I’ve have spent some time reading through the book of Exodus recently, and it is an interesting book.  The first half of Exodus is filled with incredible lessons that we can learn from God, Moses, Pharaoh and the Israelites.  The Learning from Exodus series is going to explore some of the lessons that I have gleaned from this book.  Hopefully, they are lessons that will help to encourage you in your walk of faith.

10 “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh.  You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”  11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?  Who am I to leada the people of Israel out of Egypt?”  12 God answered, “I will be with you…” – Exodus 3:10-12a

To give you the context of the verse, Moses is having a conversation with God at the burning bush.  This is the first encounter that Moses has with the Lord; well, at least the first one that is recorded by Scripture.  Moses is standing there, sandals off to the side, talking to a bush that is on fire but is not consumed.  God is basically giving Moses his call to ministry here, and Moses does what so many people do when they are called to do a difficult task – he makes excuses.

Moses is told that he will go to Pharaoh, and lead the people of Israel out of Egypt – a place where they have been slaves for over 400 years.  Moses’ response is classic.  It’s almost like he’s saying, “Are you serious?  I’m just a shepherd, hanging out in the wilderness, and you want me to go to Pharaoh and tell him to release these people that I don’t really know all that much?  I mean, sure, I’m one of them, but I’ve got my own things going on here.”

And what is God’s answer?  “I will be with you,” God says.  He doesn’t address Moses’ question; at least, not in the way that we think he ought to address it.  God doesn’t build Moses up and make him think that he’s the greatest thing since… well, I’m not sure what at this point in history; “sliced bread” doesn’t seem to work here.  God doesn’t pat him on the back and say, “You can do it, buddy!  I believe in you.”  What makes Moses the one to do this task?  Because God is the one who called Him to it.

Moses is not going to accomplish this task because he is some great leader that has all the answers and is a strategic mastermind.  Moses is going to accomplish this task because God is with him.  Who Moses is doesn’t matter because he is backed up by the Almighty God.

I think people shy away from ministry opportunities because they are afraid.  They are afraid that they don’t have the talent necessary.  They are afraid because they don’t have the appropriate training.  They are afraid because they don’t have everything figured out.  This isn’t limited to those who feel like God is calling them to vocational ministry either.  Any kind of ministry – vocational or volunteer – can be sidetracked by a person who asks the same question as Moses: “Are you serious?  Who am I to be doing this?”  The simple truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter who you are; what matters is that God is with you.

Moses had a speech impediment.  David had an affair.  Jeremiah struggled with depression.  Nehemiah was the cupbearer for a king in a distant land.  The Twelve disciples had all kinds of flaws; it seems like they just don’t “get it” most of the time, or spend too much time arguing over petty things.  Paul was a murderer and persecutor of the church.  And yet, God was with all of them – through their good times and their bad times.  And all were able to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God.

When we ask, “Who am I?”  we are asking the wrong question.  It’s not about who we are.  It’s about who God has shown himself to be.

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