Called / Disciplined
Do you ever feel you’re not quite enough?
- Good enough?
- Strong enough?
- Experienced enough?
- Brave enough?
I don’t know about you, but at times I feel like I just don’t have what it takes to do the task at hand. That I’m inadequate. Especially when it comes to my calling as a child of God.
Scripture gives us the impression Moses felt the same way.
How Moses saw himself
Moses of all people would understand what it was to be adopted; drawn from the water as a babe, then assimilated into palace life as a child. But as I read through Moses’ story I felt he’d always had a sense he was Called.
As he lay nursing at his mother’s breast, did she teach him his history and challenged him to embrace his inheritance? Would she have encouraged him to seek Yahweh – the Covenant God – and stay true to His purpose?
We see evidence of Moses’ heart when he leapt to defend a fellow Hebrew being beaten by an Egyptian. And later when he tried to settle disputes between his countrymen.
It seems he was trying to pursue the calling but in the wrong way, the wrong time, and by far the wrong scale.
Lost & Lacking
After being rejected by the people he was trying to help and hunted by Pharoah, Moses ran for the hills. After another forty years of learning to be a shepherd in the desert, God appeared and revealed His plan and Moses’ purpose.
Moses had a bit of trouble accepting this:
- “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
- “What if they do not believe me or listen to me …?”
- “… I have never been eloquent, … I am slow of speech and tongue.”
- “… Lord. Please send someone else.”
Even if Moses had known he was called, after his first failure and and before the immensity of the task ahead, what little confidence he’d had took off further into the hills.
Found & Fighting
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”Exodus 3:12
I don’t know about you but if I was looking for assurance, telling me I could test my calling by the outcome after I had;
- Confronted a king, his officials and magicians
- Stood against a nation
- Led over 1 000 000 people through a sea
- Dealt with their grumbling ungratefulness
- and their death threats
- Then faced hostile forces in the wilderness, with no water
Would be less than helpful.
But such is the transforming power of God. Through the trials Moses let go of his own inadequacies and stepped into God’s ability. And, as a result, Moses was able to meet with Yahweh on Mount Sinai secure in the knowledge that he was in fact called to lead God’s people out of slavery.
Bold & Big Booted
But then something went wrong.
To perfectly honest, I never really understood why Moses was disciplined so harshly. I suspect it had something to do with getting too big for his boots. He’d come such a long way; transitioning from wanting to run away, to a man who humbly embraced his call, to one who broke faith, disobeyed a direct command and stole God’s glory.
Nothing can change the fact that Moses was set apart before he was born to be an instrument of God’s salvation, redemption and judgement. But he was still just the vessel. He was a cherished child of God; adopted and given a new identity. And as such he was disciplined when it was required because he was loved.
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,Hebrews 12:5-8
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
When we choose to let go of our inadequacies and step into our calling, Our Father’s ability enables our success.
Therefore, it doesn’t really matter how we see ourselves; inadequate, weak, incapable and/or scared, because it’s a matter of perspective.
How God sees us and how we see God is what matters.
Like Moses, by the Spirit’s stirring we too know we are called. And our “Child of God” status is affirmed when we are disciplined. Our Father doesn’t give with one hand and take with the other, He loves with both.
- Have you have been shaped and sharpened into your calling through trials?
- How have you seen God’s disciplining hand on your life?
- Do you find it difficult to equate God’s love with His discipline?