ANSWERING THE CALL
God's 'On-Job Training'
By Andrea D. Hedlund
I don’t understand, Lord. What do you want me to do?
Several months ago I doubted whether I was in God’s will. A perpetual lack of good health consumed me. Anxiety and depression became the norm. Yet, I hungered for His presence even more deeply.
I invited my husband, Brad, to pray with me for direction in my career.
God abruptly woke me up early one morning with an answer. I leapt out of bed and ran into the bathroom where Brad was getting ready and blurted out, “I have to get out of my stressful work environment!”
Huddled by our bathroom sink, we prayed for God’s will to be done. I knew if God closed this door, something else would open. But at the time, nothing came to mind. I had one clear answer, but everything else was a mystery.
That’s where a leap of faith changed my life. Once I obeyed that one request, He immediately went to work on my behalf. Weeks later, God provided a position that was perfect for me.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
I realized how often my thoughts return to my life’s purpose. God had given me a new vision, but I was still overwhelmed with fatigue. Why would God lead me to this place only to let me suffer?
I was further perplexed one day when a co-worker asked me to write an article on how God equips those He calls. Ironically, I didn’t even believe that God was equipping me. I certainly did not feel like I was the right person for the job.
Lord, are you sure this is what you want me to do? Yes, I am aware of the gifts that You have blessed me with, but how can I use them when I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed? I cannot think clearly anymore.
I know you called me to this place, but…
Maybe God made a mistake.
I think that’s probably how Moses felt when God spoke to him from a burning bush and asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land.
But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”(Exodus 3:11, NLT)
His initial lack of faith is how most of us respond when asked to do something out of our comfort zone. We hesitate and panic because we’re aware of our inadequacies.
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." (Exodus 4:10-12, NIV)
It’s easier to try to pass it off to someone more capable, like Moses attempted in Exodus 4:13:
“O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (NIV)
Sometimes we practice too much self-defeat and not enough faith.
Moses had a speech impediment. How embarrassing! If he tried to stand up to the Pharaoh, he’d be the laughingstock. After all, he went from being a prince living in a palace to a lowly shepherd.
And then there’s me – the young, sick lady, with a list of mysterious conditions. I’m the person who tells you exactly how I feel if you ask. I like to keep it real. Although, sometimes I get insecure and imagine people judging me.
Like Moses who didn’t have much faith in himself or his calling, we all have moments of self-doubt. Amazingly, God does not give up on us and can work through us regardless of our imperfections.
Do not look upon his appearance or the height of his stature… for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16, NIV)
We may feel inadequate, unworthy, unprepared, but God will never call someone to do something that he won’t enable them to accomplish. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls.
All we have to do is answer when He calls; yet many of us fear the unknown. We want to understand right away why we’re supposed to be a part of something greater than ourselves and how God intends to make it happen.
Our first step should be obedience. In fact, it was out of obedience that Moses finally accepted his leadership position. He didn’t have all the answers, and likely we won’t either. But God is in the habit of providing “on-job training.”
For Moses, this meant his eloquent-speaking older brother, Aaron, would become his mouthpiece. God would instruct Moses, Moses would tell Aaron, and Aaron would communicate to the Pharaoh. At Moses’ command, Aaron would use his staff to unleash horrendous plagues against Egypt until the Pharaoh relented and let the people go. At God's command, Moses stretched out his hands, raised his staff high, and parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass through safely.
Even today, God performs miracles and signs. It may not be as extraordinary as a rod turning into a snake, or Jesus turning wine into water, but if we follow His lead, we'll have more than enough to get the job done.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20, NLT)
Leading God’s people out of slavery was important enough for God to call Moses twice. How many times will it take before you respond?
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