As an individual that builds deep relationships with people and walks through deep waters with them, it is tempting to think change and growth is a result of my efforts.
That happened to Moses and the people of Israel. Their freedom, exodus, and survival were all tied in with Moses' life and efforts. He was used in personal, mighty, and incredible ways those 40 years. But he also made mistakes.
Moses' most costly sin was to strike the rock when God commanded him to speak to it. Why would that make a difference? God sent the water. The people were cared for. But in that moment what the people saw was Moses strike the rock. And water was provided. If Moses had spoken to the rock, there would have been no evidence of Moses efforts--only God's provision. And that is how it must be with us. God is not glorified by my efforts. His glory does not change regardless of what I do or do not do. But how others see Him, how others interact with Him, can be clouded or misguided when/if I deceive others, giving the impression that I am the source of blessing, not God Himself.
It is so easy to do! Numbers 12:3 says, Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any person who was on the face of the earth.
At the end of their journey, we see Moses repentance. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today; I am no longer able to go out and come in, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’ 3 It is the Lord your God who is going to cross ahead of you; He Himself will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who is going to cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken. 4 And the Lord will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5 The Lord will turn them over to you, and you will do to them in accordance with all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:2-5)
As he prepares to leave Israel, he reminds them of God's faithfulness, God's promises, and God's provision. He will not, cannot, continue. But he is not their safety. He is not the one who makes water come from the rock. He is not the one who sees and provides for their needs. God is. And God will continue His good work without Moses.
In the same way, I must be reminded that all good things come from the hand of God--including the good things that result from my involvement. As people move out of my sphere of influence, they never leave God's...and neither do I. I need Him every hour. every moment, day after day. He will not fail.