Summary: We also receive our call at just the right time. How often do we rush into something and end up failing because we ran ahead of God? How many times have we decided to go in a different direction because we did not have the patience to wait for him?
Opening Illustration: The struggle I had with my personal calling -
• I knew I had a call upon my life since childhood but was running from it because I saw that there was nothing lucrative in it for me or my family … it meant the cross and suffering … I wasn’t ready
• God cornered me the Middle East and gave Maureena and me a vision and purpose for pioneering and planting underground churches in there.
• Listening to God is the most important element in carrying out your calling. God called us to the USA as missionaries because He already foresaw the problems this nation would get into …
Introduction: This event happened thousands of years ago, so what significance does it have for us today? We see God calling Moses to service. We also see God’s calling was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, but something he had been grooming Moses for since the beginning of his life. In the same way, we receive a call from God as a result of lifelong preparation. God has a specific purpose for which he has been grooming each of us, and when the time comes for him to reveal it, each of us will have a burning bush moment in our life.
Nothing is more needed to-day than God's Partnership as a realized fact in Christian experience. Many of us may assent to what is written in these lines, and then put it aside, as a dream which is too ethereal to be of practical service. For every call, we are being partners with God to fulfill what His desire is for us. It is such a privilege. Without that partnership we will not be able to execute it in the way God desires it.
With face covered, but with ears attentive to hear, Moses stands before God to learn his will. And God takes him, as it were, into counsel, not only calling him to a certain work, but revealing to him why he is called, what exactly he is to do, and what will be the issue of his enterprise.
How is the call carried out?
1. VISION/REASON for the call (vs. 7-10) – “Let My people go”
Moses is called because the affliction of Israel—their sufferings—from the constant toil, from the brutal taskmasters, from the cruel Pharaoh, from the apparent hopelessness of their position—had reached to such a point that God could allow it to go on no longer. There is a point at which he will interfere to vindicate the oppressed and punish the wrong-doers, even if the oppressed are too much crushed, too downtrodden, too absolutely in despair, to cry to him. Their case calls to him; their "blood cries from the ground." But in this instance actual despair had not been reached. His people had "cried to him." And here was a second reason why he should interfere. God is never deaf to any prayers addressed to him for succor; he may not always grant them, but he hears them. And if they are sustained, and earnest, and justified by the occasion, he grants them. Such was the case now, and Moses was called because of the extreme affliction of the Israelites, and because of their prolonged and earnest cry to God under it.
God had to fulfill the promise He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He would make them reside in the Promised Land. Presently the Israelites were in Egypt and for God’s vision to be fulfilled in their lives, they had to be moved to the Promised Land. There was only one man who could do it then – Moses!
2. STRUGGLE with the call (vs. 11-14) – “Who am I?”
Self-confidence is not the temper which God uses for His instruments. He works with ‘bruised reeds,’ and breathes His strength into them. It is when a man says ‘I can do nothing,’ that he is fit for God to employ. ‘When I am weak, then I am strong.’ Moses remembered enough of Egypt to know that it was no slight peril to confront Pharaoh, and enough of Israel not to be particularly eager to have the task of leading them. But mark that there is no refusal of the charge, though there is profound consciousness of inadequacy. If we have reason to believe that any duty, great or small, is laid on us by God, it is wholesome that we should drive home to ourselves our own weakness, but not that we should try to shuffle out of the duty because we are weak. Moses’ answer was more of a prayer for help than of a remonstrance, and it was answered accordingly.
Very many break down at this point. There is the greatest possible danger of getting out of the solemnity and calmness of the divine presence, amid the bustle of intercourse with men, and the excitement of active service. This is to be carefully guarded against. If we lose that hallowed tone of spirit which is expressed in "the unshod foot," our service will, very speedily, become vapid and unprofitable. If I allow my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be little worth. We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him. It is while the heart dwells upon His powerful attractions that the hands perform the most acceptable service to His name; nor is there anyone who can minister Christ with unction, freshness, and power to others, if he be not feeding upon Christ, in the secret of his own soul. True, he may preach a sermon, deliver a lecture, utter prayers, write a book, and go through the entire routine of outward service, and yet not minister Christ. The man who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself.