Be Obedient and Don’t Give Up

March 3, 2019
Exodus 4:10-12

10 But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant because I am slow and hesitant in speech.”

11 Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”

Three times in the last week I’ve been asked about how I arrived here as a pastor.  I tell the story how I have always laughed about Jonah and how when God said (paraphrased): Jonah, go right!  Jonah decided to go left. 


It didn’t matter, Jonah still wound up right where God wanted only a little worse for wear and smelling like fish.  I used to tell myself “Self, don’t run from God cause you hate fish!” 
It wasn’t until almost 30 years ago, I realized I like Jonah was actually still running from God.  It took a momentous event in my life to see that, although unlike Jonah I didn’t believe I was in direct defiance to God I was not doing what He wanted me to do. 
I always tried to convince God: “You need to find someone else, I’m not the right guy, no one will listen to me.”  
Sound like Moses? How often do we try to tell God “Find someone else, I’m not the one.”  
You know what the problem is with that?  Well, actually there are several: first God is smarter than us . . . no really, He is.  Second, He can see through all our excuses, third, He understands all our reservations.  Fourth, He even knows our weaknesses. 
But you know what?  He knows how to use those to accomplish whatever the task is He has for us to do.  How many times in the Bible has He used weak,  flawed and damaged people to do great things?  Sampson was a womanizer, Elijah was suicidal, [1 Kings 19:4]  Rahab was a prostitute, [Joshua 2:1]  but was in direct line to David, “a man after God’s own heart” who himself was an adulterer and a murderer.  [2 Samuel 11:1-22]
You may say, but they were all great men and women. Exactly.  God sees what we can’t.  He knows what we don’t and He can do with us what we don’t believe we can do ourselves.  
Moses thought he was unable and God said to him; 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”  And we know how that turned out. God spoke to Isaiah; Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me.[Isaiah 6:8]
He told Isaiah to go speak to the people telling them all the terrible things that were to come.   He sent Ezekiel to Israel to warn them but He said; Whether they listen or refuse to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. “But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.[Ezekiel 2:5-7]
The point I’m making is God even knows that He may give us tasks that may not seem to have a fruitful outcome, but that isn’t the point. . . for us.  the point for us is to obey. 
We don’t always get to see the harvest but we are to obey. 
Understanding that will help us all to avoid disappointment and dismay when it seems our efforts are fruitless.
Remember this when you feel like God has given you a thankless task. 
Know that our harvest may not come in this kingdom but in the next, or it may be just around the corner.

~ Pastor Floyd Banks