Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Obsessed with your Weakness?

Read Exodus 6

God begins the process that will deliver the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage in Exodus chapter 6. Twice in this chapter God tells Moses to essentially get on with it. God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh again and demand that he release the people of God. But Moses is not convinced. He does not believe this is going to work. And do you know why? He is obsessed with the fact that he has a speech impediment! Twice, when God says "go", Moses responds and says essentially, "Lord, I can't go and do what you ask. I am not skilled in speaking. Why the people of Israel don't listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me. I am not gifted and talented enough for this job (The Greever Free Paraphrase)." If you remember, when God called Moses on the mountain, Moses brought this same weakness up to God at that time. Moses is obsessed with his inability!

There is one critically important component to all of this that Moses has missed - God is not dependent upon Moses to get His will done! But Moses thinks God is limited to the abilities or inabilities of man. God is not linked to our strengths or weaknesses. He uses people for His glory, but He is not limited by the abilities and capacities of the people He uses. God will always do His will in His time in His way.

If we are to serve the Lord, we must remember the following:
  1. Serving God is more about God than us. God saves us, and God will use us. God will incorporate our loving and feeble service for Him in His achievements. But God is not dependent upon humanity in any sense in order to get His plan completed. It is always about Him, not us.
  2. God works in us, through us, around us, in spite of us, and beyond us. God is sovereignly working His plan and will through all sorts of people and circumstances. He is not limited to working simply through His people. Read the Bible (particularly the biblical narratives) and you will discover this. God uses sinners and saints, God uses pagans and Christians, God uses good things, and God uses bad things. In fact, the doctrine of Providence teaches us that all things are used by God to bring about good for His people and kingdom.
  3. God is particularly pleased to work through the weaknesses of His servants. The reason God did not take Moses' speech impediment away (We are not sure what kind of speech problem Moses had. He may have simply been a really bad speaker.) is that God wanted to use Moses the way he was. God made Moses, and Moses was created to do what God wanted him to do. God builds us in such a way that His glory will shine through us, even our weaknesses and frailties. Paul learned this in 2 Corinthians 12. He had a "thorn in the flesh", and three times he asked God to take the thorn away. God refused for two reasons: 1) It was not God's will to take the thorn away, because 2) God had plans to use Paul's thorn in order to demonstrate His glorious power in Paul's life.
  4. Recognized human difficulties and problems humbles man and gives God the glory. If we are to learn anything from the heart of God in the redemptive work He achieved throughout history culminating in the incarnation of Christ, it is this - people need to be reclaimed to the recognition of the greatness of God, and they must be brought back to the true worship of God. Sin has robbed man of his perception of who God is and the genuine worship of God. Jesus said in John 4 that God wants true worshipers. Everything God does in redemption in history humbles man and glorifies Himself. This is a truism that must be remembered. The central question in the Egyptian bondage of Israel and their deliverance is this - who has the power, Pharaoh or God? God took humble people and demonstrated His sovereign greatness over the greatest nation in the world at that time. It is always about God and His glory!
So, remember, Christian friend. You are made to serve the Lord, and you are constituted by God's power and will to serve Him the way He wants. Don't look at your weaknesses as barriers to God using you. Rather, look at your weaknesses as the means by which God will be glorified in your service.

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