Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Assumptions and Initiating, Listening and Trusting

In some ways Moses reminds me of me.  That is a good thing ~ mostly.
  • He knows his identity.  I know mine.
  • He cares for his people.  I care for our family.
  • He initiates.  I initiate.  We both assume we can help.
  • He is misunderstood.  Sometimes I am too.
  • He hears from God.  I do too ~ some days.
The account of Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 reminding me of the history of Israel stopped me in my tracks when I came to the part about Moses. 

Since infancy Moses was brought up in Pharaoh’s household.  He “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” Acts 7:22.  Yet he knew he was an Israelite, one of the children of God.  That identity evoked in him a heart for his people, his family of origin.  That is a good thing. 

That identity springs him into action on a visit to his brothers.  When he observes one of his brothers being wronged, Moses quickly takes control.  And therein lies the problem.  “He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand.”  Acts 7:25.    Big lesson ~ ministry does not come from role or position or family of origin. 

I get that.  I too suppose that my words or my actions are exactly what are needed and so I initiate.  Wrong!  I’m learning, just because I’m her sister or her cousin or her friend or her leader does not mean that my good intentions (my ministry) will be understood and appreciated.  Arrrgh!

Big lesson #2 ~ ministry is not on my timetable.  Arrrgh again!  Forty years later, when Moses is 80 years old, Moses hears from God at the burning bush.  He is amazed; he trembles; he is afraid to look AND he draws near.  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8.  It was a holy moment.  God initiates.  Moses listens.

When God initiates, ministry happens.  Big lesson #3 ~ ministry is a result of listening to God and trusting His words.  I love Acts 7:35 and 36, “This Moses, whom they rejected … this man God sent… This man led them out …”.  God gave Moses his heart for his people.  God honored Moses’ desire for them.  Moses just had to listen to God and follow His initiating.  And he does so for the next forty years!  Ministry happened.

Big lesson #4 ~ when God leads, God enables.  It doesn’t matter if you’re 120 years old!  This is encouraging.  I’m not 120, but I am a gramma!  Not only does He enable, He is “able to do far more abundantly …!” Ephesians 3:20. 

Big lessons #2 and 3 is where I am living right now.  I’m learning to draw near and listen.  I’m learning to trust.  For an initiator like me, these are big lessons.  What about you?

“They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”
Psalm 92:14


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  2. Sue, your words are so true. "...listening to God and trusting His words" resonated with me. It is so easy to jump to conclusions about what we think we should do without taking time to listen. I also find myself questioning His words at times when I have heard like Gideon. LOL. I would love to hear how you are living lessons 2 and 3 right now.