I’m 25, and something I’ve noticed among those my age is everyone has a dream, but few people act on it. I know many great Christians (and non-believers) who feel like they are called to do something with their life, but they don’t move on it. Since I began my ministry of speaking to groups of Catholics over two years ago, I’ve been approached a number of times by people saying “oh I want to be a speaker too!” But when I say “Ok, you’re going to need a website, start a Youtube channel, develop several talks that you can pitch, work on the content of those talks. If the content is good I can refer you to a few places.” The typical response is “whoa whoa, I’m THINKING about it, I’m not sure I want to do all that.” Why am I giving talks while my friends aren’t? Ultimately, I was willing to take action.
I don’t want to minimize the importance of discernment. I spent significant time in prayer before launching the ministry. But when we have discerned, we need to make a decision and follow through on it. I think many individuals don’t act upon God’s call because it’s hard. I contacted 400 churches and schools to give my first 40 talks. That’s a lot of rejection. Was it worth it? Absolutely. But many of us stop at the sacrifice and don’t think about the outcome. We’re not alone in this. Scripture is filled with individuals who resisted God’s will.
Take Moses for example. If you read closely in Chapters 3 and 4 of Exodus, you realize Moses wasn’t gung-ho about going back to Egypt. When Moses approached the burning bush, God announces “I am the God of your father… Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” And Moses ‘hid his face, for he was afraid” (Ex 3:6). The Lord explains His desire to free the Israelites from slavery and He wants Moses to do it. “Who am I that I should go to pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11). God encourages Moses “I will be with you” (Ex 3:12). Is Moses encouraged? Nope. “But, when I go to the Israelites and say to them ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ if they ask ask me ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?” (Ex 3:13). God says,“This is what you shall tell the Israelites. I AM sent me to you” (Ex 3:14). God goes on explaining more details of His plan to Moses.
His response at the opening of chapter 4? “But, suppose they will not believe me, nor listen to me plea?” (Ex 4:1). God then gives Moses three signs. The first is turning his staff into a snake and the second is inflicting his hand with leprosy while then curing it. If the people ignore the first 2 signs God says “take some water from the river and poor it on dry land. The water you take from the river will become blood on the dry land” (Ex 4:9). Armed with 3 miraculous signs, Moses says,“If you please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past, nor recently… but I am slow of speech and tongue.” Moses wasn’t confident in his speaking abilities. Sounds similar to some of my peers! God’s response “Who gives one man speech and another deaf and dumb? Or who gives sight to one and makes another blind? Is it not I the Lord? Go, then! It is I who will assist you in speaking and will teach you what you are to say” (Ex 4:11-12). Finally, out of excuses, Moses says “if you please Lord, send someone else!” (Ex 4:13). This is the 5th time in 30 verses that Moses resists God’s call. It’s six if you count body language (Moses turning away out of fear).
When we’re faced with a risk or with a challenge, our tendency is to rationalize why we shouldn’t do it. Many of us have convinced ourselves that if it’s hard, I shouldn’t do it. I think God’s final response to Moses applies to us when we chose not to take the hard road.
“The Lord became angry with Moses and said. ‘Have you not your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know that he is an eloquent speaker. Besides, he is now on his way to meet you. When he sees you, his heart will be glad. You are to speak to him, then, and put the words in his mouth. I will assist both you and him in speaking and will teach the two of you what you are to do” (Ex 4:14-15).
If you look at God’s response there’s three parts to it. God was angry at Moses’ reluctance, God gave him a brother, and God said He would provide for them. After this Moses committed to his mission. What lessons are here for us? Even Moses was reluctant to carry out God’s will. That’s a normal feeling. What’s important is we do it anyway. How? By having someone hold us accountable (like Aaron to Moses) and trusting God will be with us. If God has called you to do something, be bold and do it!