Summary: Every Christian is called to serve God in ministry - God will call by planting a burden, training us, and planning the right timing.
The year was 1992 and I was a young single man serving as an intern in Deshler, Nebraska. One quiet evening I turned on the TV and saw the Billy Graham crusade taking place somewhere in Russia – the stadium was full, the people were pouring down filling the field at the altar call. And right then and there I prayed: "Lord if you want to use me to serve in Eastern Europe, I’m willing to go." 2 ½ years later I was living in the Czech Republic amazed at God's calling.
Is there any kind of ‘impossible’ burden on your heart? Is there any wild dream that you have for your future? I mean something that God has laid on your heart. I believe that God will lay on every person's heart a desire, a burden to serve him in some unique way custom designed for you. It may not be serving as a missionary but it could be something totally different – right here. What is that called? A calling! What is YOUR calling?
This morning we are looking at the calling process in Moses as an example of God’s calling process. No – this isn’t just for preachers or prophets. But for ordinary people and it begins with a burden placed in your heart.
1. God puts a burden on your heart (2:11-15a)
[read 2:11-15a] Moses had a burden for his people. How did he get that burden? "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8) Spend time with the Lord, seek his will, pray, read his Word, and the Lord will do something in your heart – he will put a burden on your heart for someone or something, for some way to serve him. He will do it!
Where Moses learned of this great need, we can only guess. He grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh. Moses definitely had contact with his family as we know from the fact that he was nursed by his mother. But how much influence she later had on him we don’t know. It is certain that he would have had access to all the family records brought from Canaan. He would know about the covenant and how his people came to Egypt. He would know about the calling of Abraham (Gen. 15:13-14).
Apparently a time came when Moses decided which people he would live with and who would be his people. There came a kind of fork in the road for him. Heb. 11:24-26 alludes to this time in which he left the house of Pharaoh and was among his own people. The timing of this and how long it was before the following events, we can’t say. But he obviously had a burden for his persecuted people.
What did he do about it? As we read, he discovered an Israelite being beaten by an Egyptian and Moses killed the Egyptian. Here was his chance! Yes, his calling was to free his brothers from bondage, but there was one serious problem: He carried it through in his own power. Everything fell apart because he tried to fulfill God's plan in his own way, through sin. Notice – he looked this way and that. If this was from God, he wouldn’t have to be afraid but could boldly act. This was his own flesh trying to accomplish his will.
David Guzik said this: “If Moses ever sat down and decided to deliver his people from their Egyptian bondage, he would never have thought: ‘My brother Aaron and I will go to Pharaoh with a special stick that turns into a snake. We'll ask him to let us go back to Canaan, and if he says no, we'll bring plagues of blood in the Nile River, frogs, mosquitoes, flies, cattle disease, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. If all that doesn't work, we'll kill all the firstborn of Egypt and escape across the Red Sea, which will part for us and flow back to drown the Egyptians. Then we'll cross the wilderness and come to Canaan.’” God’s plans seem ridiculous – that’s why he only gives us a little piece at a time.
Our plan isn’t God’s. Like Moses, so often we feel that the only way to complete the plan of God is to sin – break the rules – but that just shows that we haven’t waited upon God. God’s plan seems crazy to our flesh - impossible. I can’t do that! And that’s a clue that it’s the plan of God! Because God does the impossible.
Moses’ plan didn't work but his heart was in the right place! His vision died as he ran away into the desert. He forgot about the burden for his people. But all during this time, God was training him for the future! God was preparing him for service! He wasn’t ready for the job yet.