Just a little reflection on reading through the story of Moses in the Moravian texts the past few days…
Moses probably thought his “Deliverer” career was over, that he’d spend the rest of his life tending sheep with his father-in-law in Midian. But, after forty long years of shepherding, husbanding, and parenting, God called him. A blazing bush that wouldn’t burn up re-ignited old dreams.
Of course, there is a lot of hemming and hawing from Moses. He doesn’t feel qualified, he doesn’t speak well enough, he’s insecure and quite frankly the whole thing sounds quite dangerous. God helps Moses through some of these issues at the burning bush, but mostly he just says “Go, and I’ll be with you.”
Moses still has to respond to the call, though. There is action required on his part. God’s call alone doesn’t bring about the deliverance. He needs a responsive human being in order to bring his kingdom to earth. Moses has to have a few awkward conversations with the family that he’d been living among for half his life. He had to pack bags and provisions and make a journey back to Egypt.
It’s interesting that Moses seems to have received additional instructions as he embarked on the journey. There are several places after the burning bush incident where the Lord gives strategic instructions to Moses, but they all happen along the way, after Moses has already taken the initial steps of obedience.
This seems to be how the Lord does these kinds of things, isn’t it? We never get the “full picture” ahead of time. We never get a pre-packaged plan for every possible scenario at the outset of the journey. It’s more like, “Go, and I’ll be with you.” We get guidance as we go.
I wonder if part of the reason is that we have a propensity to value our plans over the Person who walks with us. We think we need answers, and He gives us Himself. We think we need a strategy and He says, “I’m right beside you.” We get guidance as we go because we tend to trust plans more than his Presence.
And I wonder if another reason is that we probably wouldn’t go in the first place if we knew what kind of trouble we’d run into. The initial meeting Moses and Aaron had with the elders of Israel went well. They performed the signs and the Israelites were encouraged that God had remembered them. But then things start going badly. Moses says, “Let me people go!” and Pharoah says, “Why on earth would I do that?” and increases the misery of the Israelites by vastly ramping up their workload.
So now because of Moses’ obedience to the Lord, everyone is angry at him, the Israelites are worse off than they were before, and they’re still slaves! But Moses knows you get guidance as you go, so he does the right thing: he returns to the Lord, complaining a bit at first that nothing is working, but eventually receiving the encouragement and guidance he needs to keep moving forward in faithfulness to God’s call.
Maybe you want to join me in the reflecting on this question, then: Am I taking the next step I know to take? Or am I waiting for a detailed blueprint before I take the first step?