The story of Moses is an iconic biblical story and is one that I have certainly grown up with. Nonetheless, it's only been in the last few months that the story has really challenged me.
When Moses is in Midian, God appears to him in the form of a burning bush and instructs him to lead the oppressed Israelites out of Egypt. Rather than just getting on with it, Moses drags his feet, continually protesting and finding any excuse not to do what he is called to do....·
1. Because we have our eyes fixed on our own agenda
Moses had been living a comfortable life until God showed up. He had his own family and tended to his flock by day, a relatively uncomplicated lifestyle. Yet God calls him away from that, to Egypt, a challenging place far removed from his simplistic way of life in Midian. Moses resists, as so many of us would. Having become accustomed to having control over his life, responding to Gods vision seems unnatural and uncomfortable. I would personally refer to myself as a total control freak; I like everything to be in order. This means that for me, sacrificing my plans in order to follow God’s can sometimes feel like a bit of an annoyance. In the bible Jesus says something that never fails to challenge me:
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it - Matthew 10 v 38
The concept of giving up our lives in order to save them is something that has become somewhat foreign in our generation. We come from a society where we are told that planning ahead and having your future all figured out is essential in leading a fulfilled life. Having a vision for your future is a good thing, however, too often we idolise our future plans meaning that they become a ‘god thing’. When we do this we are only numbing ourselves from hearing Gods far bigger and better vision for our lives.
2. Because we doubt in his ability to use us for his work
Moses doesn't doubt in God's power, remember, he's just seen a burning bush! Rather, he is so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task that he has become blinkered, concentrating only on the limitations of his skills set. And it's no wonder he feels so inadequate, with a history of running away, no real experience of slavery and his fear of speaking in front of people, he seems to be the most unlikely of candidates to lead the Israelites to the promised land. Yet God still chooses him.
Sound familiar? Why do we let our personal shortcomings stop us in responding to Gods vision? And do we do this subconsciously? Our culture has become conditioned to individualism meaning that we can easily loose sight of the relationship God intended to have with us. We've become obsessed with oneself, its no wonder 'selfie' became a real word in 2013. Yet, instead of living as an individual, our faith calls us into a vulnerable child-like relationship with our creator. One where we are not self-sufficient rather, entirely God dependent. It’s in this dynamic that our personal limitations are no longer an issue.
God said: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
- 2 Corinthians 12 v 9
For a number of years I didn’t fully understand this verse, but the following analogy helped me get to grips with it.Think of yourself as a damaged stained glass window, one that is full of holes and cracks (representing the flaws in your personality). During the night, the cracks in the glass feel raw; they let the cold wind in. By day, the same cracks merely become a means for the purest and most radiant form of Gods light to break in. This is how God intended it to be.
About the Author.
Laura is studying zoology in Sheffield. She loves horse riding, hills and green grass.