Reflections on Exodus 4: Dealing with our Fears

You can’t listen fast.  At least I can’t.  Especially when listening for God’s voice.man-in-a-race-with-a-stopwatch_1048-1611

 

So I appreciated extended time to listen during our Writer’s Day Away as I read my Bible.  I read Exodus 4, and then I took time to notice the verses that stood out to me … and the cadence of them: 1 … 2 … 12 … 21 as though marching to attract my attention.   pic-dig-clock-12-12 Yes, Lord, I prayed, I want to walk in step with Your Spirit.  What stands out, I recognize as God’s voice speaking.  And with extra time, I prayerfully processed what I heard.  what-ifThen Moses answered, “What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1 HCSB)

What if?  I thought of a list of what-ifs that come from predicting, fearing, and projecting the future without God.

  • What if they don’t obey me?
  • What if they question my calling?
  • What if they reject me?
  • What if they refute me, saying, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?

I noticed all those what-ifs focused on others, “What if they…”  person-in-crowd-2But there are also what-ifs based only on me:

  • What if I don’t get the desired results?
  • What if I can’t accomplish the outcomes?
  • What if I obey You, God, and it doesn’t work out?  whatisThe LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”  “A staff,” he replied. (Exodus 4:2)

God did not necessarily rebut, refute, or reassure Moses, but instead of asking, “What if,” God asked the question, “What is…?”

  • “What is that in your hand?”
  • What are you holding onto?
  • Perhaps, what is the truth?
  • Or, what is it that you believe?

Moses knew what he had:  a staff.  It was ordinary, yet God transformed it into a miraculous and terrifying sign by turning it into a snake, so that Moses and the people would see it and believe God (verses 3-5).

Moses ran in fear at first, but God required him to reach out and grab the snake – that which he feared.  And as Moses obeyed, the snake transformed back into a staff, useful in his hand. god_is-by-lisa-in-israel

  • God is able to use what is ordinary for the extraordinary, including us.
  • God can take our common work and useful possessions and transform them into miraculous signs so that we and others believe and worship Him.
  • God helps us face our fears, and He transforms them to be useful tools to us as we place our confidence in Him.
  • God required Moses to stretch out his hand, and like Moses, sometimes we would rather run from than reach for things that stretch our faith.
  • God can use even what causes fear in us and transform it into something that will cause us to fear Him for the right reasons.
  • God knows the end from the beginning; He is able to do what He says He will do.
  • God requires us to go forward in faith, and we can overcome fear, for He is trustworthy.

israel-lisa “Now go!  I will be with you, help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:12)

  • God will prepare us.
  • God determines outcomes, not us.
  • We just need to obey and step out and speak in faith, trusting He will provide.
  • We’re not responsible for outcomes, but for obedience.

make-sure-by-lisa-in-israel“…Make sure you do all the wonders I have put within your power…”
(Exodus 4:21)

  • God provides the power and the wonders
  • We provide the obedience in doing all He has called us to (and even that with the help of His Holy Spirit!)

sea-of-galilee-by-lisaPrayer response:

Dear Father God, please help me protect time with You, trust You and obey, doing all you have put within my power – and then trusting Your power for the outcome that only You can bring, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
(Psalm 90:12)

(This meditation was written by Lisa Walkendorf. Her graphics are from Google images, but the last four photos are hers, taken on a recent trip with her family to Israel in September, 2016. Scripture from the NIV unless otherwise noted. Thank you, Lisa!)

One response to “Reflections on Exodus 4: Dealing with our Fears

  1. Charylene Powers

    Lisa, Wonderful Post

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