One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” – “Here I am!” Moses replied.“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” – Exodus 3:1-10 NLT
Moses was one man. One man with the amazing ability for follow thru. So to catch up, Israel is a few hundred years into existence. It has had time to develop its own identity and establish leadership, its own ethnicity and culture. This about how old Canada is, about 147 years old. So imagine Canada being oppressed by another country… like merica for instance. We are all of a sudden forced into slavery under this ruler who wants to see us suffer.
Now think that you are Moses, the one guy who is called to fix this. God asked Moses to be the one human being who could change everything. To step into history and fix the wrongs that were being made.
The last few weeks at Neighbourhood Church we have been learning about the obedience, sacrifice, suffering and now follow thru of leaders in the Old Testament. These leaders were all called to be great but had to line up their character to what God was looking for.
Can you name some other characteristics that build the character of a leader as seen in the Old Testament? Write them down and keep this list for later.
So what if Moses, Joseph, Abraham or Noah chose to go the route of selfishness instead of character building? Everything would be different than it is now. The greatness of Moses was always inside, he just needed to put all the character pieces together and step out.
BUT like for most of us he wanted God to find someone else. He did what so many of us do and took a feel of inferiority into a full out need for escape. We often do the same thing. Consider your spirituality. We often change our mild spiritual recession into a spiritual great depression (yes a JayZ reference). It is important to not do the same thing that Moses did. When God calls we often feel like saying no or making excuses about how we aren’t ready or don’t feel like its ‘our thing’. We have to say yes! When we say yes it builds our character.
Being called is easy, the follow through is the problem. Now look at all the characteristics we have talked about – obedience, sacrifice, suffering, follow through… this is stuff that Jesus had to walk through too. These are all massive characteristics that made Jesus into who he was and is.
Matthew 23:36 is where we pick up the story about Jesus in the garden of gethsemane. Remember when he asked Peter, James and John to simply keep awake and keep watch while He prayed. He checked on them 3 times and each time they were sleeping. But amazingly what Jesus was praying for was for the Father to get him out of what was happening. Jesus was struggling with the same thing that Moses was. This was another moment where character needed to be displayed and built. Jesus prayed that if its your will I will do it… if not, lets try something else.
Can you think of a time when you lost the follow through battle? Think about follow through as the action component of obedience. The heart is obedient but the actions we use need to be follow though.
The list you made of the characteristics of Old Testament leaders is important now. Each of these characteristics (if a Godly one) will be evident in Jesus life. Can you make the parallels between the leaders from the OT and a Jesus time in history?
Now from that list, what characteristics do you see in the other people in the group? Try and name at least two for each person.
Like Moses we were all chosen for something specific, however its up to us to say yes to that one thing. The characteristics inside of us are used to enhance our callings. But if we move ahead in our callings or our giftedness without working on our character we are no where near as effective as we could be. Follow through comes from the connection of character and calling. Follow through is the action result of all the God stuff working together inside. This week try and find something that you have been neglecting and finish it. Follow through on something small if you have to and work your way up to something bigger. Practice makes perfect.