Summary: Old Testament Challenge: Moses
When God Calls. . .
The story of Moses is one that spans many years and lots of stories but there is one story that is essential to understand if you want to know about Moses. It is the story of his call. It was clear as early as Moses birth that he was protected preserved for something special. Every life experience in Moses life led and prepared him for God’s call that came into his life.
We believe that every person on the face of the earth has a God-given calling in life. All of us have something that we should be doing with the talents, gifts and strengths that make us who we are.
It was an ordinary day for Moses the fugitive shepherd living on the backside of the desert, but everything was about to change. When he went out to tend to the sheep that morning, he had no idea that he would meet God. But meet God he did.
Moses story includes some enduring principles of God’s calling in our lives. The first one is:
1. God always “appears” to those he calls
1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.
5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” Exodus 3:1-6 NLT
What a moment it must have been. When you hear God calling seldom will it be in such a sensational way but He will make His will clearly known when you are listening to Him.
When C.S. Lewis, the Oxford philosopher and literary scholar heard Christ call it was what he called “the seeker sought.” Lewis referred to himself as a “lapsed atheist” but describes in detail the movements that shifted him from atheism to faith in Christ.
Os Guinness describes Lewis’s call this way: “A critical phase in the first movement centered on Lewis’s experiences of being “surprised by joy.” Suddenly without warning, ordinary everyday experiences triggered in him what he gropes to call a “memory,” a “sensation” a “desire,” a “longing” for something inexpressible and indefinable. Such experiences, Lewis said, were of “an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction” – so much so that he cannot call it happiness or pleasure, which are too dependent on circumstances or the five senses; he must call “joy.” Later, in his famous essay, The Weight of Glory, Lewis described these intimations as a “desire for our own far-off country. . . .the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not yet visited.”
All of us at one time or another have experienced a yearning or a longing to make a change, do something differently with our time and talents and treasure. I contend that more often than not God is in the middle of these stirrings in our lives.
Burning bushes today I doubt it. Burning hearts and flaming passion for God and pursuing His causes is an urge that shouldn’t be ignored. Servants who learn to take their shoes off in humility can be used by God to walk in power and purpose. I am sure more than once Moses remembered his burning bush experience and allowed that memory to hold him steady when life was challenging.
When God calls He always has an appointment in mind.
2. God always has an appointment in mind
“7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-10 NLT