their lack of faith, Israel mistook the preservation of God for the promises of God.
I thank God for every time and every way that He has preserved me. But I believe He has more. I have a promise to possess! So do you.
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it (Numbers 13:30).