I’ve discovered there are two things I need to stop asking God to show me: burning bushes and receipts.
Of course I don’t mean a burning bush in a literal sense. (If I go outside and hear God's voice coming from a burning bush, it’s probably a wrap! lol). I started referring to burning bushes figuratively a couple of years ago when a girlfriend asked if I was ready to make a particular move in my life, in which I replied, “if God wants me to do that, He’ll have to show up in a burning bush and tell me.” I’ve found myself repeating that phrase ever since. My burning bush reference became my need for a concrete answer and clarity to make sure I’m headed in the right direction. No vagueness. No gray area. A straight up, “Kendra, I want you to do XYZ, and this is how I want you to do it.”
When I’m unsure about what steps to take or my direction, I crave the Moses experience. I want direct, blatant signs to confirm I’m called for a particular assignment. Moses experienced several signs of confirmation after learning God selected him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God knew Moses was scared to go and needed a sign to move forward, so He showed up and showed out, using extraordinary signs to alleviate all of his doubts and fears.
After all was said and done, you’d think Moses would say, “Wow! That was dope God. I’ve seen. I believe. Okay, I’m ready. I’ll go.” But instead, Moses protested (again) and reminded God why he wasn’t qualified for the assignment, pointing out his inability to speak clearly...as if God didn’t already know about his speech impediment. God assured Moses that He’s not fazed by his insecurity at all because He makes mouths speak (hello!) and would help Moses with his words and teach him what to say. But the Creator’s pep talk still doesn’t ease Moses’ mind or help him to chillax. Instead his comeback is “Pardon me Lord. Please! Send anyone else.”
Who am I: The Moses Approach
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”-Exodus 3:11
Haven’t we all taken the Moses approach to something in life? When we know we are supposed to do something, regardless of size, but we come up with 1,001 reasons why we are not qualified or why God needs to send somebody else? Anybody else, as long as it’s not us. We pull our “pardon me Lord but you must be mistaken” move. Don’t you know I struggle with XYZ? I’m not the right man/woman for the job. I’m too young. Too old. Unqualified. Inexperienced. I need more time. I don't have enough time. And the list can go on and on.
I don’t fault Moses for his anxiety. His fear and concerns were legitimate because he had a big job ahead! I’ve resisted small assignments, so I can’t imagine what he felt in that moment when God specifically handpicked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He wasn’t in the midst of training for this specific assignment when God called him, and he certainly didn’t feel qualified or prepared.
God’s first words of assurance and his promise to Moses was, “I will be with you.” He never told Moses, "Mo, you got this because of your intelligence, charm or award-winning smile." God didn’t select Moses because of his experience, long list of achievements or qualifications. But He told Moses he could handle the task because He would be with him every step of the way.
Have you ever experienced a similar “who am I” moment? Maybe your vision is so huge and you’re not sure why God wants you to do it. I’ve been there. Still there! When we walk in fear, it’s easy to doubt our abilities because we can’t see beyond our own insecurities. However, God chooses us because He believes we can get the job done. Even when we can't believe it ourselves.
Taking the First Step
Why are we always asking God to show us receipts?! I’m not referring to the times we need to pray for confirmation or direction. I’m talking about demanding God to prove things will work out before we step out on faith and do our part. I’ve been guilty of this numerous times...playing my own version of the "You Prove and I'll Move" game. Fear hinders us from moving forward in our purpose, but one way to diminish fear is choosing to take the first step regardless of anxiety or worries. Sometimes, the first step is the scariest part. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Your Assignment Requires Letting Go
It’s easy to focus on our flaws or what we are doing wrong when things go left. Circumstances make it difficult to realize that God is sharpening us and shaping our character in the midst of our obstacles and adversity. But it’s hard for us to see this when the inner voice of doubt creeps in and tells us what we’re not. That nagging voice causes us to look inward instead of upward.
When things became hard, Moses went right back to doubting himself and his capability due to fear. Because the first meeting with Pharaoh didn’t turn out so well, he immediately questioned God's decision to send him. His insecurities resurfaced. It didn’t matter that God already promised to give him a spokesperson. Moses continued to point out, “See, I am not able to speak well. How then will Pharaoh listen to me?” (Exodus 6: 12 and 6:30)
If we don’t confront our fears, we’ll carry them with us and they’ll resurface during trying times. At some point, we have to face them head on, and the sooner we face our fears, the better the outcome. I recently had an epiphany that my indecisive nature was rooted in fear. Although I had chalked it up to being an analytical introvert, I discovered it really stems from my fear of making the wrong decision. I have to constantly work on moving forward in faith even when I don’t have clarification. If not, I remain at a standstill.
Pursuing our purpose and owning our assignment doesn’t mean we won’t experience any problems. God promises to be with us, just as He was with Moses. This promise isn’t just for times when everything is on the up and up. It’s for the good moments, ugly moments and everything in-between.
Your Assignment Does Not require you to Go it alone
“He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. Exodus 4:16
We don’t need to do it all alone. We all possess strengths that align with our purpose, yet our inadequacies can conjure up fear that we are unqualified for a position that is designed specifically for us. God will always equip us with the right skills and people to get the job done.
Moses felt incompetent due to his speech impediment, and God sent him help. He gave Moses someone who would compensate for the area he felt weak in. Make no mistake though. He made it clear that Moses was still meant to be the leader. His brother Aaron was just meant to help. He didn’t let Moses out of the task just because he felt insecure. God knew that Aaron was an eloquent speaker, but He gave the assignment to Moses because it belonged to him.
God always sees our potential and knows what we can do because He gave us the gifts and talents to walk in our purpose. He always sees the finished product, which is why he’s never hung up on our hang-ups. None of us are perfect, and if we learned to rely more on Him than our flaws, we’d be unstoppable. Moses finally got himself together and owned his assignment. And the results changed a nation.
Your Assignment Will Make You Uncomfortable
You may think Moses was called to do something gigantic, but aren’t we all? Whatever God has called us to do, it’s vital. So maybe it’s not rescuing thousands of people out of the wilderness, but maybe He’s calling you to write a book, create a film or start a business to encourage someone in bondage. It doesn’t have to be a massive group of people. Sometimes it’s just one or several people we need to reach, and it’s their impact that changes the world. Your purpose will impact someone’s life, regardless if it’s 100 or 1 million people.
Owning our assignment, whether big or small, takes courage. Regardless of the size, we aren’t meant to do it in our own strength. I’ve missed the boat too many times in the past, which isn't beneficial to myself or anyone attached to my purpose. People are waiting on our specific assignments. We just have to make a decision to just do it. Does that mean every fear or doubt will vanish and never resurface again? Not at all. Will we still feel overwhelmed at times? Sure. But if we focus less on who we are and more on who He is and what He can do through us, we can accomplish great things. And we can fulfill what we were created to do.
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