Faith for Ministry – Learning to Swim in the Deep End
“Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
“I could never do that!” Have you ever looked at an impossible circumstance and felt an overwhelming sense of incompetence? God often drops us into the deep end of the pool in order to teach us to swim. But, like a good father, He doesn’t leave us to struggle on our own. He promises to be right there teaching us, supporting us, and supplying the strength we need in life and in ministry.
Jumping into the Deep End of Ministry
Teaching my children to swim was very important to me. I spent a number of years as a lifeguard both at pools and lakes and this opportunity awakened me to the importance of learning this skill. But the only way to learn is to get into the water. You can’t learn by sitting on the edge. At some point you’ve got to take the plunge!
Moses had been through God’s training course. He had a deep desire to help his fellow Israelites out of their plight in Egypt. But in his passion Moses jumped in too deep and too soon. His untimely intervention in a difficult circumstance resulted in the death of a slave driver and a quick getaway to Midian.
For forty lonely years God trained Moses in His ways as he sat in the desert shepherding sheep. But finally it was time to jump back into the pool. This time it would be different. Moses needed to understand that God would be the power behind the Israelites’ rescue, and all he needed to do was trust and obey. Initially this was difficult. He stood on the edge contemplating the big plunge of faith for quite a while.
Overcoming Failure and Growing in Faith
Moses still felt the effects of his first failure. He knew he had blown it big time and had lost all hope of making a difference. His family remained suffering in Egypt and for forty years he had felt helpless and incapable of intervening.
So when God spoke to Moses in the desert and told him to return to Egypt and lead His people out of slavery, Moses only had one thought. I could never do that! “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Although God promised to be with him and even gave him signs to assure him of his presence, Moses still hesitated. He poured out all his insecurities and God responded to each one.
Q: What if they ask me Your name?
A: I AM has sent me to you.
Q: What if they don’t believe me?
A: I will provide you with signs.
Q: I have never been eloquent. I am slow of speech and tongue.
A: I will help you speak and teach you what to say!
Finally Moses took the staff of God in his hand, saddled up his donkey, and started back with his family towards Egypt. I imagine he was nervous as he re-traced his terrifying and guilt-ridden journey from many years ago. But this act of obedience was about to change things in a big way. God was going to show Moses, Israel, and all of Egypt His mighty power and life would never be the same!
God is the One Who Empowers Ministry
The God who assured and empowered Moses is the same God who will assure and empower you. So when you are standing on the edge of the pool thinking, “I could never do that,” tell Him all of your insecurities and then jump in! He promises to be with you and teach you all you need to know. Your courageous act of faith and obedience may even change the world!
Read Exodus 4 for more details of today’s story.
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