Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Exodus 4 - Confidence

Today in Exodus 4 Moses lays out a pretty convincing case that he is not the man for the job God has in mind.

God turns his staff into a snake and then back to a staff. It is not enough for Moses.

God turns Moses' hand as white as snow with disease and then heals it. It is not enough for Moses.

God tells Moses He will turn the Nile water to blood as a sign. It is not enough for Moses.

Finally, in verse 10, Moses says 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."

It's a good argument. After refusing to see God's power three times, Moses tries a different approach. Instead of doubting God's strength, he calls out his own weaknesses.

I love God's response:

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? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

I didn't understand this passage until last night. I was driving to my men's group and talking with God about my inability to do some of the things I feel like He is calling me to do. I said, "I feel like I've lost my confidence." In the space between seconds, I felt like God responded, "Good. Because it's not going to be your confidence that accomplishes anything. It's going to be me. Who needs your confidence? I am the God that created the universe!"

Moses continues to doubt in the chapter and God lovingly brings Aaron into the picture. Maybe that is what will happen with me. Maybe there will be some Aaron in my life, which could be great. Or maybe I will trust in God and not my own false sense of confidence. Either way God's got this whole thing and that's a really beautiful thing.


sam said...

Doubts... been having a lot of them lately. I really feel as if God is calling me to be a missionary but sometimes I'm not so sure... I'm only 18 and I've only been a Christian for a year and sometimes I feel like such an inadequate Christian. I suck with words and have never evangelised or lead someone to Christ. I'm scared to do new things and most of the time I feel so unqualified to share my faith and serve God. And then there's many people who don't think I stand a chance and most of the people who know me could never see me as a missionary. But God's really laid on my heart lately that *I* don't have to be qualified for anything... I can be a completely and utterly inadequate and hopeless sinner and STILL God can use me. With Jesus I can do anything. LOL I like what you said about not needing confidence... you just need God. Your an awesome writer. Great post. Thanks a bunch! :]

jenn3 said...

Wow. That's all I have to say.

Jamie in Rose Cottage said...

I needed this today. Thanks for letting God use you to speak to me.

Sylvia Basham said...

I was hoping you would explain verses 24-26......:-)

- Sarah :-) said...

Wow - reality strike. How often do we question God? Like ALLL the time, and even times we don't realize it.

Very humbling.

Christianne said...

Interesting that your take is that God "lovingly" brought Aaron into Moses' life. I had a little bit different take on this chapter, kind of a twist in the other direction.

My take as I was reading this chapter is that God was totally loving and patient in the ways He responded to every one of Moses's concerns UP UNTIL THE POINT where Moses didn't trust the power of God to overcome his speech impediment.

Each of the concerns Moses throws up at God before then are subtly different than the previous ones.

1. Who am I, that I should be the chosen one to do this?

2. Who should I tell them sent me?

3. What if they doubt you have sent me?

4. But how can I speak for you if I'm slow of speech?

It reads like an unfolding conversation between two people in real relationship, you know? And God is totally patient, giving Moses an answer for each of his concerns.

Until Moses can't accept God's answer for the slow-of-speech concern. That's when he asks if someone else can go for him or with him, and "th anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses."

So I'm thinking Aaron was kinda like a consolation prize . . . not the ultimate way God wanted to roll, but He provided him because Moses's faith was too weak.

So maybe God will be enough through you. Maybe having an Aaron isn't what God ultimately wants. Maybe He wants to demonstrate His power in and through you, all by yourself.

Scary thought. I totally agree. (In regards to myself, I mean.)

eastern ky pastor said...

just start where you are - I think the post on the small victories may especially apply for you - share as you can to who is around you - consider furthering your education - it's almost overused, but it's still true "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

Campman62 said...

Jon said,
'...then back to a *snake.'
*Correction = staff
[we all know that you meant, 'back into a staff']

~I'd love to fancy myself as your 'Aaron' maybe just your editor...(not)

->'Pokin' & 'prayin' for ya this a.m. Jon...<- =-}

*Hope the wedding & all went fantastically well & was an 'awe-some-ness' memory-maker for both you & your brother & new sister!

*Fear & Doubt...
Two 'boulders' that often 'crush' the 'confidence of our psyche'.
*(two things that 'way-lay' our 'belief in self')

[As Christians, Fear & Doubt should send us right back where we belong, into our Father's loving arms.]

Jon, n-joy these last days of summer & have a great weekend my brother!

This 'Scripture Bud's for You...

"...His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."
[Jer 20:9]

(i heart you & your writing...just keep putin'em down like He gives 'em to ya)

Eric C. Near said...

These are a lot of the things that I feel when it comes to writing music. I have been working on a large piece of music for quite some time and I feel like my creativity is often tapped out. I guess what I need is:

"Good. Because it's not going to be your creativity that accomplishes anything. It's going to be me. Who needs your creativity? I am the God that created the universe!"

Dog snob said...

That follows right along with a quote I saw the other day.

"Take pride in how far you've come, and have faith in how far you can go" (Christian Larson) :)

eastern ky pastor said...

it's true that God was getting pretty miffed at Moses. Yet, I wonder about Aaron being a consolation prize here. Verse 16 says that Aaron was already on the way to meet Moses. God had already sent Aaron to Moses, even before the bush started burning.

Kanyon40 said...

This concept of God showing that his power is sufficient for those he calls is echoed in the feeding of the 5000 and Peter walking on water.

In the feeding of the 5000, the disciples say that the people need to be sent away to find food. Jesus responds, "No, you feed them." Then Jesus takes the disciples' bread, blesses it, and gives it back to them. They are the ones that feed the 5000. Jesus shows the disciples that with his blessing, they are capable of feeding his flock (a physical example of the spiritual reality they were called to) and doing miraculous things.

Likewise, when Peter walks on water, he begins to sink and calls out to Jesus, "Lord save me." Jesus says Peter has little faith; but it is clear that he had immense faith in Christ. Even as he was sinking he believed that Jesus had the power to rescue him. His lack of faith wasn't in Jesus or Jesus' ability to do amazing things; but in Jesus' ability to do amazing things through him, as if to say, "Who am I that I should be walking on water?"

In both cases, it is reflective of what you have said about Moses in Exodus 4. God shows that we as disciples are sufficient to complete extraordinary tasks, not through our own strength, but through him working in us as his faithful servants.

Overconfidence is just as dangerous (or even moreso) than doubt, because it can lead to the belief that we are the ones doing something amazing instead of God doing it through us.

moriahjoy said...

Love it. Thanks for sharing.

Neyhart said...

I cannot begin to tell you how much this post resonated with me. Thank you. Incidentally, the Bible Study I am a part of (and a co-leader/teacher of as well) is getting ready to study Exodus - I may have to share some of your insights and posts with them :)

Eve said...

Thank God, it is not our strength or our understanding that we need.