Holy Moses!

Series: -- Preacher: Date: May 19, 2013 Scripture Reference: Exodus 3:1-15; 4:1-5, 10-17

One of my favorite stories is J. R. R. Tolkein’s, The Hobbit.  I’ve read and re-read it several times over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie installment that came out last year. As all Hobbit fans know, Tolkein’s classic tale begins on a typical, ordinary day in The Shire, which is the region in Tolkein’s MIDDLE EARTH, where Hobbits live. As you can see in this picture, the hero of this story, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, is enjoying the morning sitting on a bench outside his front door…when a wizard named Gandalf the Gray arrives.

Up until this point Bilbo has been enjoying a very predictable life in his very comfortable Hobbit hole home—but after this visit from Gandalf his life will be far from predictable. It will never be the same again. Neither will Bilbo. Do you remember the scene from the movie? Gandalf turns to Bilbo and says, “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” Bilbo, says, “I should think so—in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.” And then he gives excuses for this opinion. He says, “Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Adventures will make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.” Bilbo starts looking through his mail, hoping that the strange old man will take the hint and leave, but Gandalf continues to lean on his staff, gazing at him until Bilbo angrily exclaims,“We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.

But Gandalf was not done. He says, “Bilbo I will send you on this adventure. Very amusing for me, very good for you and profitable too, very likely, if you ever get over it.” Once again Bilbo tries to conclude things and says, “Sorry, I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning!”

Of course Bilbo does go on the adventure. Otherwise there would be no book!

I share this excerpt from Tolkein’s story because tonight our children’s choirs are presenting a musical called, Holy Moses and you may remember that Moses had a similar experience to that of Bilbo Baggins, in that on an ordinary day, he had an unexpected visitor: God Himself—and God invited/called Moses to join Him in the “adventure” of leading the Jewish people out of Egyptian bondage…and then on a long journey to reclaim their home—the Promised Land.  To do this Moses would have to leave his quiet predictable life tending his father-in-law’s sheep in the wilderness…and in his unexpected encounter with God Moses gave excuses as to why he should not go on this adventure but in the end, like Bilbo, Moses went and as a result his life was never the same.

Tonight’s presentation is an overview of Moses’ life but this morning I want to focus in on that pivotal day when Moses’ adventure began. I’m doing this both to help whet your whistle for tonight’s presentation but also to see what we can learn from this part of Moses’ life because God calls each of us to a life-changing adventure, the adventure that comes from obeying Him as we serve as His representatives in this fallen world…sharing the story of Jesus—the story that frees people from bondage to sin. And the fact is, when God shows up you and I can be as good at giving EXCUSES as Bilbo was.

A few years back I came across an article in Moody Monthly that showed the kinds of excuses people give for not going to church. The purpose of the article was to demonstrate how ridiculous these excuses are by applying these same excuses to going to a professional sporting event. I got a kick out of it—perhaps you will as well. So here’s how it would sound if people took their favorite rationales for not coming to church and applied them to their decision not to go to something like a professional football game:

  • “Every time I went, they asked for money.”
  • “The people with whom I had to sit didn’t seem very friendly.”
  • “The seats were too hard and uncomfortable.”
  • “The coach never came to see me.”
  • “The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.”
  • “I was sitting with some hypocrites – they only came to see what others were wearing.”
  • “Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.”
  • “The band played numbers I have never heard before.”
  • “The games were scheduled when I want to do other things.”
  •  “I don’t want to take my children, because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.”

Well, all humor aside, the plain truth is we are all very good at coming up with EXCUSES when it comes to rationalizing why we don’t do certain things in the kingdom of God.  I mean, we’re asked to teach a Sunday School class or to serve on a committee or a team or we’re asked to be a deacon or to take our turn in the nursery or work in RBC camp—or God taps us on the shoulder and tells us to share our faith with a friend or a neighbor or we’re made aware of someone with a physical need that we have the resources to fill—and in each of these instances the excuses start. Before long we become experts at rationalizing why we can’t say “YES” to God when He calls. Our excuses PILE UP such that before you know it we get to the point that we never DO anything for God.

I once came across a humorous story about some GI’s on a weekend pass that I think illustrates this point. A commanding officer was furious when nine soldiers who had been out on passes failed to show up for morning roll call. The first man didn’t straggle in until 7:00PM. “I’m sorry sir,” the soldier explained, “…but I had a date and lost track of the time and I missed the bus back. However, being determined to get in on time, I hired a cab. Halfway here, the cab broke down. So, I went to a farmhouse and persuaded the farmer to sell me a horse. I was riding to camp when the animal fell over dead. I walked the last ten miles, and just got here.” Though skeptical, the Colonel let the young man off with a reprimand. However, after him, seven other stragglers in a row came in with the SAME EXACT STORY: had a date, missed the bus, hired a cab, bought a horse, it died, walked back, etc.  By the time the ninth man reported in, the colonel had of course grown weary of it so with a great deal of impatience and anger in his voice he asked, “What happened to you?” “Sir,” the GI said, “I had this date and missed the bus back so I hired a cab.” “Wait!” the colonel screeched at him, “don’t tell me the cab broke down.” “No sir,” replied the soldier. “The cab didn’t break down. It was just that there were so many dead horses in the road, we had trouble getting through.” MY excuse for sharing this joke is the fact that Moses gave several excuses, a PILE of them in fact, as to why he couldn’t do the task God asked him to do.

Now, as I’m sure you remember, Moses was originally a literal “Prince of Egypt.” Thanks to God’s protection, in a time when the Egyptians were trying to kill all male Hebrew infant Moses had been rescued from the Nile, adopted by the pharaoh’s daughter, and then raised and educated as part of the royal family. The first couple chapters of Exodus and the 7th chapter of Acts tell us that when Moses grew up and saw the misery of his people who labored under the cruelty of the slave-masters, he took matters into his own hands and murdered an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. When the Pharaoh found out about this he tried to kill Moses—so Moses fled and went to live in Midian where he married a woman named Zipporah and started a family. He worked there as a shepherd, tending the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, for 40 years when on an ordinary day—a day like so many others—-God’s call came to him. This brings us to our text for this morning. Take your Bibles and turn to the book of Exodus. We’ll be reading 3:1-15; 4:1-5, 10-17.

3:1 -Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and    

 he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

2 – There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

3 – So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 – When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 – “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

6 – Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 – The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

8 – So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

9 – And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

10 – So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 – But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 – And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I Who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

13 – Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 – God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

15 – God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

4:1 -Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

2 – Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.

3 – The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.

4 – Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.

10 – 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.”

11 – 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?

12 – Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 – But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

14 – Then the LORD’S anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.

15 – 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.

16 – 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.

17 – But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.”

Now, as I said, God’s call to Moses came on an ordinary day—but from that point on in his life nothing was ever normal or ordinary for him again because on this day God spoke to him and in so doing broke a 40-year SILENCE. Let that statistic sink in. During his four decades in Midian we have no record of God speaking to Moses—not even once. In fact it had been over 400 years since we have a record of God speaking to any of the children of Israel. But, as Charles Swindoll points out in his book on Moses’ life, this amazing, pivotal day—this day that was to shatter this long silence and change Moses’ life and that of so many others—well, it dawned just like every other day in the wilderness. I mean, no angel stopped by to tap Moses on the shoulder the night before and say, “Hey, Mo, pay attention tomorrow, because God is going to be talking to you. By the way, take my advice, keep your eye out for unique bushes.”

No—there were absolutely no hints—no premonitions—no special signs to alert him to the fact that God Himself was about to show up and change his life forever. It was just a common, ordinary, garden-variety day-shift on Mt. Horeb with his father-in-law’s sheep. As Swindoll puts it, “The sun came up, the sheep grazed, and Moses chalked off his 14,600th day as Jethro’s assistant shepherd.” I think this is important for us to note because this is usually how God works. Without warning He speaks to ordinary people—people like you and me—on ordinary days. It could happen tomorrow. You could be sitting in rush hour traffic on I-270 or facing a classroom of 3rd graders or climbing into your utility truck or crouching underneath a leaky sink, or lifting your baby out of the crib…or driving your car pool…or playing with your I-pad on the metro or whatever. I mean, whatever your ordinary routine is—well that’s the potential Mt. Horeb in YOUR life. It could be on just such a normal, standard-issue day that God chooses to speak to you as He has never spoken before…because many times that’s the way He works. Swindoll writes, “That’s God’s method. He doesn’t need a P.R. Department or a slick advance team. His plan doesn’t require a drum roll or crashing cymbals. He doesn’t use neon signs blinking, “GET READY! GET READY! TODAY’S THE DAY I DO SOMETHING BIG IN YOUR LIFE!”

No—God works by simply stepping into an ordinary day of life and saying what He wants to say. And, as I said, that’s what happened to Moses. This 80-year-old shepherd was kicking his sandals in the sand as he had done on countless other days, watching the sheep eat and baa and bleat when he noticed a very EXTRA-ordinary thing. He saw a common desert scrub brush on fire—and of course that in itself wasn’t all that odd because like all shepherds Moses had seen lightning strike scrub brush and ignite all the time…but this brush-fire was unique because it didn’t burn out. The bush didn’t dissolve into smoke and ashes. No—it kept burning with a consistent blaze. This of course made him curious. Let me put it this way: there usually wasn’t much to tell his wife about at the end of a long day of shepherding…not much to write home about on the back side of the desert…so as verse 3 says, in curiosity he turned aside—he went over to investigate.

Well, this is ALSO God’s method. Many times on ORDINARY days He does something EXTRAORDINARY to get our attention—something to intrude into our routine and say, “Wait a minute. Stop what you are doing and listen. I have something to say to you.” In fact, take my advice here. Whenever you come across an unusual event it would be wise to ask, “Is God trying to tell me something here?”  You see things like this don’t just happen. Ours is not a random, whistle-in-the-dark universe. There is a God-arranged plan for this world of ours which includes a specific plan for you and me. And often God does things to get our attention—so we’ll listen as He teaches us an important truth or invites us to join Him in some aspect of His plan.

Now, I want you to be sure and note WHEN it was that God spoke to Moses—when He issued His verbal invitation. He spoke only AFTER Moses turned aside. Look at verse 4. “When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’” So, God didn’t speak until Moses turned aside. He didn’t speak until He had Moses’ attention.

You know, in the midst of our ordinary but busy schedules sometimes it’s HARD to get our attention—it’s hard to get us to stop and turn aside and listen to God. Swindoll writes, “Bushes burn, planes crash, cars are totaled, lives are taken and spared…And what do most folks do? They shrug it all off, chalking it up as coincidence.” In these times God must ask, “What will it take? What will finally persuade them to stop their foolish frantic lives long enough to turn aside, and consider this event? What will it take before they say, ‘I’m going to check this out. I’m going to find out what God is saying to me in all this.’” In fact let’s TURN ASIDE and do a little self-evaluation right now. Ask yourself, “How good am I at turning aside? How hard is it for my Heavenly Father to get my attention?”

Here’s another bit of pastoral advice. Learn the discipline of REGULARLY—daily—turning aside—taking a moment to listen to God—because you know, He really does speak to us. In fact pull out your day timer and write it into your schedule. Make this a normal part of your day. When you’re at work tomorrow, once or twice during the day, plan to take five minutes and turn aside. Take time to be still and know that God is God. Close the door of your office or whatever and listen to our Heavenly Father. Pray the words young Samuel did. Say, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.” DO THIS…because God really does long to meet with us—but just like young Samuel and old Moses we have to turn aside before He will speak.

Well, Moses did this—he turned aside and when he did he came face to face with his destiny. In verse 7 God said, “I’ve been watching the situation. I’m aware of what’s happening. I’ve seen My people weeping in the night. I’ve heard the crack of the whip and the cries of the little ones. I’ve seen the bodies along the road or flung into the Nile like so many beasts of burden. None of this escapes My notice and I’m going to do something about it.”  I’m sure Moses thought, “Great! It’s about time!” but he probably felt fairly neutral at this point because in his mind this great thing that God was going to do didn’t involve him. Remember, at this point Moses had never read the book of Exodus…so he didn’t know what God was going to say next. And, as he was glowing in the joy that God was going to free His people, Moses heard the words that would change his life forever, as in verse 10 God said, “Therefore, come now, and I will send YOU to Pharaoh so that YOU may bring My people the sons of Israel out of Egypt.” In my mind Moses did sort of a double-take at this point and said, “What did you say? Could you repeat that last part? ME?! You’re sending ME?!” And of course the answer was YES!

It was as if, God were to come to you or me and say, “I’ve heard the cries of the people in China where the earthquake hit recently. Hundreds died. Nearly 12,000 are injured. Many are homeless. They need help. I’ve heard their need for food and water and shelter and medicine. And I’m going to do something about it.” We would respond by thinking, “Great! It’s about time!” And then God would continue, “And the thing I’m going to do is send YOU to help those people in any way they need.” How would that make you feel? Do you begin to get the idea of how overwhelmed Moses felt!? I mean God was calling him to go from being a shepherd of SHEEP to being a shepherd of an entire NATION. God had called—chosen HIM for this daunting task. As I said earlier, tonight’s musical is entitled, Holy Moses and the word “holy” means set apart…set apart for a special purpose. Well Moses’ realization that he was “holy” —that God set Him apart for this overwhelming task bowled him over—which led to his pile of EXCUSES…excuses that can be summarized in two QUESTIONS that he asked God and the first is in verse 11 where Moses asked:

(1) “WHO AM I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Or, “What will people think if I show up and try this? Why should they believe me?” I think the thoughts that went through his mind at this point might have gone something like this, “I can’t do this God! I’m a failure! Why, in the past 40 years I haven’t even been able to scrape together enough shekels to buy my own sheep. I still work for my father-in-law! I’m a loser! On top of that, I’m a convicted murderer—a fugitive from the law. If I go down there I’ll be arrested and executed. And even if by some miracle they don’t recognize me, I can’t walk into Pharaoh’s royal court in this outfit smelling like sheep. I’m not so old that I’ve forgotten how those kind of people look at shepherds like me. Why, the Pharaoh will laugh so hard he’ll fall off his throne before I even get a chance to say anything. Sure, I used to be important but now I’m a nobody. Why give ME this job? And don’t forget—I tried this deliverance thing 40 years ago and I was neither believed nor listened to. Why should the people of Israel listen to me now? WHY ME LORD?”

Basically, Moses’ first pile of excuses added up to the fact that he felt INFERIOR—he felt like a FAILURE—and the Bible also tells us that he felt INCAPABLE. In chapter 4 verse 10 he added to his excuse pile by saying, “O Lord, I’m not one of those guys who can sell refrigerators at the North Pole. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant.” Now this was not entirely true. Acts 7:22 says that earlier in Moses’ life—back during his days as a Prince of Egypt he was, “…educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” But that was half a life-time ago. At this point—in what he thought were the “golden years” of his life—Moses felt washed up. In his mind, he was a has-been…nothing more than an old shepherd. His current skills in public speaking were limited to the words and sounds that were used to motivate sheep—not people—not a nation—not a pharaoh! Moses summed it all up in verse 13 by saying, “I’m not as qualified as others. Send someone else.” And I love the way the Modern Language Bible translates it. In this version Moses says, “O Lord, please send ANYONE else!”

But however you translate it, basically Moses said, “Anyway you look at it God I’m not qualified. So why give me this task? It makes no sense. Surely You understand that I should be EXCUSED.”  We need to pay close attention to this because so many times we excuse ourselves from answering God’s call with the same basic rationale, “Why me? I’m not talented enough. I’m just not able to do this God. No one will listen to me.”

John Ortberg points out that Moses was giving what you might call “the Popeye the sailor man excuse,” “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.  Sorry—but You better get someone else, God.”  And we are all good at using the “Popeye excuse.” But the fact is, what WE “yam”—our TALENTS or LACK OF THEM—are not an issue when it comes to accomplishing God’s will—whether that involves sharing our faith with a perfect stranger, or teaching the Bible to children—or helping a neighbor in need.

And—thanks to God’s amazing grace, FAILURE is not an issue either.  The fact is Moses’ sin and guilt and limitations and shortcomings were no longer the ultimate truth—because GOD would be WITH HIM. In essence God told him, “You yam what you yam but you yam not yet what you yam gonna be! Because I will be with you. I’ll empower you. I’ll help you speak and tell you what to say.” We must remember this principle because as Paul reminds us in 2nd Corinthians 4:7: “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God…and not from us.”

I like how Swindoll puts it. He says, “Any old bush will do as long as God is in the bush.” All you have to be is available. To keep with the bush metaphor, let’s put it this way—all you have to be is “flammable.” God is saying, “Moses, I want you to burn for me like no man has burned before. I want you to be My burning bush! You’ve been dried out and well-seasoned in this howling wasteland for the past 40 years. But that’s how I wanted you—dried out, because now you can burn with My presence and power.”

Well, God is still looking for people like Moses—available, “dried out” people who will say, “I’m here Lord. I’m yours…thorns and all. Just set me afire. This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine!” I love this lyric I came across written by Amy Carmichael:

“Give me the Love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay,

The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire,

Let me not sink to be a clod; Make me Thy fuel, flame of God.”

We used to refer to truly devoted followers of Jesus as people who were “on fire for God.” Remember? Perhaps we should resurrect that phrase because the world needs Christians who burn with the love of God—believers who are passionate to do the WILL of God.

So, Moses’ FIRST excuse was to ask, “Who am I?” And God’s response was to say, “That doesn’t matter. I will be with you. I will give you the power. You be the fuel…I’ll be the fire. I will use you but I will do this—I will stretch out My hand and strike the Egyptians. I will make them favorably disposed toward your people. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey. I will be with you and in you. I will do all this. You are just the vessel I will use Moses.”

(2)   Well, this response of God prompted Moses’ second set of excuses to begin to pile up as he asked, Okay—well, “Who are You?”

Look at Exodus 3:13. Moses says,“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ They will ask, ‘Which God are you talking about?’ Well, Who are You? What shall I tell them?”  In other words, Moses REVERSED his first question. First he asked, “Who am I that You would send me?”  Now Moses asks, “Who are You that You would send I?”  Moses knew that to pull this off he would need an authority—a name-bigger than his own.  One thing his horrible failure forty years earlier had taught him was that he needed an authority beyond himself. And although his own name had once been great in Egypt, it did not carry enough clout to convince his own people that he was to be their deliverer. So he knew he needed a “name” far more powerful than his own.

Well, God’s answer to this question was almost as dramatic as the burning bush. Look at verse 14. God says, “I am Who I am’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites: Tell them, ‘I Am’ has sent me to you.’” In these two words, God was telling Moses that He is the eternally existing One and always present to help His people. Plus—in giving Moses this “name” God was in essence reviewing to Moses things He had already told him about Himself in verse 6-8 of chapter 3. In verse 6 God said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” In other words, “I am the COVENANTAL God of the PAST.” In verse 7 God said, “I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.” “Moses, I saw you in the reeds of the Nile as a baby. I saw you flee as a fugitive. I’ve been here with you in the desert all these years.” This was a way of saying, “I am the COMPASSIONATE God of the PRESENT.” Then, in verse 8 God says, “I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” In other words, “I am the CONSUMMATING God of the FUTURE.” God was saying all this in that two word title, “I AM.”In short, in terms Moses could understand, He was describing Himself as the great ETERNAL God…the God Who knows everything…and Who cares about what we go through…Who has been and always will be WITH US.

Make sure you take note of this Redlander—God does SEE all. He knows right down to the final nub exactly where you are in life right now. He even knows of your hidden fears and worries. God sees ALL and He cares!

Well, God dealt with Moses’ excuse by giving him a glimpse of his POWER.  He had him pick up his shepherd’s rod and throw it on the ground. When Moses did this the rod became a snake…it probably reminded him of the image of a viper that the Pharaoh wore on his crown…but this was a live snake. God had Moses pick it up and it became a rod. Then he had him put his hand in his robes and take it out and it was covered with leprosy…and then when he put it back in his robe it was healed. In other words God showed Moses that He had the power to do what needed doing. So, Moses had no excuse to say “no.”Of course, he said “YES” or there would be no musical tonight…and God used Moses in an amazing way. An entire nation was freed from bondage and the world was forever changed.

But, doing all Moses did was only possible when Moses was willing to let go of his beliefs concerning his own inadequacy and realize that almighty God would empower him. As long as Moses held on to the belief that he wasn’t talented enough to lead the people—as long as he held on to his doubts about the true nature of Goe—he was a simple shepherd. But when he let go of these feelingw—when he threw them down as he did his rod—well, then Moses became THE ROD OF GOD. Moses had to learn that in God we find our sufficiency. In I AM all our needs are met.  In Him we live and move and have our being. Moses needed to learn that all the resources. He would need to do this great task could be found in the nature of God: I AM. All Moses had to do was to yield his life to God’s direction and the unlimited, all sufficient power of God would flow through him meeting his every need as he led the people of Israel out of bondage.

The same is true for you and me. Our sufficiency for any task we are given by God is found not within ourselves but in God. This is why Oswald Chambers once said, Beware of any work for God which enables you to avoid concentration on Him. There is only one way to develop spiritually and that is by concentration on God.”

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian medical/relief organization that is now led by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, was founded by a man named Bob Pierce. As Bob went all over the world serving our God by delivering people from hunger and disease he learned to practice a philosophy that he called, “GOD ROOM.”  When Franklin Graham asked him to explain this phrase, Pierce said, “GOD ROOM is when you commit yourself to bigger things than you can humanly do. You don’t exercise faith until you have promised more than is humanly possible to give…until you try things that require you to give God room to work.”

Remember. Doing God’s will is not based on our resources. Doing God’s will simply means we rely on the nature of I AM. The sufficiency for the tasks He gives comes from His power and not our own. This morning, ask yourself, “What keeps me from trusting God with my life?” What is your excuse? What keeps you from putting your full trust in God…a trust that is strong enough—deep enough to do whatever He asks?

You know, the interesting thing about this passage is that it doesn’t tell us what happened to the burning bush. We find out what happened to Moses and the children of Israel. We find out what happened to Pharaoh and the soldiers. But we never find out what happened to the bush. And we don’t because I think there is a sense in which it’s still burning. God is still waiting for people to turn aside. I think God’s waiting for that right now. Would you turn aside now and pray with me?

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