When I was a little kid my mom used to give me commands. She would say things like: “Go clean up your room - go brush your teeth, go take a bath.” I’m reminded of my reluctance and reticence to respond to her directives every time I give a similar command to my grandson.
Just last night I said to him: “Go get ready for bed.” “I don’t want to go to bed,” was his reply. Again this morning: “Go get your shoes on or we’ll be late for school.” He responded: “Do I have to? I don’t like school!
Why don’t we want to obey?
Maybe it’s because we are self-centered and don’t like having anyone tell us what to do. We believe in being autocratic. Possibly the command doesn’t fit with our preferences or we simply may have a built-in rebellious streak. You can see examples throughout the Bible.
In the book of Exodus we are told of a time when God talked to Moses. It was in a desert area far from the view of anyone else and Moses was reluctant to obey.
The conversation went something like this: God Speaks: Moses, I’ve set myself to help a whole lot of people who are in need. They are experiencing sufferings; addictions, hardships, injustice and I want to free them because they are asking for my help… Even though it doesn’t record it, I’m sure Moses was elated because this is something he had desired for over 40 years.
In Chapter 3 verse 10, however, God said something else that caused this jubilation - this euphoria and this ecstasy to evaporate. He said: “…Go! I’m sending you…” by the response given by Moses we see his reluctance to obey. It reminded me of this statement: “Anything can be done as long as someone else does it.” We want God or others to do the stuff but we too often don’t want to get involved ourselves.
Moses gives 4 reasons as to why he didn’t want to obey.
Ex. 3:11 I’m a no-body - He had an identity issue to solve.
Ex. 3:13 I won’t know what to say or do - A confidence issue.
Ex. 4:1 I’m not sure people will listen - A fear issue.
Ex. 4:10 I don’t have any skills or abilities - A competence issue.
Excuses, excuses and more excuses!
What Moses didn’t understand was this: When God asks people to obey, it is for their own personal benefit not to mention the welfare of others. If a parent shouts a command to STOP when a child is getting to close to a cliff, it is for the child’s safety not for the parents need to establish authority.
Identity issues are real. Someone said: “God doesn’t make Nobody’s, He makes Somebody’s!” We discover our value only when we are connected to Him and our identity issue is solved when we know God is with us. That’s why God answered his identity question by saying: “ I will be with you” The important thing isn’t who you are but who God is in you. Check out Romans 8:31!
Confidence issues, fear issues and competence can be dealt with when you trust in God and entrust yourself to him. The issues facing Moses are the same issues facing us. Don’t let them keep you from obeying God’s commandments. They are for your benefit and the welfare of others. Quit making excuses and follow God’s lead. You won’t be sorry and people will be blessed.