February 06, 2023 Samuel Lindsay

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.

I was reading Exodus 4 and I was struck by the way Moses acted!

Let me put you in mind of the circumstances. Here is a fellow in the wilderness who has seen the miracle of a burning bush that doesn't burn up. Now Moses is speaking with the God of his forefathers through the bush!

God gives Moses a commission to face off with the most powerful man in the known world (Pharaoh) and rescue a nation of people from slavery. This seems impossible! Could an old shepherd in Midian accomplish anything like that?

Isn't it interesting how Moses responds? He starts trying to weasel out of it. The LORD God is giving Moses a direct mission and he tries to shirk! He's talking directly with God, and he feels free to negotiate!

That was the most startling thing, but what struck home next was how he sounded so much like myself.

Moses makes 3 basic arguments for why God should give him a miss:

"People won't believe me."

"I'm no good at sharing the message."

"I don't want to go" (i.e. "Send someone else").

This sounds just like my own heart, and just like many Christians I have met. We would rather make excuses than get on with the mission. We want to weasel and shirk.

Jesus has given us a mission very much like the one that Moses had; God was going to save his people by his own mighty power, Moses was supposed to go and announce the message of judgement to God's enemies and call the slaves to follow God to freedom.

In Jesus, God acted to save his people by his own mighty power, Christians are meant to go and announce this message of judgment and grace, calling all the slaves of sin to follow Christ to freedom.

Like Moses job, it will seem impossible. Like Moses, we have a role to play in proclaiming salvation, but it is God who does the saving. Like Moses we are called to hear the word of the LORD and proclaim it to the world. Like Moses we will face off with great powers who are not outside God's authority.

We have a high calling to that wonderful mission. God is saving the world and he wants to use us to accomplish it!

But instead we cower. We say...

"People won't believe me, they'll mock me or get offended."

"I'm no good at sharing the message, I'm not a gifted evangelist, it's super awkward."

"I don't want to go, I'll support people who can do it better than me."

We may not be standing in front of a burning bush literally, but we do have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, and we somehow think we can make enough excuses to convince Him that it's actually in God's best interest that we reject His mission for us.

God knew what he was getting when he chose Moses as His mouthpiece. It wasn't a fumble.

God knew what he was getting when he saved you, he wanted you for the job. He doesn't make mistakes when He calls His church to disciple and baptise the nations of the world.

Although it is right and proper to remember that God is the one who works salvation in hearts, we must remember that we have been called to do what is in our power to make that a reality, namely proclaiming the message that people must believe to be saved.

If God could use a mumbling, elderly shepherd to overthrow and empire and rescue a nation, why do you doubt his ability to use you? You're no saviour, but you can be used by the Saviour to accomplish great deeds of faith if you would be humble and obedient.

Put no stock in your own abilities or charisma or strategy, but take up the "gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Ro 1:16).

Don your armour, including the "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph 6:17) and go wrestle "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph 6:12). Go "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God" (2 Co 10:5). Become "all things to all people, that by all means" you "might save some" (1 Co 9:22).

Perhaps if we take God at his word, and do what He has called us to do, we will see the results that he intends.

God is doing a greater work through Jesus Christ than the Exodus from Egypt. It was a foreshadow. He is plundering the kingdom of this world to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. He is bringing all His people out of bondage so that they may dwell with God in a pleasant land, and worship Him faithfully. And He has commissioned us to unlock the prison cells with the Gospel.

Go liberate some captives!

"How beautiful upon the mountains 

   are the feet of him who brings good news, 

         who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, 

   who publishes salvation, 

   who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Is 52:7).

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, 

   because the LORD has anointed me 

         to bring good news to the poor; 

   he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, 

         to proclaim liberty to the captives, 

   and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 

      to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour, 

   and the day of vengeance of our God; 

   to comfort all who mourn..." (Is 61:1–2, claimed by Jesus in Luke 4:18).

Samuel Lindsay