God’s Call

This week in my course in Christian Studies we’ve been thinking about the theme of God’s Call on our lives. My group have been thinking a bit about Moses and Jeremiah from the Old Testament, and how God called them to their specific roles.

The focus verse from Moses comes from Exodus chapter 3.

Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3:10 (WEB)

For anyone not very familiar with Moses, he was an Israelite born at a time when the people of Israel were enslaved by Egypt. The Israelite population was growing so big that Pharaoh ordered that all male babies be murdered. This was not just a evil king’s violence against a supposed threat, but a demonic attempt to destroy the people of Israel and particularly the Messianic line. No Israel, no Messiah, and no salvation.

Moses, instead of being drowned in the Nile, was instead saved by being placed in a reed basket. He was found, rescued and nursed by his very own mother (in a way that only God can arrange!). He was raised in Pharaoh’s household, which meant that he was born of the people of Israel, and yet learned the culture and ways of the Egyptians. This made him perfectly suited to God’s call later in life.

Verse 10 may be a short summary of Moses’ call, but it does not fully capture what must have been going through the man’s heart. It is  straightforward on the surface; go and talk to Pharaoh… but imagine how Moses must have felt.

To enter into Pharaoh’s presence and demand he release the people of Israel was no mean feat. It also came with plenty of risk. Pharaoh could have reacted angrily and had Moses executed, and certainly had little compassion for the Israelites.

When we think of God’s call, we might expect it to take us to a place of safety. This is not so. God did not promise to always lead us into safe places. Look at the apostles in the early church. Most of them were martyred, sacrificing their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Their call was not “safe!”

Of course God does not want us to come to harm, and will in many circumstances, protect us in our time of need. His purposes however are far greater than our physical safety here on earth. While we may give up our earthly safety for the sake of Christ, we retain an eternal safety in our home in heaven.

What do our gifts and experience tell us about our call? For Moses, he had means and opportunity to reach out to Pharaoh due to his upbringing. This experience enabled him to fulfil God’s call in a way that no one else could have. Likewise, you may have experiences which mean you can reach people no one else can. Indeed, God may have allowed such circumstances in your life for that very purpose!

What about Moses’ skills? Turn one chapter over to Exodus 4 and see:

Moses said to Yahweh, “O Lord,[a] I am not eloquent, neither before now, nor since you have spoken to your servant; for I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Exodus 4:10 (WEB)

Moses was not a gifted or eloquent speaker. In fact, he feels that speaking is the very opposite of what he is able to do. And yet, this did not dissuade God. Moses was the one He chose to send and to “speak” to Pharaoh.

For us, I think this tells us that our skills and experience can be used for God’s Kingdom. If you are talented in some respect, then that talent has come from God and you are right to deploy it for His glory.

On the other hand though, not being talented or gifted in some way does not disqualify you from serving God. When God asks us to do something we are not naturally able to do well, then it forces us to fully rely on Him to achieve it. If you can do it in your own strength and ability, there is a chance you will try to do it without God’s help, and therefore rob Him of that glory.

The last thing I would like to say about God’s call on our lives is that you do not have to be perfect to fulfil what God is asking you to do.

Moses was a murderer:

He said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?” Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.”

Exodus 2:14 (WEB)

He had a problem with his temper.

Moses was very angry, and said to Yahweh, “Don’t respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them.”

Numbers 16:15 (WEB)

None of us are perfect, and if God only called perfect people, He would never call anyone.

What are your gifts and talents? How might you use them to serve the Lord?

Is God calling you in some way? Have you ignored this call because you feel you are not talented enough to do it? Do you think God is unaware of that?

Seek the Lord and follow His lead with your whole heart. It may not be safe, but it will be satisfying.

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