Friday, February 25, 2005

Faith:Part Three

I was reading an article last night about somebody who claimed in a popular book that knowing your talents is essential to knowing God's will for your life. I beg to differ.

When God called Moses to tell Pharoah to free the children of Israel, Moses had some objections. And while we may say that Moses was just being faithless, if you look at the problems closely and see also God's response, you will see that Moses was actually quite right to be concerned.

Moses' first problem was that he had no reputation before Israel as their leader (Exodus 3:11, 13; 4:1). this is actually quite a serious problem. How would you respond if, while you were under oppressive slavery, someone told you that God had sent him to free you? The numerous treacheries in the history of slavery to such leaders (and not just in this country) bears witness to the fact that it could have very easily cost Moses his life if the Israelites did not believe him. Thus God responded by giving him three things: a promise (based on obedience, 3:12), His special name (3:14), and some miraculous signs, by which he would convince the children of Israel that the Lord had indeed sent him (4:2-9).

Moses' other problem was that he was not an eloquent speaker. This could pose a respect problem for one who claims to be speaking on the behalf of God. Have you ever tried to tell someone about Jesus and stumbled your way through the speech? Then you know why Moses feared being laughed out of the court or even held as an amusement piece for the king, another legitimate concern. Also remember that Moses was no longer an Egyptian prince, having spent much time (forty years) in Midian. Just as it doesn't take long to lose your native tongue when you no longer use it, so Moses probably was a little fuzzy with his Egyptian by this time. God therefore responded by appointing Aaron to speak for him.

Now we can say, "Well, Moses should have expected God to provide all that stuff"; but we must notice that God did not rebuke Moses for asking! Then we must also remember that God commands us to ask for what we need! Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given unto you" (Matthew 7:7a)! Such requests are actually part of faith, because if we didn't believe that God could possibly overcome the obstacle, would we really bother to "remind" Him of it?

So thus we see that God will provide for us when we do not have what it takes to complete the task He has assigned us. I like the way Steven Curtis Chapman wrote it:

"I made a list/Wrote down from A to Z/All the ways I thought that You could best use Me/told all my strengths and my abilities.
"I formed a plan/It seemed to make good sense/I laid it out for you/So sure You'd be convinced/Made my case, presented my defence...
"But then I read the Letter/That You sent me/It said that all You really want from me/Is just...
"Whatever--whatever You say/Whatever--I will obey/Whatever--Lord, have Your way/Cause You are my God/Whatever."

We can take as many spiritual gifts inventories as exist; but only God's voice can truly tell us what "good works [He] hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

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