But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
(Exodus 3:11-12, ESV)
How do we know if what we’re doing has the Lord’s blessing on it? How can I be sure that Threshingfloor is what Jesus has called Kelly and I to do and that we’re not just pouring time and energy into a foolish endeavor? It’s a question that comes up often.
Growing up in evangelical church culture one of the more popular prayers, especially as I and my friends neared the end of highschool was “God, what’s your will for me?” We wrestled over the countless almost-adult decisions. Should I go to this school or that school? Should I date her or not? Do I go on that missions trip or save my money? Excellent prayers to pray, but as I look back I can see in myself and my friends a fear masked by prayerful spirituality. We wanted God to give us a play-by-play of the next three years so we could know that we were doing everything right. In the years since then I’ve learned that that laying out a three year plan isn’t something that God generally does for his people.
It certainly isn’t what he did for Moses. When the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush and tells him Moses is going to be his instrument to free the Israelites from pharaoh God doesn’t offer Moses a detailed plan about how to achieve the end result. Moses, understandably overwhelmed with the enormity of freeing hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children from the clutches of one of the most powerful nations on earth, questions, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) Translation; “I don’t have that kind of skill! I’m not going to be able to do that!” In reply to Moses’ questioning the Lord says, “I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
God reminds Moses that He will be with him. Moses doesn’t need to worry about his skill level or aptitude at nation-leading. When God’s with you nothing else needs worrying about. So, great. God says he’s going to be with Moses. The question then is how will Moses know that God’s with him and that this whole burning bush deal isn’t some desert sun-stroke induced hallucination? How can Moses be sure this is God’s will for his life? God’s reply to this implicit question is a strange one, and there’s much we can learn from it. He says, “This shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Is God with me?
How will Moses know that God sent him? The mission will be a success. When Moses has trooped with an entire nation out of Egypt and across a desert to Sinai, he will know it was God’s will. The Lord is calling for Moses to, like Abraham his ancestor, have faith. Step out without knowing the details of the path.
So many Christians are holding themselves back from the fullness of what Jesus has for their lives because they want a road map. They want God to prove that he’s with them. But – news flash – he’s already proven that. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are the resounding declaration of “I am with you.” He’s given us 66 books that are evidence of how God comes through for those who move in faith. Romans 14 says, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
It doesn’t take faith to follow a perfectly laid-out path. God wants us, like Moses, like Jesus, and like so many other believers before us, to hear his Word and move forward. He wants us to step out in faith even though the way may not be completely clear. He will open or close doors as we move forward, and when we arrive at the destination he has called us to we will look back and know our God was with us.
How do Kelly and I know Threshingfloor is something we’re supposed to be doing? Honestly, we doubt and question plenty, but we’re stepping forward in faith day by day. Every open door is proof that God is with us. Every life changed by Jesus’ power is proof that this is God’s will for our life. My pray for you, fellow Christian, is that your life wouldn’t be one of sitting and waiting for the safe moment. I want you to experience the thrill of our King moving supernaturally to make way for you as you follow his lead, and to do that you need to step out in faith. He will make the way clear. When you have done what is impossible, that shall be a sign to you that God is with you.