My timid fingers find their spots on the keyboard and I think of Moses. I remember how, despite his hesitancy and fear, He obeyed God. “Give me the words and ideas you want me to write. I can’t do this without You,” I pray.
As Moses shepherded his father-in-law’s sheep, God spoke in an unmistakable way. A dry desert bush burned and conveyed the Almighty’s voice to Moses. God called Moses to lead His people, the Israelites, out of bondage in Egypt.
Moses’ story encompasses some of the most miraculous events in history. We’re invited to eavesdrop on his conversations with God and find lessons for today.
God calls ordinary people.
Moses, years earlier, murdered a man and then ran far away from home. He worked for his father-in-law in the desert and wasn’t looking for another job. He was timid and insecure. He believed the Creator made a mistake. He argued with God.
What if they don’t trust me? What if they don’t listen to a single word I say?Exodus 4:1 The Voice
We’re like Moses. We examine ourselves and don’t think we measure up. Not only do we lack what it takes; it’s not even about us. It’s about Him. He empowers us to do what we cannot accomplish.
He doesn’t size us up by a resume or tax return. He isn’t looking for a large platform. God isn’t impressed by numbers but by the condition of our hearts. He calls people through whom He can accomplish His purpose. God routinely chooses the unknown, the strugglers and the fearful to carry out His plans.
God uses us right where we are.
God asked Moses a question.
What do you have in your hand?Exodus 4:3
Moses held the staff he needed in his job leading sheep. It referenced his daily life and capabilities. It was what he had available to give. When God told him to throw his staff down, it quickly turned into a snake, which caused Moses to jump back in fear. When Moses, still afraid, obeyed God by picking it up by the tail, it changed back into a shepherd’s staff. Moses continued to argue,
Please Lord, I am not a talented speaker, I have never been good with words, I wasn’t when I was younger and I haven’t gotten any better since you revealed yourself to me. I stutter and stammer. My words get all twisted.Exodus 4:10
God speaks to us when we’re fearful just as He spoke to Moses.
Who is it that gives a person a mouth? Who determines whether one person speaks and another doesn’t? Why is it that one person hears and another doesn’t? And why can one person see and another person doesn’t? Isn’t it because of Me, the Eternal? You know it is. Go now and I will be there to give you the words to speak: I will tell you what to say.Exodus 4:11-12
Moses would lead the stubborn Israelites with staff in hand as he’d led stubborn sheep.
God intends for us to make a difference in the world.
As we read in Matthew, Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Our lives should look palatable to others and should shine with hope and truth in dark directionless places.
You, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.Matthew 5:14-16
What do you have in your hand? A home and family, an office job or a cheerful voice and a smile for strangers? Do you sit with friends when they suffer loss? Have you taken a meal to your neighbor? You’re an influencer. Are you willing to offer to God your imperfect self? What He really wants is you. Unreservedly.
You don’t need to be famous on social media or obtain a large platform to be influential. You only need to engage with people in your everyday sphere. Be available right where you are and God will direct you.
Little actions matter.
When we feel like we’re not making a difference, we should remember that small things matter. One morning in church decades ago I walked to the front for prayer. I felt burdened with the terrible reality of divorce. I’d meet with a lawyer the following morning. A friend tugged my arm and whispered, “You can do it.” Many years later I remember her simple words. She reminded me I could make it through the painful unexpected divorce and my new life to come.
I’m encouraged by Moses and I hope you are too. When we accept His call, He goes before us and makes a way where there seems to be no way. Faith is the required currency to accomplish His will.
We probably won’t lead a nation, but if we lead a handful of folks into the light of the Gospel, we’ve made a difference. We are influencers.