One of the benefits of reading the Bible and different stories of the Bible over and over again is that you discover new insights that you missed the first time around. You read a familiar passage or a story you have read many times before and then suddenly something new jumps out at you.
In reading the story of the call of Moses, I knew that he gave God many different excuses for why God could not use him. At first, Moses pleads that he is a nobody. He says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” To which God responds, “I’ll be with you.” Then Moses says to God, “Well, God, I don’t even know your name.” So God reveals his most personal and intimate name, “I am who I am.” Moses complains he doesn’t know how to speak. God tells Moses that created the ability to speak. Finally, Moses just begs God to send someone else. He has run out of excuses and so he throws this last excuse at God.
Here’s what I discovered this time in reading the story of Moses – he never really says yes. Finally, God just gets angry with him and the next thing we know, Moses is moving. He is doing what he asks him to do. Moses who is often considered the primary leader of the Old Testament does so very reluctantly. Moses got to part the Red Sea, he brought down the 10 Commandments written by God himself, he was closer to God than anyone in the Old Testament. And yet, he entered into this larger story very, very reluctantly. God almost had to frighten him into it.
If we reluctantly enter into ministry or mission, it is ok. We are just like Moses, but eventually we have to be like Moses and move. If we don’t move, we miss out on the great things God wants to accomplish through us – worst than that, we will miss out on God himself.
God promises to be with us in ministry and mission. Working with God we get to experience him in a way we cannot experience through simply praying or talking to him. If we refuse to serve God by serving others, we are stunting our spiritual growth and relationship with God. We miss out on seeing his power work and move through us.
If you aren’t serving in ministry or missions, what excuses are you making? If you are serving, how have you grown closer to God through your service?