“Now I am going to send you to Pharaoh, to demand that he let you lead my people out of Egypt.”
“But I’m not the person for a job like that!” Moses exclaimed.
Then God told him, “I will certainly be with you…”
Exodus 3:10-12a (The Living Bible)
I love to see this transformation in Moses. Here’s a man who started out full of confidence in his own strength; a man who set out to free his people from oppression – even if he had to do it one Egyptian overseer at a time (see Exodus 2:12-14). The result was Moses running from a murder rap and living in exile doing the despised job of a shepherd for forty years.
When we get ahead of God and act in our own strength and according to our own timetable, that’s the result: disaster. I’m sure that Moses probably thought that he had blown his opportunity forever, that he had missed his calling to be God’s deliverer. But God wasn’t done with Moses.
I think I know how Moses must have felt. When I was sixteen I was certain that God had called me to be a pastor. At that time I was in a denominational church, so I went to my pastor and asked him what I should do. He took me to meet with the “Board of Ordained Ministry” for our district. I can vividly remember this group of men telling me that I was too young to have heard God calling me, that I should finish high school, go to college (majoring in something like psychology), and then come back to see them in my junior year. I was disappointed, but I supposed they must know better than me. Maybe God hadn’t called me.
I tried to set aside the feeling that God wanted me to be a pastor. For the next 20+ years I tried to satisfy that calling by doing things like teaching Sunday School and Bible studies, playing in a Christian rock band, taking leadership positions in my church, etc. As more and more time went by I was convinced that I had missed my opportunity. God had called me, but I had failed to answer Him. Now it was too late.
I can now see (with the benefit of hindsight) God’s wisdom in making me wait. It took all those years for God to prepare me for the work He has for me. He used those years to teach me to be a faithful husband, father, and employee. He used that time to give me skills in technology that enable me to work in our radio ministry and support our Christian school. Most of all, like Moses, he used those years to show me that even though He had called me, He doesn’t ”need” me. I need Him.
Moses had reached the point where his response to God was, “I’m not the person for a job like that!” I think it’s significant that God didn’t contradict him. God simply said, “I will certainly be with you.” That’s the key. God isn’t interested in what we bring to the table. He’s more aware of our inadequacies than we are. God isn’t seeking qualified and capable people. He’s seeking willing hearts who long to do His work and are ready to walk with Him and rely totally on Him.
Lord, remind me today of how totally reliant on you I really am. I thank you that even though I’m inadequate for the tasks before me, You have promised that You will certainly be with me. Thank you for Your constant presence in my life.