In Numbers 20, the people rose up against Moses and Aaron because they had no water to drink. In response, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before God. God spoke to them and commanded Moses to speak to a rock and He would make it yield water. But because of his anger toward the people, Moses rebuked the Israelites and struck the rock twice with his staff instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. Because of Moses’ failure to obey, God declared that he would not be allowed to enter into the promised land; he would die in the wilderness instead.
God’s demand for obedience is absolute. There is no such thing as “halfway” obedience. Even the most minuscule deviation from God’s commands is an act of disobedience. We are called to be holy just as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). God’s holiness refers both to His uniqueness in being separate from creation and to His perfect purity. This is our standard as well. We are to be different from our culture. We are to obey perfectly. And even one act of unfaithfulness earns condemnation. But thankfully, we have been provided a way to be forgiven of our transgressions in Jesus, the One who perfectly obeyed and who takes our sin and credits us with His righteousness when we believe.
How have you obeyed God partly at times, believing that was good enough for Him?