But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
God has purposes for all of us if we are believers. Paul explained this when He said: Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? 1 Corinthians 12:14-19 If God asks you to do something, it is because that is the function He has for you in the body of the Church. He will not force you to do it, and He will find another way of getting that objective met without you. However, you will miss out on a blessing and fail to get closer to God because you did not follow His leading.
We are not usually spoken to out of a burning bush, like Moses was, but we often react the same way. Moses had no doubt what God wanted him to do, God told him straight out. We on the other hand have to listen for God's still small voice. In my spiritual life I often worry about what God wants of me. Usually He speaks to me in very subtle ways.
I never have heard a booming voice saying "I want you to do this or that." I get feelings that just won't leave me. Recently I had a very strong feeling that the church that I attend needed to be more accessible for people in need of prayer after each service. It started out as just a thought that came to me, but it kept coming back. I thought about the number of people who attend our services on a weekend. Then I thought about the nature and number of needs that must be represented in a group like that. My next thought was, yeah, the church should do something about that, but who is going to do it? Well God would not leave me alone about it. These thoughts just kept coming back to me. I met with our Senior Pastor, who confirmed for me that God did indeed want this done. My Pastor told me that this very conversation had come up at a board meeting.
So now I knew for sure that God wanted a prayer team after the weekend services. I also knew just as well as Moses knew, who God wanted to do this job. This kind of surprised me since I have taken Spiritual Gifts tests in the past and my score on the Mercy gift was close to zero on one set of tests and believe it or not a -2 on another gifts test. Why in the world would God ask me and my wife (who scored just slightly higher on mercy than I did) to start a prayer team? Now don't get me wrong, I do have compassion and I do care deeply for people in need, I just don't have the gift of knowing how to help these people.
Let me switch back to Moses for a moment. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush and told Moses in an audible voice what He wanted of him. What was Moses' reaction? But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." Exodus 4:13 God told Moses that He would be with him and would help him, but Moses just did not want to do it. Now it is important that we put this in the proper perspective. Moses was saved by the Hand of God when he was a baby. God arranged for Moses to be raised and educated as a son of Pharaoh's daughter. This meant that Moses had all the benefits of the best education of the Egyptians, he understood the form of government Egypt was under. He knew how things worked. Now God was asking him to go back to Egypt and confront Pharaoh about the Israelites. Moses was the man who was best qualified to do this job.
Moses had a lot of reasons for asking God to send someone else, just look: Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:10-12 God tried to tell Moses that He is in control. God is telling Moses that He created man and He can cause a person to do things that the person never thought they could do. But you already know Moses' answer - send someone else.
How did God react to this? Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. Exodus 4:14a God's anger burned against Moses. Do you really want God's anger burning against you? If God asks you to do something and you refuse, whether it is by saying no or just by ignoring the leading of the Spirit, I believe God's anger will burn against you. Does that mean He will not accomplish His purpose without you? Of course not, God always has an Aaron standing by. The Aaron God uses will not be His first choice to do the job but he will accomplish His purpose. It is not that God could not have used Aaron in the first place, or for that matter not have worked it out so that Aaron had been the one raised in Pharaoh's house, but that was not His plan. His plan was for Moses to do this job.
God had already worked out the details as we see in the following verses: He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. Exodus 4:14b-16 I think Moses was lucky, because God used him anyway. Instead of just sending Aaron He sent Aaron and Moses. This time Moses did not refuse.
We are not this lucky most times. When we refuse God's request, He still turns to Aaron, but most of the time He sends only Aaron and we totally miss out on what blessing would have been ours.
What is my point? Well God showed me this weekend that my wife and I are like Aaron, not His first choice to start the prayer ministry at our church, but since we were willing He used us. He guided us and blessed us because we were faithful in doing what He asked. Does it give me pride that God asked me to do this? No, I am sad. I am sad, because I know I was second string and only got the chance because the first choice refused. I have no idea who the Moses for this prayer ministry was, but I wonder what blessing the whole church has missed because they did not want to follow God's calling.
Moses was a great man of God, he went on to be a great leader for the Israelites, but how much sooner would he have been a great leader if he had just trusted God from the start?
So which are you? A Moses, who is reluctant to follow God's leading? Or an Aaron, who although not God's first choice was willing to step up and do the job? There is a third choice, which is what we should all strive to be; a Moses, who says "Yes Lord, I am uncomfortable, but I will follow where you lead."
These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.
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