Friday, April 12, 2013

Excuses

I am currently reading through the book of Exodus which is my favorite Old Testament book.  I love the story of Moses and how God works in him and through him to lead the stubborn Israelites out of slavery into the promised land.  While I look at the life of Moses as that of a great leader who I aspire to be like and in no way see myself as anywhere close to being like him, I do see myself in him in a couple of areas.  The main place that I see myself in Moses is in the form of excuses.  We all make excuses sometimes for not doing something, especially when it comes to serving God.  I find my self esteem to be like his when God tells him to go confront Pharaoh to let the Israelites out of slavery.  
Exodus 4:1 - Then Moses said, "what if they will not believe me or listen to what I say?  For they may say, 'The Lord has not appeared to you.'"
I see myself here in the times that God leads me to do or say something and I make the same excuses.  What if they will not listen to me?  What if they laugh off my credibility?  What if they completely ignore what I have to say?  This should not even be a concern of mine.  If God has told me to do or say something, then I need to do it.  The results are not up to me.  God takes care of the results.  I often have to remind myself of this and that if they do ignore and not listen, then they are not rejecting me but rejecting God just as He spoke to Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:7.

What I find interesting in the story with Moses is what happens next.  God does not simply stay silent in regards to Moses' concerns.  He shows him what to do.  He gives him authority to throw down his staff and it become a snake and then back into a staff.  He tells him to stick his hand inside his coat and that it will be covered in leprosy.  He gives Moses this power to show Pharaoh Who has sent Moses.  But what does Moses respond?
Exodus 4:10-13 - Then Moses said to the Lord, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."  The Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth?  Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now then go, and I, even I, will be your mouth, and teach you what you are to say."
So Moses has been shown this power and he still makes excuses about not being an eloquent speaker.  How at this point could you feel inadequate?  Whatever reason, Moses did.  However God clearly tells Moses that He will speak for him.  What an amazing promise!  But what does Moses respond to that?
Exodus 4:13 - But he said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will."
Wow, God has given him miraculous abilities and tells him that He will speak for him and Moses still wants out.  So what happens here is really no surprise.  God becomes angry and says that Moses' brother Aaron will speak in his place.  

As I read this I see myself in the way that I make excuses like I said previously.  I allow my low self-esteem and fears speak lies louder than I hear God speak truth.  I forget the promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 that God will never leave me nor forsake me.  So why would I doubt myself?  Why would I allow fear to overcome?  I really do not have a good answer for that.  What I do know is that I see a moment in Moses' life that is honestly a bit sad and one that I think we can learn from.  Since Moses continued to doubt God and doubt the power that was given to him, he missed out on an opportunity.  While Moses was heavily involved in all the events leading to the Israelites departure of Egypt, he could have had more involvement.  Instead of being the one doing all of the talking, Aaron was the mouthpiece for God.

So what is the big deal?  God's will is still accomplished isn't it?  Well of course it will be.  I believe that God's will cannot be thwarted.  However I do not want to miss out on being a part of His will.  I do not want to miss out on being a part of the magnificent work that He is doing.  So my challenge to myself and to you is this:  do not make excuses when God calls you to do something.  Do not miss out on the ways that He can use you to accomplish His will.  Do not sit by while others are doing the work that you were called to do.

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