(I originally published this over a year ago, but it’s a lesson that can be learned again. For me at least.)
A couple of days ago the Lord really opened my eyes and showed me how different I often view and judge people and circumstances from Him. He brought the story of Moses to mind and I couldn’t help but relate with Moses on several different levels. Many of you are familiar with Moses’ incredible successes, but his beginnings are sometimes overlooked. I don’t want to start at the very beginning, but at the part where God tells Moses that He’s chosen him to go before Pharaoh to demand for the release of His people. It picks up in Exodus 3. Stick with me here.
The Lord tells Moses that He is sending Him to Pharaoh to bring His people out of Egypt. Moses responds, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt” (vs. 11)? The Lord responds, “Certainly I will be with you” (vs. 12, emphasis mine). They have this sort of exchange a few more times – Moses keeps reminding the Lord that he’s totally and completely unqualified and God keeps telling Him, I am with you, I will be with you. In other words, I’m not sending you anywhere that I am not already, and I will do it, you just be my instrument. Moses responds, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you’ ” (4:1). Okay seriously, stick with me because we’re getting to the crux of it.
The Lord went even further to prove to Moses that not only would He be with him, but that Moses would go with His power too. So He tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground, and what happened? It became a snake. And what did Moses do? He fled. He flew like the dickens. We’re getting to know Moses’ personality a little bit better. He’s bleeding insecurity and unbelief, and even in face of God’s power, he tucks tail and runs. He’s an anxiety attack waiting for a good place to happen.
But here is where the story really struck me just a couple days ago. I tend to judge people by their outer charisma. Sure, I definitely consider their heart for the Lord, but ultimately I deem them worthy or not of notable Christian service by whether or not they could win a Mr/Miss Congeniality contest. Work with youth? Umm, I’m not quite sure that you’re bubbly enough. Get the picture? Yeah, it’s sick.
But this is exactly what Moses did too. Look a little bit later in the story. The Lord continues to perform miraculous signs to Moses, just Him and Moses. And you know what Moses says, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10). The Lord responds, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord” (vs. 11)?
In other words, Moses was reminding God that he was the least qualified, that there had to be somebody better for the job that could at least compose a sentence without it dripping with insecurity and doubt. Maybe Aaron, Moses’ brother? Surely he has smooth speech (vs. 14) and I know he’s at least 6′, and he’s got that sun-kissed look, with wavy hair and commanding eyes, and I know he gets his teeth whitened, and he always has the best joke, and he’s the best public speaker I’ve ever heard. I mean, women swoon and men punch his shoulder and crowd around him.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but get the picture? Moses was trying to tell God that what He was really looking for was the most qualified, but God was looking for somebody who would be obedient and who would ultimately reflect all the glory back to Him. Because, let’s face it, anybody who knew Moses before and saw what he did after was thinking, God, I know you did that, because I knew that guy and there ain’t no way he could’ve done that by hisself.
We should be about whom God calls, not about our stringent guidelines for who makes the cut.
Remember that story in Judges 7 when the Lord reduces Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300? Why did He do that? “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into your hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ ‘ ” (7:2, emphasis mine) I believe that we see all throughout Scripture that God chooses the least and the worst and the most unqualified so that everyone would know that His power and His might did it, not ours. And that’s true today. We don’t need the most charismatic Mr. Personality leader you’ve ever seen in your life. We need who God calls. Whether he be timid like Moses or bold like Aaron, as long as God has called him. Or her.