Doing the Impossible
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
We serve a magnificent, all-powerful God. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Things that loom beyond our human realm of possibility become quite possible when the Almighty enters the scene.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t live as though that’s true. We tend to limit what we’ll expect from God, especially when it comes to our understanding of how God might want to use us. We often allow our abilities—or lack of them—to define our idea of what God might desire to do through us. That misplaced focus can cause us to miss out on a marvelous blessing.
Today we will visit the desert with Moses and join him beside that famous burning bush. We have much to learn from his encounter with God, and you may just feel the heat of the flames. Thankfully, these don’t consume (Exodus 3:2), so you don’t need to fear getting burned. You may, however, learn how to push past your own self-doubt and trust God to do something extraordinary through you.
Let’s first consider the scene. Moses has spent the last forty years tending sheep in the desert, a long way from the Pharaoh’s palace he had been raised in. A botched attempt to intervene on behalf of an Israelite slave ended in murder and sent him running far from Egypt for his life. Now suddenly, on an ordinary day while Moses performed an ordinary task, God showed up and told him it was time to finish what he started forty years ago.
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. 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… So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-8, 10
Moses’ response to God was less than enthusiastic. Honestly, I’m pretty certain mine would have been as well. I mean, who really wants to return to the scene of their most tragic failure? And the last time Moses saw Pharaoh, he wanted to take his life.
Like Moses, you and I possess all sorts of reasons for not wanting to do what God asks of us. On the surface, some of them even appear to be very valid reasons. But I think you’ll find that if you bring them to the Lord and allow yourself to see them overshadowed by His greatness, they really do become quite inconsequential.
How do you typically respond, dear one, when God calls you to move on His behalf? Do you charge ahead full of faith, or do you argue like Moses to see if God changes His mind?
Unfortunately, I realize I tend to do a bit of arguing. I am full of faith in God’s ability, but I tend to doubt myself. Thankfully, God’s pretty good at winning battles.
Moses offered up four arguments against doing the thing God asked of Him. Today we will consider the first three and conclude with His final argument next week. As we look at each one, contemplate how God’s response to Moses applies to you.
Who am I? Moses’ first argument stemmed from self-doubt. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) It’s as if he’s questioning God’s choice, “Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?” I can tell you I’ve spoken similar words to God myself, and God responds to me with the same words He spoke to Moses.
God’s Answer: “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12
Who are you? Next Moses asks for a little clarification. God had already revealed who He was at the start of their conversation, and Moses hid his face in reverent response (verse 6). Still, upon hearing the task God appointed for him, Moses asks…
“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?” Exodus 3:13
It might be interesting to note that God revealed His names in Scripture as His people experienced that aspect of His character. It’s almost as if Moses is asking, “You said you’d go with me, but who are you going to be?” Would He be Deliverer? Comforter? Provider? God Almighty?
God’s Answer: “I AM WHO I AM” Exodus 3:14 By declaring Himself I AM, God declared, “I am everything you need.”
What if they don’t believe me? We can easily face a crisis of faith when we consider how others might view it. Wondering what others think can keep us from believing ourselves. I would bet every fisherman that abandoned his net to follow Jesus dealt with this one. Moses, it seems, faced that same doubt.
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1
God’s Answer: Essentially, “I will show myself.” Exodus 4:2-9
God promised Moses that if he would trust Him by going to Egypt to rescue the people of Israel, God would make it known to the people that He was with him. He would provide evidence that He was present and that He did in fact send Moses to deliver them through miraculous signs.
Moses chose to trust God and saw Him keep every promise. God showed up to perform marvelous works that brought great deliverance and altered the course of history. And that shepherd tending sheep in the desert became the leader of God’s chosen nation.
Beloved, what is God calling you to do that you have neglected to trust Him for? Obedience invites God’s presence. And as you step out in faith with I AM, you can rest assured that God will eventually show Himself to doubting scoffers. If He has invited you to participate with Him in His plans, just like Moses you can believe that when the time is right He will allow Himself to be seen in the midst of it.
I’d like to leave you with one closing thought to chew on. When Moses voiced the reasons he couldn’t do what God had asked, not once did God encourage Moses by building him up. He didn’t offer the words, “You can do this.” Moses’ ability was a non-issue. God’s response was simply, “I will; I AM; I can.” Glory!
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