1) Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future:
We all have wounds, some go much, much deeper than others and take years to peel back. Moses was a man with a past, after being raised in a royal kingdom and given every right and privilege as such, he was chaffing against what he knew was right, he saw the abuse of his own people and he reacted in completely the wrong way–in bloodshed. As a result, he retreated to the dessert for forty years. Believe me, I’ve had to have my own desert time because of sinful attitudes and actions in my life. It is torture, but God was working, he was shaping me, still using me, sanding me down for His purposes. Oftentimes we think, or at least I thought, God can never use me, a sinner, for his bigger purposes–doesn’t it take someone with a squeaky-clean Christian resume to be used by God?
Nope, he’s using all the broken pieces to shine through these earthly vessels…
We must remember, when we are hardest on ourselves, the passage from Romans 8: 1-3
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man…
Did you get that people? He condemned the sin in us! Why are we not leaping with joy right now for what Jesus did on that cross?! Amazing.
That’s why one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture is Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
And what a perfect picture for Moses, but instead of introducing this stream, God brought forth this burning bush–a bush that would not be consumed–and out of it He spoke.
2) God will use those times when we are in retreat to humble and refine us
So, we’ve already established that Moses had been in the desert for 40 years–but what, exactly, was he doing there? He was shepherding. That’s right, hanging out with stinky, willful, stubborn, dumb sheep. Wow. Can I just say this was great preparation for the crowd he was about to rescue and leave it at that?
God was making Moses: brave, hard-working, patient–so very, very patient
3) When God calls, he will equip, He even sends help–so Moses had a lot of excuses–don’t we all?
I don’t have time for that (Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
What if they don’t believe me?
What if I fail royally?
Moses asked for signs, God told him to use:
-a plagued hand
-gave him the ability to turn water into blood
He even, most importantly, gave him Aaron, his own brother to speak for him.
This commissioning was just the start of it all, let me tell you.
It wasn’t when Moses finally chose to obey got that things got easier, it was an uphill battle, the plagues, the fleeing, the hardness an entire nation’s heart and their proclivity to continue to turn back to what they knew had enslaved them. Over and over again throughout his life, Moses would be tested to the point of breaking, but throughout that process God spoke to Moses and he had an audience with the Creator of the Universe. His face shone brighter than the sun because of it. Leadership is stretching, testing, hard, hard stuff, but it’s those moments alone with Abba Daddy that keep us going.
Hope to post more on this soon.