“Doesn’t he know how much I love him? I’d take a bullet for him if it would change things in His life.”
I recently said this about a friend of mine who is believing for a breakthrough. As soon as I uttered the phrase about taking a bullet for him, the Holy Spirit checked me. He said, “You don’t have to suffer like Jesus suffered in order to bless your friend.”
He then said, “Suffering for me is not humility and it’s not noble. Thinking you need to suffer for me to bring change is an act of unbelief.”
Thinking we need to suffer in order to get God to move in our situations is an act of unbelief. It has a pretense of humility and will often appease our conscience, but it doesn’t cause God to move. The Bible teaches that Jesus suffered once in our place for all time and we don’t need to suffer to inherit the promises of God. All that is required is putting faith in God’s unmerited favor.
Moses learned this the hard way. When he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness, there was no water for them to drink. The people began to murmur and complain because they thought they were going to die. Moses cried out to the Lord and God told Moses to strike the rock and water would come out.
Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
Moses struck the rock and water came out. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us that rock was a picture of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
One of the reasons God had Moses strike the rock in the desert was to reveal a prophetic picture of Jesus being struck at Calvary. Jesus was struck in our place and He paid all of our sin debt for all time at the cross. This caused water, which is a picture of the spirit of God to come forth. When we think we can add to what Jesus did, we are essentially crucifying Him again. Look at Hebrews 6:
6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
When we don’t believe Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross is enough to bless us and think we either need to do more or He needs to do more, we are attempting to crucify Christ again from God’s perspective.
When we understand this foundational principal, we can now understand why God didn’t let Moses enter the promised land when He struck the rock again to bring water forth many years later. In this story, the people again complained to Moses because there was no water so Moses sought the Lord. This time the Lord told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come forth.
Numbers 20:8 Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”
In his anger with the people, Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock. God in His mercy caused water to pour out, however, Moses experienced a major consequence for his disobedience. Look at Numbers 20:12:
12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
Moses was not allowed to go into the promised land because he struck the rock twice. This rock was a prophetic picture of Jesus and it only need to be struck once, the same way Christ only needed to be struck once. God told Moses it was a sign he didn’t believe Him because Moses struck the rock twice. Anytime we believe we need to be struck or suffer for God in order to get Him to move on our behalf, it’s a sign of unbelief.
After Christ was struck once in our place at Calvary, we are forever called to speak the rock to receive the promises of God. Look at a few examples below:
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen,
Jesus is the rock who was struck in our place and since He has been struck, neither He nor we ever have to be struck again. Our sincerity, our personal suffering, and self-denial won’t cause Him to move. He moves by grace. All we need to do is simply believe and speak to the rock! As we believe in our heart the finished work of the cross and declare God’s will into our lives, we will inherit our promised land!
If you would like to learn more about declaring the promises of God over your life check out this message called “Declare the Decree.” If you would like to learn more about the prophetic picture of how Christ was the rock struck in our place, check out this message called the “Language of God.”