Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Heed the Call

In everyone’s life, there comes a time when you will be asked to step up and lead. You may find yourself leading a small committee at church or be asked to be part of a pastor search committee or maybe lead a sports team. Whatever the event or situation, someone or a group will come up to you and ask you to lead. The person or group will tell you that they believe you are the right person to lead. How will you respond?

In most cases, people try to politely decline the offer and tell the person or group that they are too busy to do whatever is needed, much less have the skills to lead. But, the request keeps coming back. They will tell you that you have what it takes and all of the skills that are necessary. However, people still, like trying to dodge jury duty, give more and more excuses. Suppose God called you to do something. What would your response be to Him? Would you give Him the same excuses and reasons why you shouldn’t be a leader?

Moses, when told by God to go to Pharaoh to order him to release the Hebrew children, gave three distinct excuses to God. God, through a burning bush, tells Moses to go to Egypt and command Pharaoh to release His children from captivity. Instead of accepting the mantle of leadership and acting as God’s messenger, Moses proceeds to give God a long list of excuses of why he shouldn’t go.

Moses tells God that he’s a nobody and no one, not even the elders, would believe that he was sent by Him. 

In chapter three of the Book of Exodus, God responds, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

Notice the first thing God tells Moses. He tells him that he would not be alone. As a leader, God is always with us. When called to action and to lead, God will never just give you a task and send you alone to do it. He will be right there with you and provide you with wisdom and guidance throughout the entirety of the mission.

When I was asked to participate in the pastor search committee of my church, many told me that this was one of the most emotionally draining tasks that a church member could possibly take on. It was. For me, it was emotionally and spiritually draining. There were many times when I broke down in tears and looked to God for help. I sought spiritual guidance from the dearest and, I would argue, the best pastor who served God, Brother Joe Broadway. I spent time with him and his dear wife, Johnnie, praying, listening and asking God to speak the words I needed to make the right decision.

Instead of accepting God’s answer, Moses gave God another excuse, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”

God equipped Moses by giving him a miracle of turning his staff into a serpent. God not only was going to be with him but He equipped Moses with the tools necessary to complete the mission. In addition to that, God gave Moses the ability to change his hand from healthy to diseased and back again. You would think that Moses would eagerly lead and speak for God. Not a chance.

Once again, Moses, instead of doing what he was told, gave another excuse, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

By this time, God was angry with Moses and said to him, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

The lesson is very simple. God will never let you walk alone as a leader. He will equip you and will give you the words to say. When God picks you for something, you should never feel that you won’t be able to complete the task or mission. He will see to that. 

But, we, like Moses, will say the same thing, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

Instead of stepping up and taking the leadership role as directed by God, we will ask God to send or pick someone else. If there is one thing I learned as a member of any church committee and being a deacon chairperson, you will never make a mistake or let anyone down as long as you follow God’s guidance and heed His words of wisdom. God will lead you and you will lead as His representative. 

After Moses’ death, God chose another to lead His children, Joshua. Joshua knew that he had big shoes to fill. Moses, after all, led the children through the desert and brought them to the edge of the Promised Land. He, with God’s guidance and wisdom, got them there and now God chose Joshua to take them into the Promised Land.

In chapter one of the Book of Joshua, God gave Joshua words of encouragement and advice, “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Look at the very last thing God said to Joshua. No matter where you go, God will be with you every step of the way. With God right there with you, you don’t have to be afraid or discouraged. All you have to do is be strong and courageous and let God do the rest. To borrow a few words from Paul, if God is for us, who can be against us?

Do not let your first response be an excuse. Use the words of Samuel, when God spoke to him, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

When you are chosen to represent God, be confident, brave and know that God is there with you. With Him leading you, you most assuredly will stand firm in His grace.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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