By Nathan Washburn
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Greenbrier
Moses wasn’t a ladder-climbing businessman. He wasn’t a self-assured professional with a great resume and leadership experience. He was a shepherd on the backside of the wilderness. And while he probably wasn’t the guy that anyone would have chosen to lead Israel out of Egypt and into their new homeland, that’s exactly what God called him to do.
His calling, however, wasn’t clean and tidy. Moses struggled with the idea. In fact, he was brutally honest about his own limitations. Who was he that God should even send him (Exodus 3:11)? How would the people know God sent him (Exodus 3:13)? What if they didn’t believe him (Exodus 4:1)? What if he messed up what he was supposed to say and couldn’t communicate clearly (Exodus 3:10)? What if he just didn’t want to go (v. 13)? At every objection Moses raised, however, the Lord had an overruling answer. There was nothing He hadn’t thought of, and there was nothing He couldn’t do.
God is not unaware of your limitations. He created them. Moses was well acquainted with his speech impediment. He was also self-conscious enough about it that he thought it would exclude him from being used by God. (Either this or the whole thing was an excuse he was tossing out there in order for God to move on to someone else.) But God’s response was that He was the one who created the mouth and tongue of every person, and if Moses had any sort of disability, it’s because God, in His perfect creativity, gave it to him. God was fully aware of his speech issue; it was His idea!
God uses your limitations to showcase His glory. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (II Corinthians 4:7). These bodies we have, these vessels of clay, are not perfect. We have far more inabilities than abilities. And God uses us in that state precisely to show that none of the credit should go to us. After the unfolding of the 10 plagues, there’s no doubt that it was God’s doing that the Israelites were released by Pharaoh. It certainly wasn’t Moses’ speaking ability. This was so that God would get the glory over Pharaoh (Exodus 14:4, 17).
God has called you, not someone else. You. Moses pressed God’s calling by bringing up several issues that he thought would relieve him from the task God was giving him to do. When God explained and displayed that He was greater than his disability and would use him, he finally begged Him just to send someone else.
We will always want God to send someone else. Someone else can tell my neighbor about Christ. Someone else can volunteer for the nursery. Someone else can go overseas and tell the news of Jesus. Someone else can help revitalize that church. Lord, just send someone else.
This is a far different reaction than we see from the humbled prophet Isaiah after he had seen the Lord on His throne. He knew when he saw the Lord high and exalted (Isaiah 6:1) that he was an unworthy man (Isaiah 6:5). After his cleansing (Isaiah 6:7), when the question came of who would go, Isaiah willingly cried out, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Pray to have this willingness.
We all have limitations. Those limitations, however, do not exempt us from the responsibility to willingly obey when the Lord calls us to follow Him and do His work. We can always trust that His ability is far greater than our inability, and because of this, He will always get the glory.