A Note from Chris Adams: I often have to answer this with a hearty, YES! But if I choose to obey God’s direction, I have to do what He calls me to do. And even though I feel like I am not equipped, in His power I am able to carry out His assignments. If you feel like that as well, you and I are in good company…with Moses! Read this post by guest writer and women’s leader, Stephanie Edge, and see if you can identify!
In the book of Exodus, the Israelites found themselves oppressed in Egypt. In the midst of long days of intense hard labor, they cried out to God. The Israelites were in need of a deliverer. God saw and took notice. However, He chose an unlikely candidate to lead His people out of Egypt—Moses. Have you ever felt like an unlikely candidate for leadership? Then, you are in good company.
The birth of Moses is recorded in Exodus 2. Pharaoh so feared the Israelites as they increased in number that he ordered all Hebrew baby boys to be tossed into the Nile. Despite this command, Moses was born and placed in a basket by the bank. He was discovered and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter.
When Moses grew up, he was a first-hand witness to the oppression of the Israelites. In fact, in a small way, Moses tried to defend an Israelite. But, the one by one approach ended in the death of an Egyptian and the discovery of Moses’ deed (Exodus 2:11-16). As a result, Moses fled and later found himself on the far side of the wilderness.
It is here, in the wilderness, that God called Moses. I wonder if you have ever found yourself in a place much like Moses. Whether you are running from a previous mistake or just minding your own business in the daily affairs of shepherding sheep, God can and will meet you there.
God knows how to get your attention. For Moses, it was a burning bush, which was no small feat. God caused something extraordinary to happen in the ordinary. So, Moses turned aside, moved closer, and took a look. Have you seen the extraordinary in the ordinary lately?
God spoke. Not only did He speak, but He called Moses’ name. There is nothing more personal than your own name. Sometimes we need to hear His voice to know that we have not been forgotten, don’t we? Moses’ responded, “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4). God was about to reveal Himself to Moses. “‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:6). Our response to God is probably very similar to Moses’—when we recognize who He is in light of who we are, we hide our faces.
God’s people were on His mind, and He was moved to action. He had seen, heard, knew, and had come down; God had a plan, and He was sending Moses to lead the people out of Egypt (Exodus 3:7-10). Moses, the fearful leader, asked, “Who am I that I should go?” Remember the story of Moses’s birth? His birth and life were a miracle because he survived a death sentence. It was no mistake that Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house and witnessed the plight of his people up close and personal. He was uniquely positioned to deliver the Israelites. Lest we be too hard on Moses, have you ever asked “Who am I?” or are you asking it right now with the task set out before you?
God’s assurance of His presence to Moses is relevant to us in leadership. God will be with you. But, Moses’ questions continued. “What if they won’t believe me…?” (Exodus 4:1). God gave Moses the words to say, directions to follow, and the signs and wonders needed to prove He was with Moses. God will provide. Clearly, Moses’ doubt and fears did not subside. Have your thoughts and hesitations subsided whether this is a first time leadership experience or the hundredth?
Moses protested once more. Perhaps, God had forgotten that he was not a good speaker. “…I am slow and hesitant in speech” (Exodus 4:10). Sure enough, as His Creator, God recognized Moses’ limitations, and God recognizes our limitations as well. Just as God fashioned Moses and knew everything about him, He created you and knows you intricately.
In one last effort, “Moses said, ‘Please, Lord send someone else'” (Exodus 4:13). Can you identity, my friend? Are you saying “Send someone else—just anyone else”? The Lord’s anger burned against Moses. God must have been exhausted by his questions, and He must grow tired of ours. He indeed answered Moses’ pleading, sent Aaron along to help, and was with both men as they led the Israelites.
As I think about the story of Moses’ call to leadership, I can’t help but think about my call and your call. Where do you find yourself today? Are you in the wilderness? Are you making excuses? Are you a reluctant leader? Perhaps, you strongly identify with Moses. We can trust God’s principles as revealed in Exodus 1-4. God knows where you are, and He knows how to get your attention. God speaks. He has a plan and is sending you and me. He has promised His presence as you lead. God knows your limitations, and He has promised to provide. Take courage! There is a brave leader deep inside you just as there was in Moses.
Stephanie Edge is the former Director of Women’s Ministry in Jackson, TN and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. Stephanie graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity She also completed a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Stephanie currently is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, TN. She has a passion for God’s Word and ministering to women.