“It’s just a Sunday School class.” “Why do you have to be so radical all the time, so extreme?” “What did you bring us out here to die?” Where are we going to get water?” “Do you really think you can hear from God?” And if you did hear from God, what makes you think that anyone will believe you or follow you?”
Many of us are chosen to lead at some point in our life, and when I say chosen, I mean by God, not by a selected group of your peers. That works in the jury system, not in God’s leadership program. You, the leader you, have to know that God has put something within you, a dream, a vision, an idea and that you have to see it come to pass. You have to be confident and humble regarding the direction you are taking and you have to believe in the dream, vision and idea. As the old saying goes; If you don’t believe in it, ain’t nobody else gonna believe in it either.
But I am getting ahead of myself, way ahead.
Readers Digest Version. Moses had heard from God, went into Egypt with only himself, Aaron his brother and a stick. A nice stick, but a stick just the same. He came out of Egypt with millions of people, all their animals, the riches the people had taken from the Egyptians and a lifetime of headaches and responsibilities. And to top it off, those he had rescued from the worst possible life were now ready to return.
Exodus 14:10-11 – And as Pharoah drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. THEN they said to Moses, “Is it because there were not enough graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?”
In one of my favorite movies, O Brother Where Art Thou, among the many wonderful lines, there is an exchange that when a question of direction is debated it goes like this. “Who made you leader of this outfit? Since we’ve been following your lead, we got nothing but trouble.”
A familiar theme. Those who choose to follow will also at times choose to question the path that God has selected. It may be a congregation, a leadership board, close friends and yes, even your own family. The family of Jesus questioned his leadership, why should you be any different.
Tonight’s encouragement and Hopeful thought is this. You can not allow your path to be altered by criticism of a few and the fear of many.
If God has given you a task or a mission, church folk often refer to it as a calling, then do not turn away, back away or slip away from that direction.
Yes, you will lose a few relationships. Depending on what the mission is, yes, some may even lose their lives. But, if God is in it, the one thing you absolutely can not do, is turn around and return to Egypt.
By the way, you wanna know how Moses calmed the fears of the many? He said, “Do not fear.” There may be someone very close to you who has questioned your current direction or anticipated future path. You may have to say to them, “Do not fear.” Those three words along with “I love you” and “God loves you.” may be the three most Hopeful three word sentences I know.
Before you go to sleep after reading this entry, take a piece of paper and write down two ideas you have that you feel must be accomplished but will most likely meet objections by those around you. Prepare yourself for the task. God will not abandon you. It will get lonely at times, but you will not be alone.