Summary: If you want to be all that God has called you to be, stop trusting in yourself and start trusting in God’s presence, in God’s person, and in God’s promises.
On a Saturday in November this last year, (November 5, 2011), University of Tennessee freshman Derrick Brodus was lying on the couch at his fraternity house, waiting for the Tennessee Volunteers football game to start at 7 P.M. Less than an hour before kickoff, Derrick fumbled for his cell phone as it began to ring. The voice on the other end told him a police escort was on its way to take him to the stadium immediately.
“I thought it was a dream,” Derrick said. “I was just lying on my couch relaxing, and I answer my phone, and they just tell me that I need to come to the stadium as soon as possible.”
Just minutes before that call, Tennessee backup kicker Chip Rhome pulled a muscle during pregame warm-ups. Starting kicker Michael Pardy was already out, injured in Thursday's practice. So one hour before kickoff, the Volunteers were out of kickers.
Derrick, a freshman, had tried out as a placekicker when he enrolled at Tennessee, but never made the team. Now, on that particular Saturday, Derrick was the Volunteers' only option.
Minutes after Derrick hung up his phone, the police escort arrived at the fraternity house to rush him to the stadium. The team's trainer stretched him in the locker room while he put on his pads and a jersey that didn't even have his name on the back.
Even so, Derrick made the most of his opportunity. He made all three of his extra point attempts and kicked a 21-yard field goal at the end of the first half. His team won 24-0.
Back in the locker room after the final whistle, the kicker who began the evening lying on the couch with a bag of chips was celebrated as the hero. The team cheered as Coach Dooley gave Derrick the game ball. (Graham Watson, “Tennessee grabs last-second kicker off his frat house couch,” Yahoo Sports, 11-8-11; www.PreachingToday.com)
Often that’s the way God works in our lives. We’re lying around when God calls us to get off the couch and to use our gifts for His kingdom.
That’s what happened to Moses. He spent 40 years living the simple life of a shepherd when all of a sudden he gets a call from God. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Exodus 3, Exodus 3, where we see God calling Moses from his ordinary life into something extraordinary.
Exodus 3:1-6 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (NIV)
Moses was taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep on the back side of a desert. It was something he had done day in and day out for 14,600 days, when all of a sudden God showed up in his life. God set a bush on fire without consuming the bush, and Moses had to check it out.
It was an ordinary thorn bush, like many in the Midian desert, but God was about to do something extraordinary not only in Moses’ life, but in the lives of his people as well. You see, like a thorn bush on fire, they were in the fire of affliction, but they were not consumed, because God was right there with them. Israel was in slavery in Egypt; and Moses, bred to lead a great nation, was leading a bunch of sheep in the Midian desert. Then all of a sudden, Moses finds this God-forsaken desert a sanctuary, a holy place, because God himself shows up.
Exodus 3:7-9 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, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. (NIV)