People Of The Bible: Moses

Have you ever felt confused in your calling as a Christian? Many have, and like Moses they thought by taking things into their own hands they could accomplish the will of God. It didn't take long for them to learn differently.

In an attempt to obliterate the Hebrew race, Pharaoh had ordered the death of all male babies. When Moses' mother could hide him no longer, she placed him in a wicker basket, covered it with tar and pitch, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile River. (Exodus 2:1-3)

We see the divine mystery of God's salvation unfolding in the life of Moses, who was saved from a watery grave by Pharaoh's sister. Gathering the baby into her arms, she named him Moses, which means "to draw out of the water," and raised him as her own son. Later God revealed to Moses the nature of his Hebrew heritage.

This had to be an unsettling discovery, especially after growing up in a household with all the advantages of royalty. Yet Moses decided it was his God-given responsibility to deliver God's people from Egyptian bondage. Responsibility is a key word in the life of Moses, just as it is in our lives. However, Moses had not yet learned an important principle concerning godly responsibility, and that is waiting on the Lord for His timing and guidance.

Any time we go ahead of His will, we jeopardize the mission. This is because God has a plan in mind. He knows what He wants to accomplish and how to do it--something we cannot know unless He reveals it to us. Another drawback in assuming responsibility without God's approval is the fact that we limit our understanding. We view a task in light of our human ability, which is always less than God's best.

When we take on more than what God intends for us to bear, responsibility becomes a weight and obligation instead of a hopeful challenge. For attempting to do things his own way, Moses was forced to spend forty years in the wilderness of Midian. However, it was there that the Lord prepared him to lead Israel out of bondage. Trials, difficulties, and disappointments are often the tools God uses to test and mold our faith.

The Lord understood the temptations Moses would later face. The responsibility was grave. Therefore, Moses was trained in the harshest of circumstances. God knew exactly what his servant needed in order to be fit for kingdom work.

The preparation process of ministry is important. If God does not test your faith then when you face trials and difficulties the temptation to give up will become too appealing.

In order for Moses to understand the seriousness of God's will, the call to him had to be clear. The burning bush where the angel of the Lord met him was a very defining moment.

When God calls you to do something, He always makes His will clear. You may not know all the details, but one thing is for sure; you will know that He has spoken.

There is no need to worry about how you will accomplish the work He has given you. God always equips those He calls. He prepared Moses to lead Israel out of captivity and to the threshold of the Promised Land. Along the way, He blessed his people, provided for all their needs, and taught them to trust in His ability.

Some who read this will think to themselves, "God has never called me to do anything," but really He has. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are called of God, and He has a purpose for your life. You are His living testimony. Your faith can stir others to trust and obey His Word.

You may strive to do everything perfectly, but even Moses could not do this. Several times, he failed miserably. There were times when he wanted to give the responsibility of being Israel's leader back to the Lord. Each time discouragement hit, Moses cried out to God, and the Lord faithfully refreshed and encouraged him. Nothing this life holds can compare to God's love and grace. Moses understood this and refused to lay aside the responsibility God had given him.

Godly responsibility requires three things: confidence in Someone greater than ourselves; courage to go forward even though the way before us is not clear; and commitment to Jesus Christ. Moses' commitment was clear. It was an issue he had settled in his heart years before God commanded him to take up his staff and lead His people to freedom.

In the Old Testament, God's presence visited His prophets for a season of time, but then it would withdraw. Our encouragement is in the fact that we are never left alone to handle a situation without God. He is with us leading, guiding, reassuring, and reminding us of His intimate love and care at every turn. Only by God's strength can we do what He has called us to do. Take time to thank Him for loving you. Age is irrelevant to Him; He uses all who make themselves available to Him. Are you prepared to answer His call?

Copyright © 1997 September IN TOUCH magazine
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