I almost started this article with, “As a church, we’ve been studying through the book of Exodus,” but that’s not really true. Most pastors know it’s probably more accurate to say, “I’ve been preaching through Exodus, and my church has been forced to journey along with me.”
But, anyway, that’s all beside the point. I’m only to Exodus 6, but I’ve already run into seven occasions during which Moses tried to insist to God that he wasn’t qualified to serve as the deliverer, or he had a physical issue (i.e., a speech impediment, perhaps), or Israel and/or Pharaoh just flat-out wouldn’t respond to his leadership.
Maybe you’re more spiritual than I am, but until I studied the book verse by verse, I was never aware that Moses was so reluctant to yield to God’s plan for his life. And that’s certainly a struggle many of us can relate to, I believe.
But it’s interesting how God reassured him that he was, indeed, God’s man. Yes, God gave him a staff that performed signs and wonders…but, most importantly and most repeatedly, God simply reminded Moses of Who He is – not who Moses was (no, dear 21st-century Christian, it’s not self-help, psycho-babble), but Who God is.
God just kept repeating, “I am the Lord. Now go…,” as if that should have been enough for Moses.
Now, intellectually, we all know it should have been because the call of God ultimately depends on Who God is, not on who we are, but that’s a hard lesson to learn, not to mention we live in a culture that somehow manages to deal with this issue on both sides of the ditch.
If we aren’t questioning God’s call, we’re equally as guilty of leaving God out of our calling or even equipping. We begin to stray into pride, and “self-anoint” ourselves into being worthy of itinerant preaching ministries, Twitter platforms, and blogs and podcasts. It’s even fashionable today to manipulate social media to increase your “platform” or “reach,” whether that’s really deserving or not.
Yet, if you truly listen to God’s repeated lesson in Moses’ life, every celebration of Who God is came with an equal affirmation of what Moses wasn’t: He wasn’t special; he wasn’t unique; he honestly wasn’t chosen because of any pedigree. But, He was God’s choice, which was supposed to be quite good enough.
I know it’s awfully old-fashioned and straight from the Bible, but maybe we should just stay in our lanes and remind ourselves each day of Who God is and not worry so much about who we are…and leave the platform-building to Him.
Greg Sykes is pastor of First Baptist Church, Russellville, and president of the ABSC.
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