Friday, March 22, 2019
Faith overcomes fear. Faith overcomes ignorance. I wonder what faith lesson is next from the life of Moses?
Exodus 4:1-5 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you?’” Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” A staff,” he replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has appeared to you.”
Moses is still not satisfied that he is the man for the job that God has called him to, so in an attempt to avoid service he gives the Lord another excuse. In addition to claiming that he is a nobody and that he is not a theologian, he now claims that he is simply unconvincing and without any authority to prove a point to anyone. He says, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me?” He is afraid that people will not take him seriously. Moses has serious insecurity issues.
I’m sure we all have these same fears at times. We know what the truth is, but we don’t feel qualified to speak it. And when we do finally muster up the courage to speak, people don’t listen. We fall into a familiar trap that we are somehow responsible for other people’s decisions. We have been convinced in our hearts that sharing the truth is only profitable when it produces a positive response. Where did we get this idea that speaking the truth is only appropriate if it produces acceptance with the hearer?
I think that philosophy is the product of fear – the fear of rejection, which feeds our insecurities. Insecurity is the flip side of pride, but made of the same material. Pride keeps us from doing or saying anything that might make relational waves. This is what Moses was dealing with. These people had rejected him once. Why would he risk that rejection again? Why would any of us?
Here’s why – because we have faith in God. We cannot say that we live by faith in God and then choose not to speak it and act upon it regardless of the consequences. If we are allowing outcomes to determine our actions, then we are not truly committed to God but rather to outcomes, and that’s prideful.
God answered Moses’ concerns by teaching him 2 incredible lessons:
- God’s power makes the insignificant great. He turned Moses’ staff into a snake and then back into a staff again. God can take what we deem insignificant and unconvincing and make it into something alive and powerful. If he can do that with a stick, he can do that with our lives.
- God’s Word, when obeyed, conquers our fears. Moses ran in fear from the snake, but he obeyed God’s command to face his fears and pick up the snake by the tail. God’s Word is powerful, as 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 states, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When we are obeying God’s Word, we are more powerful than anything we previously feared.
God has answered another excuse for not immediately participating in His plan. You are not insignificant, and you are not unworthy for my use. Insecurity leaves when we take a leap of faith. Have you used the excuse of insignificance and insecurity to avoid doing something God has called you to do? I pray that God will use the answer he gave Moses to answer your fears and give you the faith to step out in obedience and experience His authority and power.