March 11, 2013

Are You Walking in Fear or Faith?
“Moses, Moses!”
Last week we saw Abraham’s faith as he trusted God with his most treasured earthly possession, Isaac.  Scripture tells us that Isaac, Jacob and Joseph all exhibited faith as they walked through life and held to the promise God gave them through Abraham. At the end of Genesis, Joseph even makes mention of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt 400 years prior to its occurrence. Hebrews 11:20-22  
While none of the great heroes of faith we’ve read about were perfect, their trust in a  God who is perfect enabled them to walk worthy and live a life characterized by faith rather than fear. 
This week we move to Exodus and find yet another hero, Moses.
Read Hebrews 11:23-29 and note some of the ways Moses displayed faith.
The Entire book of Exodus, transcribes the faithful life of Moses.  But it is one of his moments of unbelief I want us to look at today.  Why, you may ask, would I choose to focus on the negative portion of his life when there is so much positive?  Well, it is in the negative that I believe we can best identify with him.  It is in looking at his fears that we can learn the lessons he learned – the lessons of real faith.
Skim Exodus 3-4:17 really focusing on 4:10-14.
What happened in Exodus 4:10-14?
  • After the Lord told Moses to go to Egypt and lead His people out, Moses tells the Lord he is not an eloquent speaker.
  • The Lord reassures him and tells him to go again and promises to be with him.
  • Moses tells the Lord to please send someone else.
  • The Lord’s anger burns against Moses
First, let us not miss that God appeared to Moses and spoke directly to him.  He called him by name, “Moses, Moses!”  He didn’t just speak once; they had a conversation.  No wonder Moses declared that he must take his shoes off as he stood in the Lord’s presence on holy ground. 
But Moses, after hearing the direct call from God in this holy experience, practically begged God to ask someone else to do the job!  He chose unbelief in the face of the presence of God despite God’s promise to lead him.  Can you relate?  I know I can.
I can remember having this very same conversation with the Lord about nine years ago.  I was asked to speak at a women’s retreat at the last minute.  The speaker that was supposed to lead the retreat became ill and the church actually called me to see if I knew someone who could fill in.  Somehow in the course of the conversation, the retreat coordinator ended up asking me to be the speaker!  “Are you kidding me?”, I was thinking.  I’ve spoken one time for twenty-five minutes; I can’t lead an entire retreat.  Was she nuts!!??  I told her I would pray about it (with no intention of really even considering it), hung up the phone and literally fell on the floor laughing!   I went up stairs to tuck in my oldest son, Austen, who was about four years old at the time.  Out of the blue, he asked me to read him the story of Moses.  Come to find out Moses had been the topic of his Sunday School lesson that morning, and he wanted to hear the story again.  Ironic?  No, not ironic.  God was getting ready to speak very loudly to me!  This was my “burning bush.” 
I got to verse 13 … “Lord, please send someone else!!”  Amen Moses, I hear ya loud and clear!  Please, please, please send someone else to speak at this women’s retreat!  Then I got to verse 14 … “the anger of the Lord burned against Moses.”  Yikes!  By the time I finished reading my heart was pounding.  Oh no!  God couldn’t possibly be serious, could He?  But in fact He was very serious, and I knew I didn’t want the “anger of the Lord” burning against me.  So I prayed.  Fervently, I prayed.  “Lord, I am not an eloquent speaker, but I don’t want your anger burning against me, so if you really want ME to do this, give me an outline for THREE large-group sessions to confirm it and fast!”
The next morning God did, in fact, give me three outlines just like that.  He also, like Moses, gave me a helper.  Her name wasn’t Aaron; it was Dianne, and she mentored me through the preparation stages for the retreat and prayed me there and back.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I was still scared to death, but I was more afraid to disobey God and have His wrath burning against me.  Instead, I chose to walk in faith while my fear surrounded me. 
I believe that often the answer to the question, “Are you walking in fear or faith,” is YES!  I am walking in fear AND faith.  I’m scared to death, but I’m still going to choose to walk believing God.  Because even though my fear is very real and is indeed surrounding me, my choice to trust Him unleashes His power.  God then uses this  opportunity to take me by the hand and lift me up out of my fear.  So instead of walking through my fear, as though I’m walking through a treacherous storm, He puts the fear under my feet and causes me to walk on water.  In other words, I get to participate in a miracle!
  • Have you sensed God calling you to do something that completely scares you?
  • Have you considered trusting God in the midst of your fear and watching Him unleash a miracle?
For what God had in store for Moses, it was imperative that from the beginning he  learn to trust God for the miracles that would occur.  This week treat yourself by reading through Exodus and remembering the many miracles God did through the faithful walk and leadership of Moses.  You will be blessed!
Walking with Him …


Jacqueline Heider
Women’s Ministry