Have you ever looked at the requirements different denominations put on people they are going to ordain into ministry? Or just requirements they have for any leadership position in the church or association?
I found myself, quite by accident, looking at some requirements for ordaining a pastor the other night and was surprised to find the majority of instructions focused on running a credit report and looking into how the man manages his money. According to the supporting documentation, many a pastor has made the pulpit look bad by not paying his own personal bills.
Don’t ask how I got from looking into some missionary/mission trip information to qualifications of ordaining pastors and deacons, but I did, and I was a little perplexed.
If a man has been called by God to preach, his credit report could keep him from filling a pulpit.
Moses had killed an Egyptian, hid the body, and ran away to keep from being held responsible for the murder. Now, God was not only calling him to go back to Egypt, but to be the one who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Moses knew he wasn’t good enough to do this job. He knew he had messed up in his past and wasn’t worthy. Who am I? God tells Moses that He will be with him.
God chose a murderer to lead His chosen people out of slavery to the promised land. If we accept the Bible as truth, and as God’s plan, then surely if he intentionally called a murderer he can call someone with a poor credit score.
I have to wonder how many men have been called into the ministry by God, but have quenched the Spirit because they know what they’ve done and they know others know it to.
Then we skip to verse thirteen and Moses protests again and tells God they’re going to ask for the name of his God. God tells him specifically what to tell them and specifically what will happen.
However, Moses protests a third time.
So, the Lord gave him three signs to perform if that happened.
Again, how many men are denying their calling because they know no one is going to listen to them? No one is going to believe them?
I’m a little discouraged when I come across something that puts such specific human restrictions on who God can call into the ministry.
And yet Moses makes another excuse. He tells God that he’s never been a good speaker.
Can you imagine telling God that? While you’re talking directly to Him?
And after God tells Moses yet again to go, Moses finally asks him to please send anyone else. Just don’t send me.
And God gets angry.
God accepted everything Moses had to say, until Moses said no. He accepted his excuses, he accepted his explanations for why no one would do anything he said, but when Moses ran out of excuses and had to tell the truth, God got angry.
How many of us are so focused on man’s rules and requirements that we don’t feel like we can accept the job God is calling us to do?
The truth is Moses was exactly right when he asked, “Who am I?”
Moses was a sinner. Same as I am. Same as any human is.
But God had a job for Moses to do.
God wasn’t interested in Moses’ past, but in Moses’ future.
He wasn’t interested in who Moses was, but in who Moses was going to be in Him.
And when Moses couldn’t see past his own past to see a future with God, God got angry.
Have you been called to do something? Is God telling you to go, but you feel like something in your past is holding you back?
Let me encourage you today, to take your eyes off the humans around you and focus them on the Savior.