#4 (THE "5 EXCUSES OF MOSES" SERIES)
"BUT I'M NOT ELOQUENT!"
TEXT: Exodus 4:10-12
INTRO: Our own fears and weaknesses can hold us back from a great life if we submit to them. But oh the rewards when we do face them and conquer them!
professional photographer by the name of Eric Valli worked for National
Geographic and was on assignment in
Moses, and people like us have weaknesses that can hold us back from doing what God calls us to. What we need to remember however is that the same God who calls us will equip us to do what we are called to do! If we shrink back in fear over our weaknesses we will never experience the great joy and satisfaction of watching God do great things through our lives!
It does not matter that we are weak when He is strong!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that our weaknesses can be overcome with God's help; He enables us to do what He has called us to do!
I. FOCUS ON FAILURE!
A. Weakness Targeted! 4:l0a
1. Moses now attempts his 4th excuse at getting out of God's call on his life!
a. "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." 4:10a
b. His other excuses all dealt with others not believing him. Those excuses failed, now he tries the excuse that focuses on his own weaknesses!
2. He is probably not lying, he very well may have been a poor communicator, but so were others used by God!
a. Consider the Apostle Paul in II Cor. “For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."” (NIV – emphasis mine) He was very down to earth guy!
b. Luther was said to be a very poor speaker early in his ministry!
3. The world would be a sad place if they had yielded to their weaknesses!
ILLUS: ENRICO CARUSO WAS TOLD BY ONE MUSIC TEACHER, "YOU CAN'T SING, YOU HAVE NO VOICE AT ALL!" HE IS TODAY ONE OF THE GREATEST SINGERS! BEETHOVEN'S MUSIC TEACHER SAID ABOUT HIM, "AS A COMPOSER HE IS HOPELESS!" AN EDITOR TOLD LOUISA MAY ALCOTT THAT SHE WAS INCAPABLE OF WRITING ANYTHING THAT WOULD HAVE POPULAR APPEAL, WHICH OF COURSE, WAS BEFORE SHE WROTE "LITTLE WOMEN." WALT DISNEY WAS ONCE FIRED BY A NEWSPAPER EDITOR BECAUSE HE THOUGHT WALT DISNEY HAD NO GOOD IDEAS! F.W. WOOLWORTH WAS 21 WHEN HE GOT A JOB IN A STORE, BUT HE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO WAIT ON CUSTOMERS BECAUSE HE WAS TOLD HE HAD NO SENSE FOR CUSTOMERS! -- Source Unknown
4. Moses was more focused on his weakness than on God's strength!
a. Moses only saw his past...
b. … and his present situation, which was still that as a bad speaker!
1. However, Moses had one quality that was strong, he may not have been a good talker but he was a good walker!
2. Moses was solid, and with 40 years as a shepherd he had developed the heart of the kind of leader God would be able to use to lead Israel out of slavery!
b. Moses' strength was his commitment and consistency!
3. The most important elements of leadership he possessed already, being an example! The talking part can be learned easier than the walking part!
4. In the Master's hand his weakness will develop into a strong gift, but only if he allows the Master to help him!
5. God certainly knew about Moses' weaknesses, yet God called him to do a task!
a. God is not hindered by our weaknesses, only if we fail to yield!
b. God always knows what He is doing when He calls us!
6. Moses’ consistent nature of 40 years of shepherding would serve Israel well in the same desert Moses had served in for 40 years ... the problem of speech God can fix, the walker can learn to be a talker!
a. It would have been much more seriously a problem if he had been a talker and not a walker!
b. People need our example more than our words!
c. Moses was a strong walker, he would also become a strong talker with God's help!
II. FOCUS ON FAITHFULNESS! 4:11-12
A. Wholehearted Trust!
1. God responds to Moses' complaint over his lack of speaking ability!
a. God asks, "Who gave man his mouth?" a clear reference to God's involvement with man's creation!
b. Which is harder to make; the actual mouth, or saying a few words?
c. If God can make the greater the lesser will be no problem for Him to deal with!
2. This is a call by God for Moses to trust Him for doing the easier thing if Moses indeed believed God made the hard thing already!
a. Literally the expression in Hebrew is "who has set a mouth in man?"
b. The idea is of God's creative power to do a very complicated thing!
3. Sometimes weaknesses yielded to God actually enhance the supernatural acts of God, so that in our weakness He is made strong!
ILLUS: AS NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES, JAMES JEFFRIES WAS ONE OF THE MOST ARTICULATE AND DYNAMIC CHRISTIAN SPOKESMEN IN THE COUNTRY. IN MANY WAYS, JEFFRIES' SON NEIL WAS A LOT LIKE HIS DAD, STRONGLY BUILT, ATHLETIC, GOOD LOOKING, AND WITH A DEEP COMMITMENT TO CHRIST; HOWEVER, IN ONE WAY HE WAS VERY MUCH HIS FATHER'S OPPOSITE, HE WAS A TERRIBLE SPEAKER. HE HAD A SEVERE STUTTERING PROBLEM THAT MADE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO SPEAK LIKE HIS CHARISMATIC WELL SPOKEN FATHER. HE WAS ALSO VERY SHY, THOUGH VERY INTELLIGENT, PROBABLY THE RESULT OF THE EMBARRASSMENT OF THE YEARS OF STUTTERING. EVEN THOUGH, HE WAS PICKED TO SPEAK AT AN FCA NATIONAL CONFERENCE. OVER A THOUSAND ATHLETES WERE IN ATTENDANCE, MOST DID NOT KNOW ABOUT NEIL'S STUTTERING PROBLEM. AS NEIL BEGAN HIS SPEECH, MOST THOUGHT IT WAS A JOKE OR SKIT AND THEY ALL BEGAN TO LAUGH! ON THE PLATFORM, NEIL BRAVED THE SITUATION AND CONTINUED TO SPEAK TALKING ALMOST 20 MINUTES TO SAY WHAT YOU AND I COULD HAVE SAID IN 5-10 MINUTES. AT THE CONCLUSION TO HIS SPEECH AN AMAZING THING HAPPENED. THE AUDIENCE SOON REALIZED THAT THIS WAS NO JOKE OR SKIT, AND THEY HAD BEGUN TO LISTEN, EMBARRASSED AND ASHAMED. NEIL OFFERED AN INVITATION FOR THOSE IN THE AUDIENCE TO GIVE THEIR HEARTS AND LIVES TO JESUS CHRIST AND ALL ACROSS THE AUDIENCE YOUNG MEN STOOD AND BEGAN TO MOVE TOWARD THE ALTAR TO GIVE THEIR LIVES TO JESUS CHRIST. MORE YOUNG ATHLETES GAVE THEIR HEARTS TO JESUS CHRIST AT THIS CONVENTION THAT AT ANY PREVIOUS FCA CONFERENCE IN THE PAST! NEIL WAS NOT ELOQUENT, BUT HE WAS PASSIONATE, AND HIS WALK WITH GOD MOVED THESE MEN MORE THAN HIS TALKING ABILITY! -- Source Unknown
4. God can do more with AVAILABILITY than He can with just SHEAR ABILITY!
5. Natural abilities can impress people -- but supernatural ability can improve people!
6. God was calling Moses to trust Him wholeheartedly, what Moses is weak at is no problem for God, God will develop this ability to speak as he makes himself available to God!
a. If God can make his mouth...
b. He can certainly train it to speak properly!
7. Moses needed to heed the last line of verse 11: "is it not I, the Lord!"
a. God can do anything!
b. He has no plans to make us fail in the call on our lives; He will equip us with whatever we need to succeed in doing whatever He has asked us to do!
c. We need to trust Him wholeheartedly!
B. Willing & Teachable!
1. Here comes the final issue, "are you willing and are you teachable Moses?"
a. God's response to his excuse is "NOW GO...!"
b. God adds, "I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
2. God simply needs two things to accomplish His purposes in our lives:
a. Willingness to follow through (obedience).
b. A teachable spirit!
3. ANYONE who has these two ingredients can be used by God to do great things!
4. It is a sad thing when we see those in the world do great things because they have these two ingredients and then when we look at the Church we lack these!
ILLUS: A GUY BY
THE NAME OF JIM MERTZ WAS A CHRISTIAN AND FOUND HIMSELF EXAMINING HIS LIFE ONE
DAY AS TO HIS WILLINGNESS TO SERVE GOD AND WHETHER HE HAD A TEACHABLE
HEART. HE MADE THE FOLLOWING
OBSERVATIONS: JIM WAS WATCHING A
MOVIE ONE DAY AND IN IT HE SAW A MUSLIM MAN STOP AND FACE THE
5. This was all God was asking from Moses – “Go,” and He would teach him!
a. Moses' excuses were not acceptable!
b. God was not unaware of the problems Moses possessed, but these were not problems for God!
6. God can handle deficiency, but He requires dedication!
a. Moses' 4th excuse was not sufficient; it was not accepted by God!
b. Moses was to focus on being faithful, not on being a failure!
7. The great faith chapter in Hebrews 11 is full of stories of ordinary people who did extraordinary things, the chapter is about faith, but it is full of action verbs ... people who went and DID great exploits for God!
a. Action to go is what God is looking for first!
b. He can supply the talent as we are faithful to serve!
c. The first place of learning is that of responding!
8. By world standards Moses had been a complete failure, he was laughable! But, he was the raw material God used to do a great work!
a. It mattered how Moses saw himself, at first he thought himself a failure!
b. With God's help however, he would be a success!
9. It is vitally important how we view ourselves!
ILLUS: THE STORY
OF THE FAMOUS CHERRY SISTERS IS AMAZING!
4 GIRLS LEFT THEIR HOME IN
10. Moses’ success was in God's hand in spite of his own inabilities, he just had to go willingly and be teachable!
a. What has God called you to do?
b. Are you making excuses still?
c. Are you more focused on your weaknesses than His strength and His call?
CONCLUSION: A focus on weaknesses can keep a believer from productive ministry. Our weaknesses will not hinder God's work, only our lack of will to be used will do this! Strengths develop as we yield ourselves to do His will. Our weaknesses therefore are not valid excuses from ministry, for God is made strong in our weakness! It is not failure that troubles God as much as it is faithlessness! What excuses are you using to not serve God?