Yesterday on Torah Bites I went in a little different direction with the message. I addressed only one Torah verse to make the point that whatever we are called to do in the Kingdom, whether the job is large or small, significant or seemingly insignificant in our eyes, everything—EVERYTHING—has value in the Kingdom of Adonai.
Today I’d like to speak to those times when G-d calls us out of our comfort zones, when he asks us to do those things that we do not feel equipped to do. I know the feeling well. I don’t consider myself to have a talent for speaking, yet this year, Adonai called me out of my comfort zone (my membership in Introverts R Us is paid up until I pass away!) and said I needed to teach…publicly…as in actual words coming from my mouth in front of a group of people.
I’m not going to go into the arguments I had with G-d over that one. Let’s just say the interaction between Moses and the burning bush was a lot less dramatic than my encounter with G-d’s directive! I can write all day long on any subject but put me in front of a group of people, and I’m suddenly a blubbering, incoherent mess.
This seems to be the way Moses felt as well. Let’s take this from the beginning…
In Exodus 3, we see Moses tending to his father-in-law’s sheep. He’s settled down, he’s married, and he has a pastoral life. The Pharaoh hasn’t invaded Midian to come after him and he’s feeling pretty content. Life is good.
But then one day, as he’s grazing the sheep on the far side of the desert, he comes to Mt. Horeb, the mountain of G-d, according to the text. (Exodus 3:1) He notices a fire blazing in the middle of a bush, yet the bush is not consumed, and his curiosity gets the better of him. As soon as Adonai had his attention, he called to Moses from the bush.
I’d like to point out something. Moses was going about his business. He had no expectations or great goals beyond the life he was leading. Everything was on an even keel and he was satisfied. Adonai had to grab his attention. When G-d grabbed my attention to teach publicly, he created such an intense desire within me to share his Word that I could not resist. I wasn’t looking to teach verbally. I thought I’d start a blog and teach through the written word.
But when he said, “Nope…talk to the pastor about teaching at church,” that’s when all bets were off and I responded just like Moses, but in a more girly, toddler fashion.
I had a meltdown and temper tantrum. (Okay, I’m exaggerating a little…but not by much.)
Let’s listen to Moses argue with the Most High. “Moshe said to G-d, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the people of Isra’el out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11 CJB)
I want you to pay close attention to G-d’s response to Moses. He didn’t appeal to Moses’ vanity, to his talents, to his abilities, to his familiarity with the Egyptian court, or to his personal ties to Pharaoh’s family. He didn’t give Moses any answer about why he was qualified to do what the Lord was asking.
Because if we’re to be honest? He wasn’t qualified.
But he was called.
Instead, Exodus tells us, “He replied, “I will surely be with you….” (Exodus 3:12a CJB)
In short, Adonai was telling Moses that it didn’t matter what inadequacies or lack of ability he had, the presence of the Lord was enough. A personal relationship with G-d was all Moses needed to succeed at what he had been called to do.
And while the rest of this story is about the other arguments Moses came up with and how G-d swatted those away, (including how he has no talent for speaking!), this first response from Adonai is sometimes the only one we get when we’re faced with a call from Heaven.
Are you being called to a service for Adonai that you feel uniquely unqualified for? Do you feel him leading you in a direction that is frightening but exhilarating at the same time?
Don’t let your fear overtake you. Listen when he says, “I will surely be with you….” Take off your shoes and your objections as you stand in front of the holy fire of the One who is calling you to things you cannot begin to fathom.
This life is boot camp, remember? He’s preparing you for more wonderful things than you can ever begin to dream.
It’s just as matter of saying, “Here I am.”