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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 147

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Moses

Few if any believers today – or at any time in the past for that matter – would disagree with the notion that by all counts Moses was and is a monolithic figure within the pages of Scripture.

Even little children, who’ve only attended a handful of Sunday school classes, can tell you that Moses was the man who parted the Red Sea, and led the people of Israel out of captivity.

Much like little children we have a tendency to focus on the supernatural things God did through Moses, and ignore or marginalize his life up to the point of standing before Pharaoh and demonstrating the power of the Almighty.

The life and biography of Moses are a very dramatic read. Moses was born in slavery, saved miraculously from death, taught in the school of Pharaoh, but also in the school of God during the forty years he spent in the wilderness.

He spends forty years as a prince in Egypt, and another forty as a sheepherder, roaming about the wilderness tending sheep. It is in the desert that God reveals Himself to Moses, and it is also in the desert that Moses begins to understand God has a greater plan for his life than what he had previously envisioned. No life is linear. Each life is extraordinary in its own way, but Moses’ life had more twists and turns than most.

As is the case with every servant God chooses for a specific task, Moses had to undergo the process of being stripped of pride and any semblance of arrogance. It is one thing to be born a sheepherder, live as a sheepherder, and die as a sheepherder, it’s quite another to go from being a prince to a sheepherder.

By all accounts Moses was a man of faith. The word of God tells us that by faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose instead to suffer affliction. In fact, every major decision Moses made in regards to his life was made by faith, and not by sight.

If Moses would have chosen sight over faith or even reason over faith, then he never would have refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, knowing his only reward for this choice was likely affliction. If Moses were not a man who walked by faith, he never would have forsaken Egypt, because choosing the more difficult path goes against human instinct.

Hebrews 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”

By faith we see the true worth of a relationship with God. By faith we realize that the reproach of Christ is a greater fortune than the treasures of Egypt. By faith we look to the reward…a reward that is not forthcoming in this life, but in the life to come.

If the reward of which the author of Hebrews speaks had anything to do with this present life, then Moses would have already received his reward, as you couldn’t get much higher up the food chain than being a prince of Egypt at the time. If the reward of which the word of God speaks had anything to do with the physical or the material, than we could point to Moses and rightly call him foolish for having renounced his princely status, and the treasures of Egypt.

The life of Moses was a life dependent on God…a life tethered to God. Moses was a man who lived under the authority of God daily. It was not something he did on occasion, it was not something he did infrequently, but throughout his life, throughout his journey, we see Moses humbly following God’s leadership, and resting under the covering of His authority.

Unlike many today, Moses was a man who did not resist God. Today too many individuals, even those who have been called to serve, like to play the I think I can out will God game. Wherever God leads, they have a tendency to resist, or try and steer in a direction of their choosing.

I see this often with mothers and children in stores, especially in the candy isle. If at first their request for chocolate is summarily denied, the children holding their mothers’ hands start to pull ever so slightly toward the candy, or the cookies, or the chocolate. All the while they pretend as though nothing untoward is happening, even though the mother can sense she is being tugged in a specific direction.

After a while, some mothers will look down at their child and whisper ‘stop that,’ while others, perhaps not paying enough attention, allow themselves to be dragged to the place the child desired to go to all along.

The only problem is that God is not an inattentive mother who can be manipulated to do what we desire Him to do. God is not distracted or otherwise occupied to the extent He will not notice when we attempt to steer Him toward a different destination than the one He chose for us.

Sometimes He whispers ‘stop that,’ at other times, He leaves us to the desire of our heart just so we’d learn how horribly awry things can go if we do not obey Him, and follow the path He has highlighted for us.

Moses knew there was no better place to be than under the authority of Almighty God. Because of this knowledge, and the faith he possessed, Moses looked upon the treasures and trappings of Egypt and saw them for what they were, realizing that the reproach of Christ is a greater treasure still.

Do we behold the things of this earth and see them as Moses did? Do we look upon the material world and prefer the reproach of Christ knowing it is a far greater treasure?

As true believers, as followers of Christ, we must do as Moses did, and choose to suffer affliction with the people of God over enjoying the passing pleasures of sin.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

This makes you wonder about the pastors who claim that if you don't tithe, you will always be poor and if you do tithe, God will bless you with financial security and abundance. I don't know what to think, but if the examples in the Bible are true, wealth does not matter that much to God.