Devotionals for Pastors - Reluctant Servants
By Ed Wrather
But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" - Exodus 3:11.
So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." - Judges 6:15.
Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days." - Esther 4:10.
Someone shared with me recently how they had woke up in the middle of the night and being unable to sleep had read for awhile. One of the things that they read was a story about a woman writing devotionals and they were touched by the story. Since I know this person very well that was sharing with me, I know that they have excellent writing skills and a creative mind very capable of writing devotionals, or books, or articles, or just about anything. However, I also know that this person is not writing. I then shared that it sounded to me that God had given a call to write. But they said, “Shouldn’t I have a desire to do that.” In other words, this person did not want to do it.
My response was this: Moses had the call - but he didn’t have a desire to do it. Gideon had the call - but he didn’t want to do it. Esther had the call - but she didn’t want to do it.
In the lives of all three of these individuals, God had invested much training and preparation for the mission He had for them. Moses had received the best education possible for an adopted son of the daughter of the Pharaoh. Many believe he had also received advanced military and leadership training. Moses had then spent 40 years on the backside of the desert receiving his “doctorate” in desert survival skills.
Gideon according to his own account was a “nobody”. He belonged to the smallest tribe in the smallest family in the entire nation and probably believed he was the smallest member of his own family. In other words, Gideon was the very least qualified person in the entire nation to lead a revolution. However, God had been preparing Gideon. Gideon had a unique skill that perhaps no one else in the nation possessed. That skill was the ability to listen. He could hear God’s voice.
Esther had won the royal beauty pageant to replace the queen that had fallen out of favor. As Mordecai told Esther, "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this (Esther 4:13-14)?"
What was the source of the reluctance of Moses, Gideon, and Esther? They feared for their lives! They had a very real fear that to be obedient to God could mean the loss of their physical lives.
What about you? Has God called you to do something but you don’t want to do it? What is the reason for your fear? The possibility that you might be embarrassed if the reaction of your friends is not positive? Or, is it the possibility that you might face a reduction in your income? Or, is it because someone close to you is opposed to what God wants?
It may be that you are thinking something along the lines of “Surely there is someone else that God can use to do this?” God can do that. He can raise up someone out of thin air but He wants you and has prepared you. Please don’t let embarrassment, or money, or immature Christians rob you of the greatest blessing of your life!