What’s Your Problem?

There’s a fascinating conversation between Moses and God in Exodus 4. You know the story. Moses has just been called to lead the people of God up out of bondage in Egypt. God wants Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let his people go. But Moses doesn’t want to go. He’s got a new life in Midian–a wife and a son. And there’s another complication: Pharaoh has an outstanding warrant for him back in Egypt. So Moses is pretty cool to this project of God’s. But the conversation that follows is what makes the passage so interesting. Here’s a synopsis.

Moses: They won’t believe me.
God: I’ll lend you some credibility.
Moses: But I stutter.
God: Since I made you that way, do you think I could fix it?
Moses: Please, don’t make me!
God: I’ll get you some help: Aaron, say.

We, like Moses, are called by God. First, God calls us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we fail, God calls us to repent and put our trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Finally, God calls and commissions us to proclaim the good news about Jesus and make new disciples. That’s true for everyone who follows Christ. But what about you? What is God calling you to do, specifically? And which of Moses’ objections do you raise?

Moses’ first objection was external. There are external conditions that will prevent him from doing the job God’s assigned him. He’s afraid that the Hebrews won’t believe that God sent him to bring them up out of slavery. To that, God says, “I’ll give you the power to show them signs that will be convincing. If anyone isn’t convinced by the first sign, here’s a second. And, just in case, a third.” So, what about you? What are the external factors that prevent you from doing what God wants of you? What is the least thing God could do to overcome them? What would make it a little more convincing? What would it take to completely sweep those obstacles away?

Moses’ second objection is internal. He is limited in the things he can do. God replies that peoples’ gifts and abilities come from God, so when Moses speaks, it will really be God speaking through him. So, what limits do you have? What limitations do you operate within? How do they keep you from obeying God? How could God work through you to overcome your frailties or disabilities?

Moses’ third objection is just a cry from his heart: “God, I don’t want to!” This is the request God grants–at least, partially. What God tells Moses is that he won’t have to do it alone. In fact, God had anticipated this objection, and by his providence, God arranged for Aaron to be available: “even now, he is coming out to meet you” (Exod. 4:14). Like Moses, we may have our objections answered and yet still be afraid to obey. That is why God called us together as the church: so we could help each other–so we can encourage the faint-hearted and share the load between us. So who could help you do the work God has given you? And who can you help with their work? And–especially–what’s stopping you?

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