excuses, excuses…

Journal entry written for youth ministry class:

God called Moses in a pretty dramatic way.  Every time I read this story, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Wow, I can’t believe he kept making excuses when God made his calling so obvious.” But to be honest, I’ve done the exact same thing even when I knew without a doubt what God was calling me to do.

Moses’ first excuse centered around the question of his identity. Isn’t identity what we all want to find? “Who am I, that I should go?” Moses asked God. God answered, “I will be with you.” Did God answer Moses’ question? Not directly. Who was Moses, anyway, that he should go? No one, really. He was a murderer, he ran because he was a coward, and he ended up with the less-than-glamorous job of tending sheep. Moses was nobody, so of course he was going to feel insecure about taking on a task that required authority and leadership. But God wasn’t concerned about helping Moses discover his identity so he could feel good about himself inside. Because in the end, it didn’t really matter who Moses was. It mattered who God is. And who am I, that I should go? No one, really…until God calls me out for His purpose. We’re so consumed with discovering “who we are”…but that’s not really the point, is it? If God is with us, that’s all the answer we need.

Moses’ second excuse was concerned with God’s identity. “Well, if God is going to be with me,” he must have figured, “what does that mean for me? Who is God, anyway?” Is God actually powerful enough to be everything I need? In class today when we were talking about calling, our discussion group was talking about how afraid people are to rely on God and how we always think we need a back-up plan. So even when God revealed His identity to Moses and reassured him of what would happen in Egypt, Moses wasn’t finished.

Moses’ third excuse was the worry of what the Egyptians would think of him. Would they believe him? Would they think he was stupid? Moses already seemed pretty insecure, and he was afraid his ego couldn’t take the kind of rejection he anticipated. Looking back on some things I’ve felt led to do, the fear of what others think is always a huge obstacle to get over. “What if this is ridiculous? What if it doesn’t work and I end up looking like a failure?”

Moses wasn’t finished. He had a fourth reason he shouldn’t go – he was ill equipped. God was asking him to speak, and he felt uncomfortable speaking. This is another excuse I can definitely relate to; one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is in 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10. “My power is made perfect in weakness,” God said to Paul. And I could hear him saying it to me all summer at camp, when I didn’t think heights and outdoors were really “my thing.” I felt ill-equipped…but just as He did for Moses, God showed up and overcame those weaknesses to display His strength through me.

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