Someone said, “You were saved to serve”. Ask any Pastor and he will tell uninvolved Christians are the biggest frustration in ministry. There are many reasons why Christians are reluctant to give themselves in service to God. I cannot cover them all in this sermon. However, we will learn about the five root causes of the issue and the antidotes to them based on the encounter Moses had with God in the wilderness. We will be reading from Exodus chapters 03 and o4.
1. The lack of Identity
But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
Moses struggled with his identity. He felt unqualified for ministry because he compared his present status with his previous status. 40 years ago he wanted to be the redeemer of his people because he was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, now he is just a Shepherd.
Implications: Like Moses, at times we also struggle with our identity. We feel unqualified to serve God. But God assured his presence will be with Moses and promised to make him successful, (Exodus 3:12). We don’t need man-made titles to serve God because each one of us is a royal priest called by God and the Lord will always be with us, (Matthew 28:20; 1 Peter 2:9)
2. The lack of Intimacy
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13)
Moses struggled with intimacy. He did not know God well enough to describe him to the Israelites. 40 years is a long time and probably he became become a spiritually mediocre person while looking after Jethro’s flock.
Implications: Some of us lack intimacy with God and we struggle in ministry because we cannot pour from an empty cup! God said to tell the Israelites Moses was sent by “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14-22). Likewise, we must get to know him better each day through his word and a relationship with his son Jesus Christ, (John 14:6)
3. Fear of Intimidation
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1)
Moses feared intimidation. He was afraid because he was not certain how people will react. Besides they rejected him 40 years ago. He was not willing to risk himself again.
Implication: Like Moses, we also struggle with intimidation sometimes. Now God gave Moses the power to perform mighty miraculous deeds, (Exodus 4:1-19). We need not be fear because the Lord will work with us and confirm his word through signs and wonders when we give ourselves to him in service, (Mark 16:20).
4. Fear of Inadequacy
Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
Moses struggled with inadequacy. He felt he wasn’t up to the task which God wanted him to execute. Who would listen to him if he cannot speak convincingly let alone trust he was sent by God?
Implication: Like Moses sometimes we also struggle with inadequacy. Moses did not know he doesn’t have to speak on his own. But God promised to inspire him! (Exodus 4:11-12). Our skills, talents, and educational qualifications certainly give us leverage in ministry. Nevertheless, the Lord’s work is not dependent on those things. The Holy Spirit will always lead and guide us regardless of our status, (Luke 12:12)
5. Sense of Inferiority
But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” (Luke 12:13)
Moses struggled with a deep sense of inferiority because he compared himself with other people whom he thought to be more competent and smart. He wanted to bail himself out from the task even after God assured him he will succeed.
Implication: Like Moses, we all struggle with inferiority at some point. Nothing can cripple an effective ministry than comparing one’s self with another. Aaron was God’s solution, (Exodus 4:14-17). There’s an important lesson here. Ministry is teamwork. We work together towards a common goal while helping each other with our gifts and skills.
I want to close with a reference to Nick Vujicic the famous evangelist. Although born with “Phocomelia” a rare disorder characterized by the absence of legs and arms, Nick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. He is the founder of “Attitude is Altitude” a motivational speaking company.
He is also a film star and the author of seven books. He has 397,000 followers on Twitter and 8,983,626 (Eight million nine hundred eighty-three thousand six hundred twenty-six) followers on Facebook! Nick’s life as a professional speaker and a minister of the gospel is phenomenal. If God can use Nick, will he not use you!
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