Hindrances to Obedience (Exodus 3 and 4)
God can use you! When God calls you to become His channel of blessings, expect difficulties and hindrances. But at the same time, rest assured also that even before difficulties come your way, God has already and potentially enabled you to overcome all hindrances. This is the lesson that we can learn from the life of Moses when God was calling him for a mission. It’s recorded in Exodus chapters 3 and 4.
God as an all-knowing God already knew in advance all of the difficulties that Moses will go through even before he encounters them. And so, to equip and enable him to fulfill the work, the Lord has empowered him in all areas of his weakness and limitations. For a quick view, let’s just consider the 3 general areas of Moses’ weaknesses which he gladly presented to God just to excuse himself away from the burden of the call. They are the following,
Hindrance # 1: Identity Crisis
In chapter 3:11, Moses said: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Of course, in and of himself, Moses compared to Pharaoh was insignificant, even a “loser” and a “nobody.” And so when God called him, he might have thought that the reason for the call was something in him. And so since he was interpreting the call and judging its success based on who he is and what he can do, it produced a deep identity crisis in him. He even asked the Lord to send someone else (4:13), but not him, since according to him, he’s not a good speaker (4:10). Of course, this is a form of inferiority complex, which I think humanly speaking, valid in that situation, but not a valid excuse to God.
The divine solution to this problem is the Person and Presence of God (verse 12).
Hindrance # 2: Lack of Authority
In chapter 3:13, the second excuse of Moses is this: Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
You need to understand that the mission of Moses was not to small-group; it wasn’t a small thing. You see, he will be dealing with serious national affairs. The cost of doing this wasn’t a joke; he was actually putting his life on a breach of death. And since he will be staying on that place for several weeks or months, he’s aware that Pharaoh could easily assassinate him, that if not for God’s protection, he can’t survive for a week. Point is, when Moses went to Egypt to give his countrymen hope of freedom, and to face Pharaoh with a request of setting the Hebrews free, he didn’t have a backup of political protection and authority alongside him. The only authority that he had was the identity of the God of Israel who sent him. The command to set the Israelites free came from God, and that is what he’s presenting to the king of Egypt.
And for you to appreciate the relevance of this, just think about the spiritual condition of our age today. When you try to talk to people nowadays concerning religion or God or the Bible, they’re so quick to make fun of your faith because the mentality of our Age today is “to see is to believe.” Meaning, “Show me your God and I will believe your religion!” That’s how they think today. And so if you will approach people’s thinking today by appealing to the authority of the Bible, they will laugh at you and persecute you.
The divine solution to this hindrance is to wait for the wondrous display of God’s hand as you follow His command (Exodus 3:14-22).
Hindrance # 3: Lack of Credentials
In chapter 4:1, the third excuse of Moses is this: Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’
Aside from a materialistic point of view toward God and His works, our Age today also craves and asks for credentials. Of course, credentials attest to one’s expertise, credibility, and achievements. There’s nothing wrong with credentials, but when it comes to the Moral and Spiritual conditions of people today, they see the Bible and Jesus with skeptical eyes because they don’t consider the Bible or the teaching of Jesus as authoritative truths for their lives. For this reason, they lack attention and affection for what the Bible says because, for them, it’s just an ordinary book, like Literature, written by fallible who were not perfect. But my friend, when God calls us to do something – don’t focus on what will people say about you and the work. Expect that they will not understand for they don’t have a relationship with God. But what you need to do is this: Just obey God’s word and command, and leave the display of His reality to Him. Just take it easy my friend; encourage yourself not to give up and you will see in the process how He shames your critics and persecutors because the credentials that they’re looking for concerning the truth of your ministry and mission are shouting loud and clear on their face. Just be courageous to wait on the Lord’s hand and you will see how He fights for you. In the case of Moses, the 10 plaques were the display of God’s hand to the point that all Egyptians, especially Pharaoh were so devastated by its realness and impact. Oh, that’s your God my friend, so mighty to protect you, so good to provide for you, and so wise to present you credible and blessed.