Montpellier, France Photographer: Jonaslange
Thousands of years ago, Gods people, consisting of anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 million people were in slavery to one of the most powerful countries in the world at that time, Egypt. The scriptures say “the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cries because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.’”
One of the fundamental and immutable traits of God’s character is a hatred for injustice. God in this instance comes to choose Moses a hot tempered stuttering exile to be a spokesman against Pharoah, perhaps the most powerful person in the world at the time. Like many important figures in the Bible Moses wasn’t thrilled at the task. In Exodus 3 we see Moses say to God “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God’s reply in this instance is curious “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
God’s way of assuring Moses of the task was essentially saying you will know this works out once it works out. This is hardly a reassuring answer. I think though this verse has even richer meaning than the one line it takes up. In the scriptures we see a theme of putting faith in God even when it is hard or may not seem to make sense. Hebrews 11:1 defines “faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” and then goes on to list the heroes of faith and their acts of faith.
So how does a life of faith look for the Christian now? The first and most important act of faith is to believe in Jesus’s work on the cross. In John 6:29 it says “Jesus answered them, this is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” We are called to believe in Jesus, his work on the cross, and His love for us.
The next faith task for the Christian to is to be on mission to make disciples. Alongside and working with taking up our cross daily God has called each of us to this task. The universal call for discipleship is called the great commission and is reffered to in Mathew 28.
Working alongside our faith in Jesus, and our call to make disciples, God burdens our hearts in additional ways at various times. God sets our hearts on fire for various tasks in different seasons, whether it is fighting injustics, heading to the mission field overseas, or just sticking with a job you don’t like because you know God is working in your co-workers lives. We may have seasons of rest but our lives are called to be fruitful. One thing we should never or very rarely have as Christians is boredom and regret. God redeems us and calls us on mission to be the hands and feet of Him on earth. Paul tells the Corinthian church it Christ’s love that compels us.
Let me end with a poem that has stuck with me over time. The short poem is a good reminder for me, that I want to be on mission, and not live a boring pointless life of regret.
‘Men past forty
Get up nights, Look at city lights
Where they made the wrong turn
And why life is so long.’*