Monday, 03 April 2017 15:45

What If I Do This?

Written by  Sam Whatley
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Is curiosity a good thing? Is it wise to try out new ideas? Sometimes.

When I was about ten years old our science class studied the way mold spores grow in damp, dark places. The teacher suggested that we put some water on a slice of bread and put it in a dark place for a week. We were to check on it each day and record our observations.

I looked around our house and found what I thought was the perfect place, the linen closet. The teacher probably told us to check with our parents about this, but I chose not to ask Mother for permission. She might tell me not to do it.


 Knowing that she would open the closet to get towels, I hid the saucer with the bread slice behind several bottles on a high shelf. At least it was high to a ten-year-old.


I was right; she didn’t notice it at first. I checked on my project every day for several days and wrote down what I saw. I was amazed by the spreading black fuzzy stuff that covered the bread. It was beautiful.


One day Mother needed one of those bottles for something, and, boy, did she let out a shriek! “Sam! What on earth have you done?”


I explained that it was a science experiment and very important, but she was not listening. She threw the project out, washed all the towels, and scrubbed the shelves down good with something that smelled pretty strong. Then she told me how mold and towels did not mix, but not in a calm voice.


I learned a lot from that science project. Mostly I learned that you had better get some advice from someone wiser than you before you launch into something you know nothing about. Satisfying your curiosity can be painful.


Over the years, I have seen that little boys are not the only folks who need to learn that lesson. In the Bible (Numbers Chapter 20) the Lord tells Moses to speak to the rock in the desert and water would flow from it. The Israelites were on their way out of Egypt and really needed the water.

Apparently, Moses was curious about what might happen if he did it with a flair. So, he took his staff and struck the rock twice. Water did gush forth and the people’s thirst was quenched, but God’s anger was not.


But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12, NIV).


After 40 years in the desert, Moses did not enter the promised land. It’s not that he did something he was told not to do. He just did something other than what he was told to do. He replaced God’s directions with his own methods. He may have thought, “What difference can it make? Water is water.”


I made the same mistake. I did not trust my mother to advise me on the best way to carry out the science project. I thought I knew better. My distrust was disrespectful.


It’s not wrong to wonder what will happen if you do something unusual. But it dishonors God to ignore His guidance.


Perhaps you are considering making a major change in your life. Is what you are contemplating clearly taught in the Word of God? Have you sought the Lord’s face in prayer about this? Have you talked about it with someone you trust as a seasoned Christian? Or, are you like the little boy who chose not to ask for his mother’s permission, afraid she would not see things as he did?


Remember God’s words, “Be holy because, I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2, NIV).


We are all tempted to go beyond what the Lord has asked of us. We want to do things our way. But He is not looking for spiritual cleverness, originality, or flair; just obedience to what He has put in our hearts to do. So, let’s honor God with a life of obedience.



Last modified on Monday, 03 April 2017 15:51
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