by Beth Voltmann
Our passage today opens with familiar words - “What if”—human words that bubble up from a deep sense of fear, inadequacy, or unbelief. These words are especially familiar to me. Often in my life, when I have sensed God calling me to step out in faith, I have rehearsed these words. What if I embarrass myself? What if others don’t like me? What If I sound stupid? What if my credentials are questioned? What if I fail? Paralysis by analysis can set in and persuade me to quit before I even begin! Can you relate?
Does it surprise you to realize that these very words also came from the lips of Moses? Just prior to our reading, God had revealed Himself in a burning bush and commissioned Moses to lead His people, the Hebrew nation, out of the hand of the Egyptians (the very people Moses had been raised by). We see with great detail one of our Biblical heroes exhibiting a very human response of self-doubt and fear when hearing what the Lord was asking of him.
“Who am I?” (Ex. 3:11)
“What shall I tell them?” (Ex. 3:13)
“What if they do not believe me or listen?” (Ex. 4:1)
This really is such a common, personal response, isn’t it? How amazing it is that God puts up with us! We get so distracted with our own notoriety and abilities when, in fact, ministry should be focused on others.
Though Moses might have believed himself a poor candidate as a deliverer for God’s people, the Great I AM, the Creator, the Master, the Healer, the Savior had no doubt whom He intended for the job. YAHWEH can use anyone or anything to accomplish His plans – including an elderly shepherd in hiding, a family member, a bush, a cloak, or a staff.
God intended to use Moses for His good purposes and He intends to use you and me in the
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit
– fruit that will last .” (John 15:16)
Moses learned to trust the Lord to lead him forward. “Now go; I will help you…” (Ex. 4:12)
Now it’s our turn. Will we go when the Lord sends us without wavering in unbelief? “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thes. 5:24)
Lord, thank you that you are patient with me when I question your voice. You don’t need me and yet you have great plans to use me to share Your gospel with others. May I tune my ear to
Your voice, knowing that I don’t have to be mighty or impressive or eloquent because the God
who sends me is the Great “I AM."
“Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8b)