The second lesson in our series “Broken Vessels: How God uses Imperfect People” deals with God’s power to use us in spite of our weaknesses. The example is Moses, whom we recall was used by God to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Moses had his excuses and used them but God overruled his objections!
We, like Moses, are prone to underestimate our ability to serve the Lord effectively. We say, as he did, “Who am I?” (Ex. 3:11). We see the enormity of the task and feel unqualified.
It is true that on our own we are most inadequate to accomplish anything worthwhile for the Lord. We must remain dependent on the Lord and remember that “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).
Moses had encountered God in a powerful way at the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-9). He had stood on “holy ground” and been informed of the Lord’s desire and intention to deliver His people. If we consider Moses as a type of Christ, we should immediately recognize that when we enter into worship we are standing on “holy ground” before the same God who still desires to deliver people from sin.
Three things to learn
There are three things we can learn from Moses’ example, which we need to do in order to serve the Lord faithfully, despite our perceived shortcomings.
First we need to stand before God in worship. If we are faithful to worship God we will be in a better position to hear from God. Moses was a busy, hardworking man, but his past failures caused him to assume he was a “nobody” God neither could or would use.
True worship must flow from a heart of repentance and faith. If we “confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I believe Moses was repentant. The Bible declares he was a man of faith. All he needed to faithfully serve God was to accept the reality of God’s promise, “I will certainly be with you” (Ex. 3:12).
The time Moses spent in training, 40 years in the desert, provided the time for him to worship and grow in his relationship with the Lord. As a result of this time he became the friend of God (Ex. 33:11) and this led to a life of humility (Num. 12:3). But in spite of this he still objected to God’s specific call on his life. His second excuse was his perceived lack of eloquence in speaking (Ex. 4:10).
God will always provide what we need to serve Him. It wasn’t Moses’ hands or voice that God really wanted, it was his heart. The second thing we must to do serve God effectively is surrender to God in wisdom. God had gifted Moses just as He has every believer (cf. Rom. 12:1-15). Sometimes we are prone, like Moses was, to ask the Lord to send someone else to do the job (Ex. 4:12-17).
You may have heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” That is not true! We all have much more than we can handle on our own.
Wisdom is recognizing that God has gifted and enabled us to do all that He calls us to do through the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is more correct to say, “God will never give you more than He can handle.”
In one sense Moses got what he asked for. Aaron was brought in to serve with him. Sadly, we all know as we read the story that sometimes Aaron was more of a hindrance than a help. Moses grew in wisdom through his surrender to the Lord and in spite of his own shortcomings was used greatly of God as the lawgiver, deliverer, and prophet of the Most High God. God can use you as well.
Third, to serve the Lord faithfully we must submit to God in our walk. As the deliverance of Israel progressed, Moses proved that through dependence on God and faith in His Word that he was more than capable of doing all God called him to do. Though his excuse was lack of eloquence, we have evidence of Moses speaking some of the most powerful messages ever articulated, to his own people and to the king of Egypt.
The more we submit to God’s will the greater our walk with God and effectiveness in serving Him. Warren Wiersbe summarizes the lesson well. He says, “God knows us better than we know ourselves, so we must trust Him and obey what He tells us to do. When we tell God our weaknesses, we aren’t sharing anything He doesn’t already know (Jud. 6:15; 1 Sam. 9:21; Jer. 1:6). The will of God will never lead you where the power of God can’t enable you, so walk by faith in His promises.”
Do you have objections to God’s call? Stand before Him in worship, surrender to Him in wisdom, and submit to Him in your walk by discovering your spiritual gift. As God calls you to ministry He will motivate you through one of the seven gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. He will enable and empower you to serve Him in spite of your objections.
Questions for Consideration:
- What objections have you given God to excuse yourself from following His call or directions for your life?
- What can you learn from Moses’ example in the text for today’s lesson?
- How would you apply Proverbs 3:5-6 to this lesson?
- Do you know your Holy Spirit-given motivation for ministry from Romans 12:6-8? How could you use your gift to support the ministry of your local church?
 Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Pentateuch (Colorado Springs: Victor, 2001), 184.
This lesson can also be read at The Christian Index site.