Obedience is a funny thing. We expect it from our children, but we are seldom much better at it. We just get better at rationalizing disobedience. Whether it’s a speed limit that we think is excessive or a silly workplace rule, adults have had a lifetime of practice at explaining why it doesn’t apply to us.
You would be hard pressed to find a more reluctant leader in the Bible than Moses. Five different times Moses tries to weasel out of the calling God placed on him. At first he just sounds humble (“Who am I?”). Then he sounds confused (“Who should I say sent me?”). But his passive, subtly prideful heart soon emerges in his final three attempts as they grow increasingly desperate (“What if they don’t believe me?”, “But I don’t speak well.”, “Please send someone else to do it!”).
It almost sounds pathetic, until we realize that we do the same thing. Sure, we don’t have conversations out loud with God in front of a flaming Hibiscus, but all of us have at one time or another pushed back when God prodded. Whether it was something you read in the Bible or the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit, we begin making excuses that eventually devolve into something like “Me no talk good!”
But notice how God answers Moses’ objections. He doesn’t try and build up Moses’ self-esteem with a pat on the back and a “You’re not so bad!” He doesn’t tell Moses to just try harder. No, instead God answers the objections of Moses with His own presence.
“I will be with you.”
“I AM WHO I AM.”
“Who gave man is mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
Consider what God has called you to do, everything from the great commission for every believer (“Make disciples of all nations”), to the subtle nudges of God’s Spirit and everything in between. While it is certainly wise to talk to God and other mature Christians about the call of God, eventually we must reach the same conclusion that Moses did. Trust and obey.
1. What other motives might Moses have had for not wanting to obey God and return to Egypt? Are these any better than the ones he offered to God?
2. Can you remember a time when you were certain God was asking you to do something you didn’t want to do? Did you end up doing it or not? What was the result?
3. How can God and his character be an answer to the objections we often raise? How is Jesus and his life an answer?