Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just Follow Jesus

In Exodus chapter 3, God visited Moses. Moses saw a bush which was on fire but wasn't being consumed by it. So he stopped to look at it. God spoke to Moses from that bush and told him to go to Egypt to set God's people (the Israelites) free. But Moses was a little bit of a wimp. He didn’t think he was good enough to do what God was telling him to do. " Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?'" (Verse 11) So God told Moses that He would be with him (Moses). "So He said, 'I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.'" But that wasn't enough for Moses. Moses asked God, "What will I say to them?" God told Moses to say, "I AM has sent me to you." The one who had always existed was before Moses telling him to go to pharaoh and tell that pharaoh to set the children of Israel free. Moses was to go speak to the children of Israel first. And after all that had happened, do you think Moses trusted God and did as He asked?

NO! Moses asked again, "But suppose they (the children of Israel) will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'" (Exodus 4:1) God then gave Moses the ability to do certain signs to prove that God had sent him. And after that Moses trusted God and did what he had been asked to do. Right?

Guess again. Moses did not want to go back to Egypt. He was scrambling for excuses, and he was quickly running out. Moses said, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." (Exodus 4:10) It would seem that Moses had a problem speaking in public. God could have helped Moses speak clearly. But Moses was making up excuses. God didn't say, "Okay, Moses, I guess I'll have to find someone else." God said, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say." (4:11-12)

After all that Moses still didn't want to go. He begged God to send someone else. God became angry with Moses. Moses was not doing what God was asking. And worse, Moses was making up lame excuses in a vain attempt to escape the responsibility God was trying to give Him. God then told Moses to go, and Aaron (Moses' brother) would go with Moses and speak for him. Finally, after all the excuses and arguments, Moses went but he lost the benefits of immediate obedience.

I learned one simple lesson from the confrontation between God and Moses at Mount Sinai: Don't Fight God. You will not win if you fight with God. Six or seven years ago now I was attending a school I wasn't supposed, and studying what I wasn't supposed to study. Just like Moses, I had fought and argued with God. I knew He wanted me to go into the ministry. I knew I was supposed to be going to a Bible college where I would study His Word. But I didn't want to do what God wanted. I made up all sorts of excuses. Foolishly, I told myself that I didn't need to study His Word. I convinced myself that I knew enough already. I also refused to study Koine Greek (the language the New Testament was written in). I told myself that it looked too hard and would take too long to learn. I told God what I wouldn’t do. And guess where I ended up. Right where I told God I wouldn't be. But because I delayed and went my own way, I wasted time and money. Do what God asks you to do. Make sure you are following His plan. It makes the rest of life a lot easier.