Comforting Realities as We Embrace God's Calling
Updated: Jan 30, 2020
In the early stages of our church planting efforts, I have had the opportunity to talk with several people who are investigating God’s call on their lives to join our church planting team. Essentially, these are ordinary Christians who are being called to the missionary task of making disciples here in THIS town, at THIS time and with THESE people. It is interesting to walk with people who are exploring all that the call of God means for them. For some, this calling may mean moving homes or changing jobs. Others are excited to join a missionary effort in a place they already live.
I recently read through the book of Exodus and stumbled upon the story of Moses and the burning bush. At the fiery bush, God calls Moses to return to Egypt and deliver the Israelites from slavery. In God’s calling of Moses to this pre-Christ Gospel ministry, I see a few objective truths for us regarding the call of God. Interestingly, these thoughts resonate with the sentiments being shared in our meetings with our potential core team members. I pray that as you think through God’s calling on your life these truths would comfort you as you seek to believe, grow and hope in Jesus.
God’s Calling Confirms His Presence (Exodus 3:1-5, 12, 16).
It was just another day: Moses caring for his father-in-law’s sheep, and Israel slaving away for Pharaoh. While everyone embraced the grind, God showed up in the most remarkable way-- a burning (and speaking) bush. “Moses, Moses!” Can you imagine? Yeah, neither could Moses. What a remarkable and even scary experience. When confronted with the holiness of God, Moses was too scared to even look!
Thankfully, we do not encounter the personal, terrifying holiness of God as Moses did on that day; however, God’s presence and calling in our lives can be its own kind of scary. Our dreams, our safety, our comforts, our lives as we know it are all on the line as God and His Word come to us and say, “Go to the land I’m telling you.” This call can feel too much, too big, too scary--it’s holy ground. Yes, His presence through the Word as He calls us to our specific disciple-making task can be scary.
Yet we often fail to see that God has been with us this whole time ordering our steps! He has not left us. He sees us in our mundaneness and in our misery. As God said to Israel through Moses, “I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.” God was with their Fathers; He was with them in Egypt; and He will continue to be with them as He leads them ahead: “I will certainly be with you…” God’s calling in our lives confirms His constant presence with us! He is still Emmanuel, and His presence is all we really need. He is with you!
God’s Calling Commissions Flawed People (Exodus 3:11-14, 4:1, 10).
Moses’ lack of readiness for the call is also seen in his instinctive back-peddling. “But, but, but!” he exclaims. Moses had a lot of excuses as to why God’s calling was not a good fit. He was not really sure of himself, his identity or his abilities: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses was not confident that his calling would be validated by others: “What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you?’” More than that, Moses felt convinced that he simply did not have the gifts/competencies to fulfill God’s mission, “Please, LORD, I have never been eloquent… because my mouth and tongue are sluggish.”
As the story continues, it is amazing how quickly God’s power and salvation overshadow these fears and insecurities. In other words, God’s mission was not about Moses’ self-confidence, abilities or competencies. It was about God’s. You see, God only uses flawed people because only flawed people exist. There are no “un-flawed” people. God’s calling on your life to make disciples of the people around you is no accident. You did not mishear him! He has called you. You are one of His many missionaries sent to save people for His glory. Your identity is rock solid in Jesus, your assurance is in His power, and your capability rests on His Word.
God’s Calling Comes from His Promises (Exodus 3:16-17).
Do you want to hear the truth about the disciple-making mission that God has called you to? It will succeed. Read it slower… God’s mission through you will succeed. Why, you ask? Because God’s calling is always rooted in His promises. God tells Moses: “Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have paid close attention to you and what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised you that I will bring you up from the misery of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites -- a land flowing with milk and honey.”
Moses will succeed because his mission is the fulfillment of God’s promises. This whole thing is way bigger than Moses! God refers to Himself as “the LORD” or YHWH: “the covenant keeping God of Israel.” This is the One who makes promises by Himself and for His people-- for His glory and for our good. In the same way, God has made promises to His people in Jesus. Christ will have the reward of many nations. Your discipleship mission will succeed because this is way bigger than you or me. Jesus has died and risen, and the Spirit of Christ is gathering us together into one body and as you proclaim the Gospel to people around you, God’s Word will do it’s work! It is happening right in front of our eyes. God’s plan to build His church, to save the nations and to bring glory to His Son will succeed. Bank on it!
Friends, the comfort you have in the middle of your disciple-making calling is that God is with you, He delights to use you and your flaws, and He promises that His mission will succeed. In other words, everything is going to be ok!
Our mission at Good Shepherd Bible Church is to proclaim the Gospel to all people so that they will believe, grow and hope in Jesus. Will you join us? If you are interested in speaking with someone about wether or not you belong at GSBC, we would love to talk with you. Feel free to DM us through this page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace and peace to you,