When God Calls, God Also Equips
“I can’t do that, God!”
“I don’t have enough training!”
I don’t know the Bible well enough!”
“I know what I want to do with my life-and that is not it!”
Do any of these sound familiar? Have you ever used one of those statements? Several of them? Don’t worry. I am not going to ask for a show of hands. I will, however, say this: you and I are not alone. We are in good company. Many of the leaders and prophets of the Bible are reluctant ministers.
Jeremiah proclaims he is too young to speak on God’s behalf (1:6-7).
Isaiah pleads his uncleanliness (6:5) to bring God’s Word to the people.
Jonah heads for Tarshish rather than go to Nineveh (1:3).
Joseph is hesitant to go through with his marriage to Mary (Matthew 1:18ff).
Simon is overcome with a sense of unworthiness when confronted with God’s power in Jesus (Luke 5:1-11)
Moses joins that company. The son of Israelites, Moses escaped death at his birth. He is raised in the court of Pharaoh. That gives Moses opportunities he otherwise would have lacked. He learned to read and write. Moses observed Pharaoh and learned how to govern and lead. Later, Moses draws upon this background to lead God’s people into freedom.
Long story short, Moses ends up killing an Egyptian. Moses flees into the wilderness as a result. Exile brings Moses to Jethro, a priest of Midian. Moses marries Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah, and takes up the family’s nomadic lifestyle. This involves watching over a flock of sheep. A major come down in the world! Not to mention, his Egyptian training, tells him sheep and shepherds are the lowest of the low (Gen 46:31-34).
An amazing thing happens as Moses is out with the sheep one day. He notices a strange sort of tree. The tree is on fire, yet it is not burned up! Moses, naturally, goes to see what this strange sight is all about. After all, it is not every day that you see a burning bush that is not being consumed!
In response to God’s call through the bush, Moses asserts that God is mistaken. God cannot mean him. God has the wrong man! Scholar J. Oswald Sanders lists all of Moses’ excuses:
He has no training (3:11)
He doesn’t have a message (3:13)
He has no authority (4:1)
He is not a good speaker (4:10)
He lacks the ability to adapt (4:13)
He has a poor track record (5:23)
He lacks acceptance from the Israelites (6:12)
What Moses fails to understand, however, is that when God calls, God also equips. Remember Moses’ upbringing in the Pharaoh’s court? God ensures that Moses will have everything he needs. Not a good speaker? Your brother Aaron is on his way. No authority? You have My authority, backed by signs.
God also reminds Moses of the covenant with Abraham. That is God’s proof that God is faithful and always keeps His promises. And Moses ends up being just the one God’s people need to lead them out of slavery into freedom.
So how has God equipped you for your ministry? Maybe it is a past experience that can help you bring comfort to another. Perhaps you have a gift or a skill that someone in need desperately needs. Yes, it may be scary. Yes, it may call us out of our comfort-zones. But remember this . . . when God calls, God also equips.