Monday, March 5, 2018

Within or Beyond

I am attempting one of those Bible reading plans. Admittedly, I am not following the schedule very well. However, it does get me reading large chunks of Scripture in one sitting which has its own benefits. The other morning the passage included Exodus 3 & 4. As Exodus is one of my favorite books in the Bible, I have read it many times. However, this particular morning, I noticed something I had not taken notice of before.

When God calls Moses through the burning bush, it starts a dialogue between God and Moses. God tells Moses what He wants Moses to do -- and you'd think, when God asks you personally in an audible voice to do something -- you'd get right on it! Yet, Moses starts to argue and make up reasons why he can't carry out God's plans. This goes on for a couple of rounds. Then, God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground. Moses does it without argument. God asks Moses to pick up the staff (that has now been transformed into a snake). AND MOSES DOES IT! The same pattern occurs when God asks Moses to put his hand in his cloak -- once to reveal spontaneously contracted leprosy and then miraculous healing of the same hand. So, now that God has established His infinite power, He goes back to giving Moses the plan. And Moses goes back to arguing.

It struck me that when God asks Moses to do something that is WITHIN Moses' ability, like throwing or moving his hand, Moses doesn't argue. However, when God asks Moses to do something BEYOND Moses' ability, Moses starts to make excuses and argue with God. In fact, Moses argues so much with God that it says the LORD's anger burned against Moses.

How often do I argue or delay or worry or make excuses (all acts of distrust and disobedience) when God asks me to do something beyond my ability? And yet, how quick am I to move forward in a task in which I know I am capable of doing and will likely even appear successful?

It is so easy to do the jobs that we perceive we can do. It was easy for Moses to toss a staff onto the ground and even pick up the end of a snake. It is a different story altogether when the job seems far beyond our skill set, ability, and even vision. And yet, God's power remains constant regardless of task--whether within or beyond our own ability.

Where are we dragging our feet in obedience to what God might be calling us to be/do because it feels BEYOND OUR ABILITY?