Listening to God II
Posted on 24 Feb 2022
by Kiam Siong, Navstaff
What has the Lord spoken to you personally at the Staff Prayer Day?
“While I was on the way to the prayer retreat, the phrase that came to my mind was ‘burning bush’.
I spent some time meditating on Exodus 3 and 4 — Moses’ encounter with God through the burning bush.
Exodus 3 and 4 are about God calling Moses to deliver Israel from the Egyptians. But as I was meditating at this prayer retreat, I saw that God was directing my focus to Moses’ relationship with God.
The opening chapter in Exodus 3 pictured Moses as a man who succumbed to his circumstances. He had been attending to his sheep, and for forty years he lived in a desert with his father-in-law. However, after encountering God in Exodus 3, Moses began his adventure back to Egypt (in Exodus 4:20).
I thought it was an adventure not just to deliver Israel , but God also had in mind to cultivate an intimate relationship between Moses and Himself.
At the beginning, Moses seemed very distanced from God. He was surprised that God approached him. He was not sure who He was and what His name was. But in Deut 34:10, it was recorded that “no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face”. We can see that Moses stepped out in faith and took on the challenge to trust God. Many see him as a great leader, but to God, it was an adventure of developing an intimate relationship with Him.
1. Assignment Clarified
We must be bold enough to ask God what He wants us to do in our life. God made known His assignment to Moses (Exodus 3: 7-10 ) and I learnt that the first thing to do when God gives us an assignment is:
a. Understand the heart of God in the assignment.
God was compassionate over the cry of the Israelites being oppressed by the Egyptians. Anyone who desires to serve God must have the same compassion as Him for people. The ability to see the desperate sinful state of humanity and be filled with the compassion of God is the pre-requisite.
b. God’s assignment has to become my assignment.
“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10).
We often define our own assignment when serving God. This is fine if I want to serve God on my own terms, but if I want an intimate relationship with God, this adventure must begin with this attitude in mind: God’s assignment is my assignment.
2. Attitude Checked
In these two chapters, I saw Moses ‘declining’ the assignment 5 times. Some may take it that Moses is making excuses, but I saw it as an ‘attitude check’ for a real adventurer. For any adventure, some associative words include ‘risk’, ‘exciting’, ‘unknown’, ‘fear’ and ‘rocking the boat’. There will be a certain level of uncertainty.
I read it as Moses being humble, as he could have been boastful and see it as an opportunity to reinstate his rights which he lost 40 years ago (when he fled Egypt). An adventurer into an intimate relationship with God must know his personal limitations with respect to the assignment of God.
God assured Moses in Exodus 3: 14, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” The assignment given by God will be accomplished by God through Moses. It can be scary to ask God what His assignment is for me but each of us can have the calm assurance that God will accomplish what He has entrusted to us and all we need is to have the right attitude: Faith.
3. Adventure Commenced in Faith
Moses trusted God and commenced his adventure with faith, but the challenges he was about to face was only just the beginning. I learnt that putting our faith in God while embarking on an adventure does not mean the absence of challenges; it does not mean that everything in life will be smooth sailing. I saw that Moses struggled many times and had to keep coming back to cry out to God in the process of carrying out the assignment.
“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.” (Exodus 3:19). As we commence our adventure with faithfulness to the assignment God has given us, we also need to anticipate God’s intervention with His mighty hand. Oftentimes, the assignment that God gives us is far greater than ourselves.
Faith throughout the whole journey is necessary. Faith makes the journey an adventure that is beyond me, filled with anticipation of God at work at each step of the assignment. The journey of an intimate relationship with God is an adventure. What adventure is God calling you to in 2022 and what is your response?”