SO let’s begin with a pretty normal guy, maybe you’ve heard of him…his name, Moses! When I started reading the Bible, Moses was not a new character for me, and there is a good chance that you’ve heard of him also. I knew who Moses was because as a girl, in Sunday school we had coloring pages of this Moses character standing in the middle of a parted sea, waters raging on either side of him, his staff in the ground, arms raised, looking strong, and powerful like superman. (See the image below.) So in my mind, Moses was a Bible version of a Marvel Comic character.
Moses, was born an Israelite, a group that was God’s “chosen people” in a time when they were an enslaved minority in Egypt. When Moses was born, the Egyptian Pharaoh ordered all Hebrew (Israelite) boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. So Moses’ mother hid him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River, where he was found by an Egyptian Princess. The Princess took Moses in and raised him as her own and he became part of the Egyptian royal family. About 40 years later, as grown man, Moses came across an Egyptian slave master beating a Hebrew man (one of his people). Outraged, in defense of his Hebrew brother, Moses killed the Egyptian slave master.
So let’s circle back because there is a lot going on here…Moses, by birth was an Israelite, part of a group of people that the Egyptian pharaoh did not like and wanted to get rid of. BUT Moses’ mother saved his life and he was found and adopted by the Egyptian princess and was raised as an Egyptian. His cover was blown when stood up for a fellow Hebrew and killed an Egyptian slave master. So after that, he did what anyone would do. He ‘peaced-out’ of there so fast and fled to Midian, another land which was across the Red Sea.
Another 40ish years pass (Moses lived to be about 120) and one day, while tending to the flock of his father-in-law, Moses came across a burning bush. He, as any of us would be, was startled by the fact that this bush was burning, yet it wasn’t being consumed by the fire. Then to make things even crazier, from the bush came a voice. It was God calling to him, “Moses, Moses, I am the God of your Father…” (Exodus 3:4-6) and Moses hid his face because Moses was a believer and he knew the voice speaking was God. God then proceeds to tell Moses that He knows of the affliction and hard times that Moses’ fellow Israelites have endured in Egypt. He knows of their sufferings and He has come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and bring them into a beautiful land. God (the burning bush) concludes His plan with telling Moses, “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)
Moses most likely spoke both Hebrew and Egyptian, so I am not sure how this would have been translated, but I like to think that as soon as God (the burning bush) told Moses his plan, to send Moses back to Egypt, the place he fled to save his own life, Moses thought something along the lines of… “SAY WHAT???? You want to send me where? I’m safe here, thanks.”
His actual response to God (the burning bush) was “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
He was immediately filled with doubt and inadequacy, confident that he was the wrong guy for the job. And God replies, “But I will be with you…”
Again, Moses responds with doubt and begins to make the excuse, “if I go to the Israelites and tell them that the God of their fathers has sent me to them, they will ask me, What is his name and what shall I say to them…”
Again God, encourages him and tells Moses how He’ll be with him. “I AM WHO I AM.” (Exodus 3:14) …
And guess what? For a third time Moses replied with an excuse, “ they will not believe me or listen to my voice…”
After three failed attempts to convince Moses he was the guy for the job, God steps up his encouragement and gives Moses physical signs that he can show the Israelites to help give him credibility and back up his story. God takes the staff that Moses is holding and turns it into a serpent and then back into a staff again. Then God turns Moses hand leprous like snow, and then back to normal again. He instructs Moses to do these things for the Israelite people, as they will give him a credibility.
Now God, (still a voice coming from a burning bush) has gave Moses a mission and encouraged him three different times, yet Moses STILL, overcome with doubt and fear, doesn’t not accept God’s challenge. He cuts down his abilities and says, NO. “Lord I am not eloquent either in the past or since you have spoken to me, but I am slow in speech and of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
Let’s stop for a second and think about this. If God is the creator of all things, this means He created Moses. God created Moses exactly the way HE wanted Moses to be, so when Moses tells God that he is slow in speech and tongue, and not “smart” enough for the job, he is basically telling God that He didn’t do a good enough job. And that is exactly how God responds, asking him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf or seeing or blind? Is is not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what to speak.” (Exodus 4:11-12)
I was sure that after God promised to be with Moses every step of the way, that Moses would finally agree, but…NOPE. A fifth time, a FIFTH time, Moses straight up asks God, “Oh mat Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 10:13)
WOW! Really Moses…
I remember reading through the story the first time and being so shocked and honestly a little annoyed with how Moses was acting. Moses was called by God for a specific purpose and yes, the mission might have been a little scary but God literally came down and talked directly to Moses. God motivated and encouraged him with words and actions, not once, not twice, not even three… but FOUR times, and Moses still says ‘No God. You got the wrong guy.’
I found it incredibly easy to point my finger at Moses in disbelief at how cowardly he was acting, until one night I was thinking, journaling and trying to wrap my head around the whole idea of SHE WEARS WORTH and I wrote “Nope, God, you got the wrong girl. I am not equipped for this! ”
And BOOM!!!… the light swift flicked on! The finger that so easily pointed at Moses for acting afraid and cowardly was now turned and pointing directly back at me. All of a sudden, Moses and I had A LOT more in common than I thought. AND if I may be so bold to say, there is a little (or a lot) of that doubtful Moses in all of us.
So…Moses, I feel ya. I get it. I can’t count the number of times when I knew I was being called to do something or I listened to people tell me that I “had a gift” or should “share my experiences” and my response, over and over again was …. HARD NO!
Like I wrote earlier, I am not just talking to ‘believers’ but everyone, because I can guess that there have been one or two or maybe dozens of times in your life when someone
a parent, teacher, co-worker, friend, spouse, boss -
someone, asked you, challenged you, encouraged you or told you to do something and for various reasons:
- fear, worry, doubt, inadequacy, pride, humility, anger, etc. -
You said no… You said no multiple times.
You received encouragement… and you said no.
You received proof that it (whatever ‘it’ is) would work and be great…but yea, still nope.
You received help … but nope, not for me.
You knew in your gut that it was right and that you needed to take action… but still, fear won.
Over and over again, your fear, your doubt, your thoughts — which were LIES — caused you to say no, to turn away, to give up or maybe to never even try.
Unfortunately, all of these feelings: fear, doubt, worry, anxiety and so much more are all part of who we are as humans. They all come from that “little devil” on our shoulder and they will always be lingering around, looking for the right time to pop up, step in and take the lead.
But I have some good news folks… we are not alone in these feelings, they’ve been around a LOT longer than us. Moses had this chat with God, the burning bush, around 1451 BC, over 3,470 years ago. And the even better news, we CAN overcome them when we put our trust, hope and faith in the right thing.
After Moses tells God “no” for a 5th time, God, although a little angry with Moses (which is understandable), tells him that He will send Moses’ brother Aaron with him to help speak and accomplish the plans. God provides, GOD DOES NOT GIVE UP.
I REPEAT - HE DOES NOT GIVE UP. Even though Moses didn’t see his potential, God did. God had something remarkable planned for him, He believed in Moses, He pursued him and didn’t give up. Moses, finally trusts God and the story that unfolds in remarkable.
It’s sad to say but the truth is, we give up on ourselves and other people will give up on us but God NEVER gives up. He is always there, always pursuing, always ready to jump back in, recklessly chasing after us, even when we don’t want Him around.
So if someone as incredible as God can believe in us, WHY can we not believe in ourselves. Why do we so quickly listen to our doubts, fears and worries? Why does our negative feelings out weigh the positive?
Even as I am writing this, typing and deleting and rewording, I can hear, faintly, that annoying voice saying, “what you are doing?” “why are you trying to do this?” “ you are not capable of this” “who are you to to think you have anything worth writing?”
It is a lot easier said than done, BUT…. NOPE, I am NOT going to listen to those voices and neither should you.
After his encounter with the burning bush, Moses went on to make one of the most profound impressions in history. Trusting in God, he saved the oppressed Israelites out of slavery from Egypt, he parted the Red Sea, he received & recorded the Lord’s commandments, which are studied by numerous religions today and he eventually delivered the chosen people to the promise land.
You or I will most likely never be asked to do something as drastic as single handedly saving an entire nation from an oppressive king, but you will be faced with many challenges, scary opportunities, uneasy circumstances and unknown outcomes but I challenge you next time you hear that voice telling you that you are
‘not good enough’
Or that ‘your idea is insane and unobtainable’
do NOT listen to it.
If you are being called to something, take the risk, be obedient, say yes and see where it goes. If God can use an uneducated, orphaned, shepherd, who said No 5 times to save God’s chosen people and set in motion all biblical history, then you too my friend are capable of whatever challenge you’re being given as long as your assurance, faith and hope is put in the Big Guy Upstairs.
Instagram: Who am I to do this?
Tag Line: I found it incredibly easy to point my finger at Moses in disbelief at how cowardly he was acting, until one night I was thinking about the idea of SHE WEARS WORTH and I wrote down, “No God, you got the wrong girl.” And BOOM!!!…my finger that so easily pointed at Moses for acting afraid was now turned and pointing directly back at me.