Living By FaithLast lesson we began to look at issues in the life of Moses that each of us must deal with before we can even begin the journey of faith. According to Ezekiel 16:4-8, God saw us like Moses in the ark of bulrushes as a tiny, helpless infant totally dependent upon Him. He spoke to us and said, “Live.” He made us what we are. We must learn our dependence upon Him if we are to be anything at all in the Christian life.
Today we want to look at Part II—The Call.
Part II: The Call
—When the call of God came, Moses was out tending sheep. Off in the distance, he thought he saw something strange.
Scripture: Exodus 3:1-10
—This is an awesome experience—to find ourselves in the presence of God, on holy ground, being called of God to service. It is necessary, though. I believe that every born-again believer needs a burning bush experience. We need to come face to face with God in His Word and say, “Here am I, Lord.”
—Too often, Christians treat the call of God either profanely, as nothing more than a vocational choice or mystically, as some kind of magical experience for those in full-time service. In fact, every believer is called (Romans 8:30) and every believer was created for a purpose (Ephesians 2: 10). So what is the call? It is simply God’s clear-cut leading and direction in the life of His yielded servant.
—The operative word here is yielded. God is saved each of us for a purpose. Not everyone will be a pastor or missionary, but everyone has a purpose. God wants to use us. The question is whether we are willing. Too many want to tell God what they will or will not do instead of living by faith, trusting in God, and saying to Him, “Here am I.”
—God called Moses, but he had excuses. We, too, have our reasons. They probably sound just like the ones he used.
—Moses had four objections as to why he could not do what God wanted him to do. Let us see if they sound familiar.
I.) Who Am I? (Exodus 3:11-12):
—Moses began by saying, “Who am I?” In other words, he was saying, “I am just a nobody.” Why not send someone who is somebody?
—God’s answer is very simple. He says that He will be with Moses. If God is with us, that makes us someone.
Illustration: Suppose that you were in some way a personal friend of the President. Suppose that he called you up and said, “I am coming to Columbus to attend a very important and exclusive event. I want you to go with me.” Now suppose you arrived at the event and the organizers did not want to let you in, because you are a nobody. Just as you are being turned away, the President says, “He’s with me.” Suddenly, you are somebody.
—What changed? We had a connection that made us somebody.
Scripture: Hebrews 13:5
— If we know Christ as our Savior, then we have a promise to accept by faith. As Christians, we never have to worry about who we are because we are in Christ! In Him, we are somebody!
II.) What Shall I Say? (Exodus 3:13-14):
—Next, Moses said, “What shall I say?” He was complaining that he did not know what to say. “I’m not a preacher. I’ve never been to Bible college. I just don’t know what to say!” When it comes to witnessing, this is probably the most overworked excuse of all. Perhaps, we need to ask ourselves, “What is a witness?”
Definition: A witness is someone who testifies to that which he has seen, felt, or heard.
—Those who know Christ as Savior can testify that we have heard that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that He personally saved us when we put our faith and trust in Him. We just need to tell people what happened to us. What did Christ do for us? We only need to know one verse—John 3: 16.
—We may try to excuse ourselves as Moses did, but God has an answer. He said, “Tell them, ‘I AM hath sent me unto you.’” God gave him the words to say, and He will do the same for us.
Scripture: Matthew 10:16-20
—Observe that it is not we who speak. Rather, it is the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, who speaks. There have actually been a couple of occasions over the years, where I went to church, thinking I was supposed to speak, but without a message to give. Once, classes were combined under a different teacher to conserve heat during an energy crisis. The other time, classes were combined for a special speaker that I did not know about. Both times, I did not have a message, because I did not need one.
—The point is that God has always provided a message when needed and never when not needed. God expects us to study His Word (II Timothy 2:15). Often the very thing we are studying is used by God. Once, a lady, who was not in my class, called to complain of a problem. I can think of no reason why she called except that the very complaint was the one I was preparing to teach to my class.
—God has the words for us to say. He will cause us to recall forgotten verses. He will put words in our mouth to speak, and if He does not, then by all means keep silent. It is not the time to speak (Proverbs 17:28).
III.) They Will Not Believe Me (Exodus 4:1-5):
—God answered two objections. So Moses decided to try a third. He said, “They will not believe.” In other words, “What is the use when they will not believe me anyway.” “They are so wicked and ungodly, that they will never get saved.” Yet, God already saved the chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:15).
—If we are going to live by faith, then we must accept that God is the Lord of the harvest (Luke 10:2) and that our responsibility is to be a laborer in the field. We till the soil. We sow the seed. We water the plant, but God determines the harvest. We must, also, believe what God says.
Scripture: Psalm 126:6
—Notice that God promises to grant us a harvest, if we do three things:
1.) Go forth
3.) Bear precious seed
God says, “My Word will not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).” By the same token, He informs us that we have been appointed as watchmen and will be held accountable if we do not warn people (Ezekiel 33:2-6).
—Moses had an excuse, but God had an answer. He said, “What is that in thine hand?” Moses answered, “A rod.” God has given us the rod of power and authority. We have the Word of God. It is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Our problem is that we do not utilize it or believe it. If we did we would be amazed at what God can do with His Word.
Illustration: Many years ago, I went with a deacon to talk to a family that was leaving our church for another that did not preach the truth. When we arrived there was not a cloud in the sky. My devotions that day were in I Samuel 12:17. After futile efforts to reconcile them, I prayed.
—When I finished, I heard the other deacon say, “It is starting to rain.” Before we returned to the car, it thundered.
—God will give us the power, authority, and words necessary to do His work. Our responsibility is to go believing. God will do the rest.
IV.) I Am Not Eloquent (Exodus 4:10-11):
—The final excuse is “I am not eloquent.” In other words, “I stutter and stammer. I do not have the gift of gab. I am not very good at speeches. I am too shy.”
—God has another simple answer: “Who hath made man’s mouth?” Think about the answer for a moment before you try to answer that question. In Numbers 22:28, God miraculously opened the mouth of Balaam’s donkey so that it could speak. If God can make the dumb ass to speak….
Illustration: There is absolutely nothing in my background to indicate that I could do what I am doing today. The last thing in the world I ever wanted to do was get in front of a group of people and speak. But here I am. When I yielded my life to God, He almost immediately gave me the desire to this.
Scripture: Exodus 4:13-14
—After God answered all of the objections, Moses was still unwilling. Too often, Christians are just like that. But God had an answer even for that. It was not what He said, so much as what He did. He got angry. He put the fear of God in Moses. Verse 18 concludes, “And Moses went…”
—All our objections vanish in the presence of our Creator. So will our excuses, when we kneel before Him to give an account of what we have done with this life He gave us (Romans 14:11-12). God has all of the answers. He requires obedience. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Next Lesson: Moses: Part III - The Problem
—Did you know that Moses had a self-esteem problem?