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Miranda Writes: What to Do When You’re Not Sure How to Share Your Faith, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



Last week we discussed the importance of understanding that God wants us to share the good news—the gospel—with others as a loving and thankful response to what He’s done for us. We also learned that God will never leave us or abandon us in the midst of the difficult task of getting this done. And we learned that we are God’s chosen tool for the spreading of the gospel—there is no “plan B.”

So without further ado, let’s dive right in to this week’s story and see what kind of excuses Moses gave God. I think you’ll find them to be not so different from the ones you and I deal with. The story is found in Exodus 4:1-17, but because of space restrictions you can read it for yourself. After you read those few short verses, pick back up here and we’ll discuss them in more detail. I promise that you won’t be sorry. Don’t have a Bible? No big deal. Just go to www.biblegateway.com. This is a great resource with tons of info and a bazillion different Bible translations, and it’s totally free!

There were a couple of really lame excuses that Moses used. And although this story happened a really long time ago, I think you’ll see some striking and scary similarities between the reasons—or excuses—that Moses gave and ones that we give. Let’s take a look at each one in detail; we’ll identify the excuse, discuss the real motivation behind it, talk about what God thinks about our excuses, and finally discover how to “cure” ourselves so that we are not the obstacle but the solution to God’s great commandment for us to share the gospel.

Now I want to get to the excuses and some observations:

1. Moses shares his first excuse, and it’s a shocker! Exodus 3:11 shows his response to God: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”1 Now, remember what happened in the first 40 years of Moses’ life? He was in line to be ruler of one of the most powerful nations in the world at that time. And now he was saying “Who am I?” I’m glad that God was effective in His job, because I’m sure that while Moses was being raised in Egypt he was full of himself and probably real arrogant. It took him being in the desert and herding sheep for 40 years to break him of his self-focus. Yet Moses went too far; in effect, what Moses was saying was “I’m nobody!” By the way, that’s very true, but look at God’s response in the following verse: “I will be with you” (verse 12). In effect, God reminded Moses: “I know you’re nobody, and I’m glad you finally learned that, but don’t forget: I’m somebody!” Aren’t you glad that God has got your back? To further drive the point home, in verse 14 of Exodus 3 God tells Moses to encourage the other leaders and remind them of God’s true name: “I AM WHO I AM.” In other words, there is no further intro needed when you talk about God. God is . . . God! He is sufficient for whatever you need Him to be. God is your friend, your judge, your protector, your father, your provider.

2. In Exodus 4:1 we find Moses’ second lame excuse, and it’s this: “What if they do not believe me or listen to me?” God essentially answers, “I’ll make them believe” (see Exodus 4:2-9), which is basically an extension of His first response: “I AM.” Remember, it is our responsibility to speak and share—and God’s responsibility to do the rest. The apostle Paul said it like this: “I [Paul] planted the seeds [the gospel], Apollos watered them [shared more about the gospel], but God made them sprout and grow [God convicted people of the truth of the gospel and brought them to make a decision to accept Jesus]. What matters isn’t those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6, 7, CEV).2

3. In Exodus 4:10 we find Moses’ third and final lame excuse: “I have never been a good speaker. I wasn’t one before you spoke to me, and I’m not one now. I am slow at speaking, and I can never think of what to say” (CEV). In other words, Moses said: “I can’t speak well, and I don’t know what to say.” How many of us use that same excuse? I know I have in the past. I say such things as “I’ve never been to seminary” or “I don’t know what to say or how to say it.” But look at God’s response: “The Lord answered, ‘Who makes people able to speak or makes them deaf or unable to speak? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Don’t you know that I am the one who does these things? Now go! When you speak, I will be with you and give you the words to say” (verses 4:11, 12, CEV). In other words, God again says the same thing: “I will be with you and tell you what to say.”

4. Even after God gave Moses reassurance after reassurance of His persistent and powerful presence, Moses point-blank chickens out and point-blank refuses. Look at what he says: “Moses begged, ‘Lord, please send someone else to do it’” (verse 4:13, CEV). What? After all that, this is Moses’ response? God’s response is just like that of any parent who’s been thoughtful and patient, trying to give their kids all their support: “The Lord became irritated with Moses and said: What about your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know he is a good speaker” (verse 14, CEV). Here’s the bottom line: God is going to make sure that the task of evangelism is completed with or without us. Then in verse 15 God again reminds Moses and his brother, Aaron, that He will be with both of them as they speak and He will tell each of them what to do. I find it very interesting that God will not make both of them speak, but will tell them what to say and do. You see, God does not demand our service; He could force us to serve Him, but then we would be nothing more than robots; or He could threaten to kill or injure us, but then we would be serving Him out of fear. No, He wants us to serve Him out of sheer love, thankfulness, and gratitude for who He is and for the great sacrifice He gave for us (Jesus dying on the cross).
Of course, you know how the story ends. Moses and Aaron finally go to speak with Pharaoh, but not before more excuses. It ends with the Israelites being freed from slavery—and then it turns bad again with the Israelites failing to trust God and wandering in the desert for 40 years as payment for their lack of trust, obedience, and faith.

So what can we learn from this story that we can apply to our own lives? First, God is ultimately in control, and His plans will come to pass with or without us. If we aren’t involved in God’s plans, I promise you that 100 percent of the time we’ll be on the losing end of things. Second, we are nobodies, but God is somebody, and He will always go with us and never leave us and will tell us what to say and do. As my grandmother used to say: “God is not in the habit of embarrassing Himself.”

So if you have an opportunity to evangelize, don’t be like Moses and whine and complain; say a quick prayer and move forward in faith and trust, and God will be with you and tell you what to say and do. Remember, with God you can’t go wrong.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

1
Unless otherwise indicated, Bible texts are from The Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2Scripture quotations marked CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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