Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Selfishness and God's Kingdom

I was reading Exodus 4 this morning in my devotional time. Exodus 4, you will recall, is part of the account that details Moses' call to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel. The chapter begins with God giving Moses signs that were designed to give Moses confidence in his calling, and yet Moses doubts.

I was struck by verse 13 this morning: But he said, "Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will" (NASB). The reason it struck me is because I am used to reading this out of the NLT which says, "send anyone else."

Moses is asking God to send whoever God wills to send, when he IS the one God desires to send. Moses was not interested in God's will be done, he was hoping to get out if a difficult task.

I can see this same problem in my life. "God, may You will be done on earth, as long as you find someone else to do it." My faith will only take me so far.

This desire to avoid the difficult raises two questions in my mind. The first is, "What have I missed out on because of my unwillingness to do the hard thing?" If Moses continued to refuse to go he would gave missed out on the whole experience of leading Israel and witnessing the plagues God brought on Eygpt.

I probably won't know for certain until the end of time, but I think it is a safe assumption to say that my lack of courage and faith has caused me to miss out on experiencing God's power at work in the world around me.

The second question it raises is, "Why do I avoid things that are difficult?" I am sure that there are many ways that this could be answered, depending the task that is at hand, but I am fairly confident that it all comes done to our desire for life is greater that our desire to see God's Kingdom come into the earth.

In other words we are selfish, well at least I am selfish. I don't want to risk my reputation, my money, my life, or anything else if I am not guaranteed to be generously compensated (at least in a way that I think is generous).

At the end of the day what we discover is that our selfishness keeps us from experiencing God at work in our lives and in the world around us. This means that we have to make a decision. What is more important to us: our lives or being part of God's kingdom? The way we consistently choose to live will reveal the answer.

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