We are tempted to begin to think that what we do—our actions—contribute somehow to God’s doing His wondrous works. Pardon the pun, but it doesn’t “work” that way.

Please allow me to explain.

When the Lord wanted to bring water out of a rock, He told Moses to hit it with his staff on one occasion and simply speak to it on another—not that using either method would have extracted water from stone and therefore motivated Moses to take credit for the miracle. However, taking credit is exactly what Moses did. Somehow, he thought that he and Aaron, by their own authority and ability, were responsible for making a river of water flow from a boulder. So he struck it, as he had earlier. He thought he now knew how to make that water flow! (Numbers 20:9-11). He was foolish, and the Lord told Moses that his disobedience did not bring glory to Him and would therefore, sadly, keep him out of the land of God’s promises.

We should pause here for a moment. We are foolish, too, if we think that somehow by the method, style or power of our words or actions alone, supernatural things happen. If we want to dwell in the place where we are the recipients of what God has promised, we should take heed. None of God’s miraculous deeds are dependent on what we say or do, apart from faith. To believe otherwise indicates that we’ve gone over to the pagan way of doing things.

Yes, pagan.