Too many churches are sitting on the edge of a great move of God and are hindered by their “buts.”
Ten Most Used Excuses 1. I forgot. 2. No one told me to go ahead. 3. I didn’t think it was that important. 4. Wait until the boss comes back and ask him. 5. I didn’t know you were in a hurry for it. 6. That’s the way we’ve always done it. 7. That’s not in my department. 8. How was I to know this was different’ 9. I’m waiting for an O.K. 10. That’s his job—not mine.
When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush…He called him to the task of leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. In response, Moses gave his reasons as to why he did not think he was the man for the job. The “buts” of Moses, and God’s response to them, will serve as the basis for our message today…
For in a similar way, as God’s people today, we have received from God a special calling. Not to go to a country to deliver those in physical bondage, but to a world to deliver those in the bondage of sin – Mk 16:15;1Pe 2:9-10. Too often, though, we behave just like Moses, making the very same excuses! Let us consider the first of five “buts” given by Moses…
I. “BUT WHO AM I?” FOUND IN EXO 3:11…Though Moses was once a member of the ruling house of Egypt, he was now but a lowly shepherd. 40 years had passed since he had been in Egypt and now he was an 80-year-old man, already past the average life span for his generation. This prompted Moses to wonder whether he was the right man for the job. But God’s response was quick, and should have been adequate…”I will certainly be with you…” – Exo 3:12. God promised to be with Moses, and this alone should have been sufficient. As Paul later wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Ro 8:31
(As churches today, many times we live shallow, puny lives because we DO NOT or WILL NOT recognize that we are called by God Almighty, Creator of the universe, to step out, not on our own or defenseless, but with Him and for Him. What God has asked us to do He will equip us for)
II. “BUT WHAT SHALL I SAY?” THIS “BUT” IS FOUND IN EXO 3:13…Moses knew that should he go to the children of Israel, there were bound to be questions. Such as, “Who is this God who sent you to us?” And perhaps, “Why are we to leave this country we have come to consider our home for over 400 years?” — Moses expresses inadequacy in knowing what to say but again, God’s response was quick…”Thus you shall say…” – Exo 3:14-15. God tells Moses what he needs to say in response to their questions.
We try to excuse ourselves by saying that our knowledge is inadequate but God has told us what to say…It is really quite simple. How simple? – 1Co 15:3-4 “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Paul also said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
[And so, as with Moses, we have no reason for saying “what shall I say?” God will give us the words and wisdom as we speak if we just consult Him for the supply. As we return to Moses, we see that despite God instructing him what to say, he soon raises a third objection…]
III. “BUT SUPPOSE THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE ME?” THIS “BUT” IS FOUND IN EXO 4:1…Now that he knows what to say, he balks at the idea that the people may not listen. Is he afraid of failing? Has he already forgotten that God will be with him? God responds by equipping him with several convincing proofs…The ROD, which turns into a serpent – Exo 4:2-5, His OWN HAND, which turns into leprosy – Exo 4:6-8, The WATER, which will turn to blood when dropped on the dry ground – Exo 4:9. When confronted with many situations before us we often forget and have short memories of the faithfulness and power of Almighty God that is before us.
(what will it take to convince you that God means business? What does He have to do to you or for you to know that what He has asked you to do is real? Are you afraid of rejection and looking foolish to others? As churches today that stand before a culture and times of uncertainty, we need to be determined and steadfast in our convictions. Knowing in Whom we believe.)
IV. “But I AM SLOW OF SPEECH AND SLOW OF TONGUE” WE FIND THIS “BUT” IN EXO 4:10…Moses claims that he is not an eloquent speaker but God is not disturbed by this objection…He already knows the inability of those He calls – Exo 4:11. But God is able to make up for anyone’s shortcomings. Again, promising to be with Moses – Exo 4:12, He had even arranged for Aaron to be Moses’ mouthpiece.
[Some try to use these “buts” today, but God used Uncle Bud Robinson 1890 1930, stuttered, uneducated, suffered epileptic seizures. But he was a powerhouse for evangelism and preached at least 500 times a year. If we would allow God to use us in our shortcomings and inadequacies, then God has the right person for the right job.]
We have considered four “buts” that Moses gave; but as mentioned earlier, they were really smokescreens. The true reason for all these “buts” is revealed in Exo 4:13…
V. “BUT PLEASE SEND…WHOMEVER ELSE YOU MAY SEND” MOSES SIMPLY DID NOT WANT TO GO! The previous “buts” were simply a smokescreen attempt to hide this fact! Moses really did not want to do the task laid out before him. Now that the smokescreen is removed, God’s impatience with Moses becomes evident. His anger was kindled against Moses – Exo 4:14a. Read verses 15-17 with an emphasis on the word “shall” to appreciate the anger of the Lord.
THE SAME IS TRUE WITH US TODAY! Any and every excuse we could offer is only a smokescreen. We really would rather that God use someone else! We really don’t want to do what God has called us to do! But my friends, the anger of the Lord is kindled against those who do not live up to their calling!
If we have been making excuses, we need to repent!
Let me encourage you today that God is prepared for any obstacle that you may feel that lays ahead but God has made provision for you and is ready to equip you for the task ahead.
Pastor Rob Beckett, Shepherdsville First Church of the Nazarene. Restoring the image of God to the broken and hurting.