Last week we discussed how our awe of God should be greater than our awe of our past mistakes or our present or future challenges. This week, we will see how Moses lived the rest of his life according to a New Testament principle that we briefly touched on last week. This principle is found in Philippians 4:13, which says: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
First of all, Paul says, “I can…” (which speaks of) Unlimited Participation. God wants to use all Believers are to have an impact in the world for Jesus, but we often count ourselves out because of past failures. Sin does have consequences, but God’s sacrifice through Christ Jesus is greater than our sin. If we humbly lay our sin at the foot of the cross, Jesus can and will redeem it. We see this clearly in Moses’ story when God calls him into service. Moses began making excuses, but they were invalid to God because He had been preparing Moses for this call to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, starting with a shepherd’s staff that Moses had been carrying around the desert for 40 years. God used the skills and experience that Moses already possessed to liberate His people, and likewise, He wants to use the talents, skills, relationships, and personality He gave you. God will take what you have in your hand and use it for His glory. Although God does want to use us to impact His kingdom, we cannot predict the results. In this process we may see early victories for Christ as well as early resistance to Him. God provided an early win for Moses in the positive response from the Israelite elders; however Moses also received early resistance from Pharaoh when he first approached him about releasing the Hebrew people. In a similar vein, we can expect pushback and opposition when we begin to obey God. In these instances, it’s important to remember not to quit, as God has never promised us an easy life, but rather the grace to persevere through our trials.
Secondly, Paul says, “…do all things…” (which speaks of) Unlimited Possibilities. In the next segment of Moses’ story, we learn about the ten plagues of Egypt. Pharaoh’s hard heart resisted God despite the agony of the first nine plagues, so the tenth plague came with a choice—the choice to demonstrate faith in God whether Egyptian or Hebrew. Not choosing to place their faith in God resulted in His judgment and the death of the firstborn. This plague was a foreshadowing of the choice that we have in whether we choose to place our faith in Christ and live our lives for him. The consequence of living life apart from Jesus results in eternal judgment and permanent separation from God. God has provided the opportunity—but the choice is ours. I think the three reasons that God sent these plagues upon Egypt is because He wanted to develop Moses as a leader, to deliver the Hebrew people, and to show His power.
Lastly, Paul says, “…through Him…” (which speaks of) the Unlimited Power of God. Here Moses stands on the banks of the Red Sea with the Isrealite nation, and Pharaoh’s army, behind him. Instead of giving into the fear that controlled him in his past, he stretched forth his staff and proclaimed God’s deliverance. And the children of Israel walked through the Red Sea safely, while the Egyptian army perished as God brought the waves down upon them. Afterward, Moses and the people responded not by congratulating Moses, but by praising the Lord. That is how you and I will see change in this difficult world—when we stop focusing on our ability or inability and say. “I can…do all things…through Him who strengthens me.”
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Philippians 4:13, and Moses’ example, invite every believer to experience God’s unlimited possibilities and power. What will you do?
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)