Laurence J. Peter, who was an educator and author wrote, “Would the boy you were, be proud of the man you are?” You know, that is something most of us wonder. Have we really become what we once dreamed of? Have you ever sat alone, looking at all that is happening in your life and said, “Who am I?”
I want you to think back to what Moses was facing when Yahweh first called him. Here he was, staring at a bush that was burning (and not be consumed by the fire, by the way) and the voice within the bush was calling him to face Pharoah to obtain the release of the enslaved Israelites. Wow! Good staging, for an adventure, wasn’t it? Similar to Gandolf’s call of Bilbo! “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” But just like Bilbo, Moses sincerely felt inadequate for the task.
That’s right, Moses never felt he amounted to much. But that is not unique. As a matter of fact, it is a pretty common trait of serving Yahweh! He always seems to pick common, ordinary, everyday people — like most of us “plain folks“! — to be empowered with supernatural gifts and abilities. For instance, He called a small, insignificant shepherd boy to eventually become the king of Israel. Amazing!
The first question many sometimes ask me is what Seminary or Bible School I had attended. That is the same for my Pastor. It seems that without the prestige of a degree, you aren’t worth listening to. Hey! We are told that when they first saw the courage of Peter and John and then realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished!
I learned in one of my favorite daily emails from Delanceyplace.com that if you read the book, “Heaven’s Ditch,” written by Jack Kelly, you are told about preachers in the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s. Some of the more prominent evangelists were never trained by established seminaries, yet hey led revival meetings such as the famous Cane Ridge Revival which was “attended by thousands and characterized by singing, shouting, and weeping.” But I’ll tell you what, the established religious leaders frowned on their tremendous success, and one of them, Lyman Beecher (father of famed author Harriet Beecher Stowe) took it upon himself to confront Charles Finney, who was one of the most famous of this new breed of preacher:
“[Beecher] loathed the unrestrained enthusiasm that had erupted at Cane Ridge, the exhibitionism that made Christians seem like lunatics. The success of [Charles] Finney’s unorthodox ‘methods’ threatened to infect New England, the bastion of Puritan piety, with a similar mania. . . .
“In the autumn of 1826, Charles Finney was feeling the wrath of Beecher’s New England colleagues. They circulated a caustic booklet taking him to task for ‘his shocking blasphemies, his novel and repulsive sentiments, and his theatrical and frantic gesticulations.’ The controversy came to a head in July 1827. Beecher, hoping to calm the waters, invited Finney and some of his supporters to a meeting with leading clerics. He was willing to cross the Berkshire Mountains and hold the conclave at New Lebanon, in eastern New York. Finney agreed.”
However, “When the meeting ended,” Notice this: “Finney stood unscathed; Beecher went home rattled. He reportedly told a follower, ‘We crossed the mountains expecting to meet a company of boys, but we found them to be full-grown men.'” Ooh, yeah! That’s what we need to accept. That is what we need to ask! Don’t look at all of your limitations, your lack of abilities. Instead of asking “Who am I?” but, “Who is calling me?”
Do you remember how Peter and John were criticized for being unschooled, ordinary men? The verse goes on to explain, “they took note that these men had been with Jesus!” Oh wow! That should be said of all of us!
Who is calling us? It is the Lord, the I AM, the same yesterday, and today, and forever! He is with us. This is what matters. This is our reason for confidence. Sure, you might be called to something which you know is quite beyond your abilities: “Me, Lord?” “Who am I?” Well, your Father puts His hand on you and answers, “I am with you!”
Ooh . . . jump for joy, my friends, and with the Psalmist, rejoice:
Yahweh the Lord of Hosts is with us.
The Elohim of Jacob is our stronghold (Psalm 46:11)
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.