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Friday, August 29, 2014

"Not Me, Lord! I Can't Talk!"

In the third chapter of Exodus, we read that the Lord spoke to Moses when he was on the backside of the desert herding a flock of sheep.

He had been there ever since he fled for his life after killing a man in Egypt and burying him in the sand.

He could not go back to Egypt, so he married a Midianite girl by whom he had children.

Jethro, his father in law, was a priest of Midian.

God began to talk to Moses, and what He had to say to him was very important. For two chapters we see that God was very patient with him; but in Exodus 4:14 we read, Then the anger of the lord burned against Moses...

Why would God choose a man, begin to talk with him, and spend as much space in the Word trying to persuade him to do His will as is spent in Genesis on the account of creation itself?

Two chapters cover creation, and two chapters cover the time God was trying to convince Moses to go down into Egypt.

There was a reason why God became so angry with Moses, and I would not be surprised if some of us anger the Lord in the same way.

Let us look at what happened, for this is a story we should remember all our lives.

Exodus 3:1-2

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush ( this was really the Shekinah glory ) : and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and yet the bush was not consumed. 

 It was not a natural fire that Moses saw; it was a holy fire, the same as the tongues of fire that sat on the hundred and twenty in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.

It did not burn up the bush; neither did it singe the hair of the hundred and twenty.

It was a holy Shekinah fire. the presence of the Spirit of God Himself that was moving upon them. The Shekinah glory was the fire that appeared throughout the Old Testament.

It appeared over the ark of the covenant between the cherubim , and it was also the fire in the pillar of fire that blazed at night over the camp of Israel.

 Exodus 3:3-6
And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burnt up.

And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, Here am I.

And he said, Do not come near here: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

God said, "I am the God of your father." Moses parents were Amram, a godly man, and Jochebed.

 Exodus 4:1-12King James Version (KJV)
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

(Moses now had three signs with which to convince the people; and although he ran from the snake and experienced the leprosy, he still was not listening.)

10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

 ( "God, You cannot do it with me!" Do you ever feel that way?)

11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Even though a brother may be blind or deaf, these truths are for him. God will use him. The promises for him to have a ministry are as real and valid as they are for anyone.

Moses argues that he was slow of speech; he probably stuttered and stammered. Moses was telling God that he had the wrong boy.

Although the Lord was showing Moses all the things he was to do, he kept backing off, because for eighty long years he had built up the image of himself that he could never do anything.

Moses became ambitious when he was about 40 years old. According to Josephus, the historian, he was then a general fr Egypt.

When Moses went to the Israelites to be a self-appointed deliverer, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew; so he killed him and buried him in the sand.

The next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting, and he asked them why they were fighting among themselves.

One of them said,"What are you going to do, kill me and bury me in the sand too?" ( Exodus 2 ) .

Moses was afraid because it was known. Pharaoh then tried too kill him, so he fled to the backside of the desert.

In sparse land, hardly able to sustain anything, he as content to watch over a few sheep for his father in law.

Forty years had gone by, and there was Moses, a nobody who was eighty years old when God was trying to get through to him.

He showed him a bush that would not burn up, a rod that could turn into a serpent, ad a way to make his hand leprous and heal it.

After showing him all these wonders He said, "I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say" ( in other words, God offered to Moses speech that would come prophetically ) .

But he said, "Please Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt." ( Get yourself another boy. I do not want to be the one. Send the message by anyone else." That is exactly what moses meant ) .

God had tried to convince Moses that it was all completely under control. God had chosen him, commissioned him, and promised to enable him.

Yet Moses would not accept it. There was a deep innate reluctance to be an instrument in the hand of God.

( I know of some men like that. Men that God opens up the door of ministry to and they then back off in fear that they will fail.)

Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and He said, "Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently.

 And more over, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.

 And you are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and i will teach you what you are to do.

 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and it shall come about that he shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be as God to him." Exodus 4:12-16.

It had to be that way, because even though Aaron was made the high priest, he was God's second best. We read that in the wilderness, when the people wanted an idol to worship, he said, "Give me your earrings."

Later he made his speech to Moses, saying, "I cast it into the fire and it came out a calf" ( Exodus 32 ). He connived with them in their idolatry.

He was too weak to stand up for Moses who had been on the mountain for forty days. Moses must have been thoroughly shaken to find there was not enough to sustain Aaron and the people for forty days.

After forty days he came down from the mountain, and the people were dancing around the golden calf, worshiping it and committing sinful acts, just after God delivered them out of Egypt and had been so good t them.

People can forget quickly. God grant that we do not forget, that He build it deep within our hearts to be ready to do  the will of the Lord.

Moses was ready to go from that time on. Until that time he tried God until He became very angry with him. God deals drastically when He has called us to be something and we are reluctant to get with it.

It is not the heinous crimes and sins that will stop the Body, it is this reluctance to face what god has called us to be.  

It lies within our power to do what God has called us to do and to say what God tells us to say.

That deep , unbelieving reluctance we  have angers God more than anything else. We have a false image of ourselves that keeps coming up, and it is one of the biggest destroyers of our faith.

How do you really receive the commission or a directive? Like Moses? 

Do you say, "I will do my best that I can, I cannot do anymore," and make your excuses?

Since when has a commission ever been given to a man according to his ability?

When did God ever send a man out to do something, and say, "I have chosen you, O My servant, because I know that you are very wise, you have much money, you have great abilities, and there are many people flocking to you; with great leadership you will accomplish this"?

God never says that about anyone.   

God takes the weak things and confounds the mighty; He takes the foolish things ( I Corinthians 1:27 ).

He chose you, and for you to argue with God that you cannot do what He asks you to do is just as foolish as it was for Moses.

God did not choose you for your ability; He chose you because He chose you, and that is as much reason as you can have to explain it.

God gives you a commission and sends you out to do His will in the earth, and your inability to do it is not, and never will be, the issue.

He said, "I will be with you, I will help you."

You cannot have an image of yourself in your own ability. You must have an image of yourself linked with His ability.

Fantasy can be directly related to faith, if it is not taken too far. People should be healed and delivered from fantasizing too much, for they should not live in a make-believe world.

But the make-believe world, properly guided, can be a springboard into the world of reality.

For instance, suppose there has been a prophesy over you, or you had a dream, or you were sitting in the congregation when God gave a commission to the church.

What are you going to do about it?

Begin to imagine yourself as one of the prophets or prophetesses of the Lord. Fantasize a little about it.

Picture yourself like peter, walking down the street with your shadow falling on the sick and healing them.

Picture yourself blessing handkerchiefs and garments and sending them out- picture the people being healed.

Live it yourself. Let it be a springboard to your faith, until you accept yourself as a bond-slave of the Lord who can do anything He commissions you to do.

You can do anything He tells you to do.

You can become anything He says you will be.

This is the faith you must have. What image do you have of yourself? Is it an image according to the flesh with its limitations, or do you have an image of yourself with faith which envisions what it will be?

Remember, God looks at you with faith, and He is liable to shout at you ( as He did to Gideon in Judges 6 and 7 ) when you are running from the enemy and say, "The Lord is with the, thou mighty man of valor! Wherefore art thou running from the enemy? Turn around and smite them, and they will flee from thee in seven ways" ( Deuteronomy 28:7 ).

Get the picture in your mind that God is not limited, and neither are you limited in your relationship to Him.

The anger of the Lord burned against Moses, and perhaps you feel that the Lord is not happy about the way you regard yourself- the way you draw back from being all that He wants you to be.

Let one of your objectives be to break loose from your limitations. Stand and pray the prayers of faith.

Believe God and walk in His faith with all your heart.      

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