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We're getting ready for worship on Sunday, when we'll explore Moses' questioning of God's call on his life. In preparation, Matt Holtzman shares his thoughts on hearing God's call clearly. View worship bulletins >>
Have you ever had a time in your life where God calls you to do something so outside of "the norm" that it about sends you to the audiologist to make sure your hearing isn’t going bad?
“What God? I think I heard you say something to me, but I am afraid my hearing is going bad! There’s no way I just heard you say that. Come again?”
I used to have a friend that I would talk to on the phone, and I always knew the phone conversation was coming to a close when he would all of a sudden play this game. “Oops, Matt? You’re breaking up! I can’t...(short pause)...quite....(fuzzy sounds)... hear you....
And then, a CALL-DISCONNECTED tone.
There was no real interference or bad cell coverage happening. He could hear me just fine. But he would just hang up... and the conversation would end... immediately!
Sometimes my relationship with God goes something like that. It’s obvious that He is making a clear connection with my heart and mind. The call He's giving me is crystal clear. And yet, I tend to play the same game my friend would play on the phone. I will excuse the call of God as a wild and crazy idea that happened to strangely pop into my head, rather than accept it for what it is and move towards obedience. I end the conversation with God prematurely.
Going from the known world of being a worship leader for more than 20 years to suddenly finding myself studying for a biblical content exam in order to become an ordained minister has been like that for me. I assure you that there have been conversations that I’ve had with the Lord to where I find myself saying, “Come again? I’m sorry, I think You were talking to someone else!” And then I hang up the phone on God.
The phone rings again.
And there I am faced with the task of answering the call. Ah, that God. He always seems to call back!
Going from worship leader to pastor is one thing. But can you imagine Moses going from a shepherd, minding his own business, to a servant who would deliver an entire nation from the hands of Pharaoh? There was no mistaking the call, as it was coming to Moses in crystal clear form: a burning bush! Nevertheless, even in that scene, we see Moses wanting to play the game:
"But Moses said to God, 'I am nobody! How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'" (Exodus 3:11).
Come again, God? Moses tries to hang up the phone.
But God calls back and reassures him that this call is legit.
Once again, Moses tries to hang up the phone: “But suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say. What shall I do if they say that you did not appear to me?”
If I was God, I would’ve given up on Moses at this point. Thankfully, I am not God. Thankfully, God did not give up on Moses. And thankfully, He does not give up on me either.
Just as God called Moses to do something totally outside of "the norm," He calls you and me to step outside of our usual circumstances, so that His purposes might be carried out.
Isn’t it amazing that He uses people like you and me—even when we're prone to hang up on His phone calls? Each of us can discover the joy of leaning forward and saying "yes" when in fact He does call.
Moses tried to hang up the phone. I try to hang up the phone. But we have a God Who calls back.