(What you are about to read is a selection from a retreat I spoke at this past weekend. It is based on the discussion of our calling and comes from Exodus 3 & 4.)
"When you are called, God will do the work through you. God’s calling will never lead you to a place where His grace won’t provide."
Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough? Maybe you thought you could do something, but there were others that were better at it so you didn’t try because you knew someone else would be better than you? Maybe they were more talented, or were a better speaker, or were more organized, or whatever. Maybe you felt like you were a complete screw up and if you tried you would just mess everything up. So, you just sat back, watched it all unfold with a longing heart…
…wishing you were someone else…
…or something else…
…or had just tried.
You may say to yourself, “I wish I was like someone else.” Or, “I am not good at anything.” Maybe it isn’t quite that severe, but you just don’t feel like you are anything special.
I beg to differ.
I think Moses (yes THAT Moses) felt pretty lousy for a large portion of his life. He was once the guy who lived in the palace with the Pharaoh and was considered royalty. Many of us saw the movie “The Prince of Egypt” and actually, his life was a lot like that in the early days. He was pampered, loved, well taken care of.
He wanted for nothing.
Yet he felt a pull in his heart because he knew he wasn’t an Egyptian. He started searching and found out that he was an Israelite, the very people that were enslaved in Egypt. I imagine this weighed quite heavily on his mind and eventually…long story short, he stood up for an Israelite that was being beaten and he ended up leaving the palace and all the pampering. He ran away and we find him in Exodus 3-4 tending sheep for his father-in-law.
There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but not many guys want to grow up and work for their father-in-law.
Moses went from the palace to the field watching sheep.
Can you imagine what went through his mind every day as he sat there, watching the stinky sheep eat grass for hours on end? I can’t speak for him, but I would have often thought of the life that I had lived and what would have happened if I had made different choices. I imagine he probably grew comfortable in this life though, realizing it also could have turned out much worse.
So he sat…in a field…watching stinking sheep…for his father-in-law…forever.
Thinking, “This is it.”
“THIS is IT?”
That is, until he saw something.
I like fire, I like to watch it, and something about it can be entrancing. However, this fire was much different. It burned brightly enough to get Moses’ attention, yet the fire didn’t consume or burn the bush. It was kind of just…there.
Then it spoke.
Well, the bush didn’t really, but God spoke from the bush.
God called out to Moses, and Moses said, “Here I am.”
Then (short version) God told him, “I want you to save my people.” Moses stammers and stumbles and comes up with every excuse as to why he isn’t good enough to be that guy.
Ever been there?
God does not relent, but continues to tell Moses that he is the one who has been chosen and called to do this great work. How does God assure Moses? He promises that He (God) will be with him (Moses), and promises that He (God) will bring Israel out of Egypt.
Moses continues to try to get out of this. Why? Sometimes when God calls you to do something you have to face your fears, you have to face the decisions you have made in the past, you have to face the matters that seem bigger than you, you will not be comfortable, you will have to move, and it…will..be.. scary…BUT…
…God is with you.
God finally tells Moses (short version), “You will go!”
Moses realizes there is no talking God out of this, which is interesting, I mean you are trying to change God’s mind while talking to a burning bush. Odd.
Moses came to the realization that here and now, at this burning bush in the middle of nowhere, God has called me and I must go.