Tuesday, January 22, 2013
When you don't feel comfortable
Exodus 4:13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Moses had been quietly living his life away from the pampered royalty of his childhood. He enjoyed the serenity of life with his wife and two sons and spending time out herding. Now, quite suddenly, God comes to him in a burning bush and tells him that he is to go and lead his people out of captivity. The tasks seems overwhelming and Moses lacks the self-confidence to go and make a difference. It seems that in the very presence of God, the one who is sending you, that you would respond in his confidence. This was not the case with Moses. In a polite manner he responded, asking God to please send someone else. He knew that he lacked the personal skills, and especially the public speaking skills to take on this task. While Moses was quite capable with the help of God, God did allow him to partner with his brother in the project which lay ahead. In doing so the task became more complicated and there were times that Moses had to deal with conflict with his brother, but Moses did move forward and walk in obedience with God. Not only did he walk in obedience with God, but he literally learned to walk with God. He and God developed a personal relationship in which Moses was changed and had personal communion with God which was not to be seen again for many generations.
How often do we feel uncomfortable, just like Moses when God may be nudging us in a particular direction. The Christian walk is not about being comfortable. There may be times when God asks us to be "out there" -- very far out of our comfort zone, just for him. In reality we'd like to retreat to our homes and cuddle up in front the fireplace with a good cup of tea and a book to read. We'd like to say, "Um…pardon me God, but could you please send someone else?"
What we can learn from Moses is that if we trust God, he will give us strength, wisdom and power for the task which lies ahead. God knew that there was no way that Moses could do all that God wanted on his own. That's why God was looking for someone who realized their own limitations and was willing to put their trust in God. If we are so confident that we can do it all ourselves, and if we are comfortable in all the places that God may send us, then maybe we aren't being realistic, or trusting in him. When we serve God he stretches us and takes us to places we never would have thought possible. That's when we know that we are trusting in him. If we are simply operating out of the comfortable groove of life, maybe we need to consider that we are not allowing God to take us out of our comfort zones. We will never grow spiritually, if we are never stretched spiritually.
So the next time that we are tempted to respond, "Pardon me Lord, could you please send someone else" -- maybe we ought to step back and ask ourselves why this is our response. Maybe it's fear, or a lack of self-confidence. However, if God is in it -- won't he supply the resources necessary for the assignment given? He did for Moses, and he will for us as well. No, the Christian walk and service to God are not supposed to be about comfort. The walk is about obedience and trust in God. Then, when we find ourselves way outside of our comfort zone, we can stop and look on his holy face and allow his strength to pour in and through us as we move on in the calling which we have received from the voice of the one who calls in the desert.
Lord, I have to confess that there are times when I am scared and I want to respond just as Moses -- but please, help me to walk forward with you in obedience. Amen.