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Help Wanted … Under Qualified But Overwhelmed

by Rick Robinson

Did you ever feel like God has call waiting, kind of like your telephone, and He switches between the calls He wants to talk to—and you’re the one on hold? Here you are in the most difficult of situations, and God doesn’t seem to be concerned about it at all. If this description fits your life right now, you and God are in a great place to help each other. Yes—I said help each other. Let me explain. There are scores of stories in the Bible to illustrate this, but I have selected accounts of Moses as an example. 

God called upon Moses to help deliver the people out of Egypt. God did not need Moses, any more than He needs us, but He loves working together with us. He is not cold and impersonal, but a relationship oriented God. Trusting us with a task is one of the ways God draws us closer together. Even as God ask Moses to participate in the deliverance of His people, Moses feels under qualified.

Exodus 3:10-11

“Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

God has great patience with Moses, showing Him miracles and proving His power, yet Moses continues to express his own feelings of being under qualified and overwhelmed, even begging the Lord to enlist someone else. 

Exodus 4:10

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 

Have you ever made excuses about why you can’t do something for God? I am a pro, but He is not impressed with that part of my resume. As Moses surrenders to “help” God with this task, we can see the relationship transformed as he transfers his trust from his own ability over to confidence in God. If you want your relationship with God to prosper, you too will have to look at the truth of His ability, not your own. 

While the people are in the desert for what should have been a short journey, disobedience sends things sideways. There is no meat and fresh produce in the desert and the people grumble wishing they had not left Egypt. Moses is found questioning his own relationship with God, because he is looking to himself for answers. Once again, Moses is feeling under qualified and overwhelmed and perhaps overlooked. Have you ever felt that way? You’re in good company and not alone like you thought. 

Numbers 11:11-15

So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? “Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. “So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.” 

Quail would migrate across the Sinai Peninsula in large numbers at certain times during the year, usually between March and April. God brought the birds over the camp of the Israelites with a great wind in the evening, and also wherever they camped for forty years, daily He dropped manna to the ground with the dew. Each family was to take what they needed with no leftovers. God made the manna unfit to eat overnight, so it was of no use trying to store up a supply. Daily trust in the Lord for provision was required. In case you wonder about it as you read, a measure of omer is about 2 liters. 

Exodus 16:16-24

This is what the Lord has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.’ The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat. Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 

This was not the normal manna they were familiar with. It melted in the sun, it became foul overnight, and it could be worked into nutritional bread. This was not a normal substance that the people recognized, it was a miracle. 

Deuteronomy 8:3

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 

If we want to live in the provision of God and share in deep fellowship with Him, we will need to take heed of these words the Prophet Isaiah wrote. 

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 

Isaiah used this timeless picture of the heavens, which is a great illustration of the wonder of our God. We cannot even imagine the things He has created. The speed of light is our basic measurement for distance in space (the heavens). Light travels at some 186,000 miles per second. That means a beam of light could travel around the earth several times in one second. We don’t all own rockets, but most of us own a man made car. If you could drive your car non-stop to the sun, it would take over 160 years to get there, yet the light from the sun (God’s creation) reaches us in seconds. How great is your God? Are you still looking for provision on your own standard? Are you looking for a place to serve in your own ability or still making excuses of why you will fail? God wants to provide for you, and wants your help in some capacity. Most of all, God desires an intimate relationship with you. Did you know God has given you manna (bread) from heaven? Will you scoff and complain, or expect daily supply?

John 6:30-33

So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 

You and I may be under qualified for certain things and we may be overwhelmed with others, but God is neither under qualified nor overwhelmed. His word will accomplish everything as He desires, and you are a part of that plan—we all are. 

Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 

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Living in the Past

by Rick Robinson

If you look at the things I enjoy in life it would be easy to think I live in the past. I like Christian music from the eighties. I like automobiles that are older than I am. I like black and white movies and classic TV generation shows like I love Lucy. Nostalgia is big right now with a lot of people. Maybe there is a part of us that would like to go back in time to a place we think was simple.

Was life as simple as we remember it? Would you really like to exchange your cell phone for the phone booth you can step inside of and close the door? Would you trade your computer for a typewriter? Would you miss your microwave and the hundreds of TV channels you can get?

I hear people say about automobiles, “They don’t build them like they used to!” That part really is true. I have a 1929 Pontiac with 33,000 miles on it. In 1929 it was recommended to change the oil every 500 miles. The life expectancy of a car in 1929 was 50,000 miles. My Pontiac is not air-conditioned, and does not have power windows, although the windshield cranks open. An automatic transmission was not an option in 1929, but bumpers were. The windshield wipers work on vacuum, so the faster you drive, the faster they wipe. In a downpour, speed up! The Chevy I drive every day has 185,000 miles and still has not had its first tune up. People are right, they don’t build them like they used to, and the windshield does not even crank open.

You may remember many good things that happened to you in the past. I look back at my past and the two biggest and greatest events I will ever experience happened there. In July of 1977 I married the love of my life, Victoria. The other major event in my life happened around November of 1981. That is when I met Jesus Christ and He revolutionized my life forever.

Song of Solomon 3:4
I found the one my heart loves.

Even though many good things may be remembered from your past, It can be dangerous to live in the past. So how can you know if you enjoy antiques and nostalgia, or if you live dangerously in the past? Do you find yourself thinking “If only I had done this.” or “If only I hadn’t done that.”? These are thoughts of regret you can do nothing about. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes and regrets. If you need forgiveness, Jesus Christ offers freedom from your past. If you need to ask a person to forgive you, or to forgive someone, do it without hesitation.

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Don’t get caught up in the “if only” of the past. When those words pop into your mind, you can bet they will lead you in the wrong direction. You will tend to make more wrong decisions and be unable to remain clear minded. Those two little words will stop you from achieving what God has for you. When you look at the past, keep in mind all that Christ has done for you.

Living in the past may not be as big of a problem for you as living in the fear of the future. Two more little words, “what if”, stop people from becoming all they can be. When you have thoughts like “What if I fail?” you may want to consider the reason. Many people suffer from what I call a “low spiritual self-esteem”. This is a condition that exists when we don’t see ourselves the way God does. Why would Jesus Christ die for you, then leave you to be on your own?

Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Why would Jesus tell you to forgive seventy times seven, but use a different standard in His forgiveness to you?

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Once I was sitting on the shore of a lake, looking out across as the sun gleamed off the ripples on the water. The effect of the sun was like the twinkling lights on a Christmas tree, Illuminating, but for a second, then gone. As I looked out across the lake there were thousands of sparkles appearing and disappearing just as quickly. That is how a timeless God would see our lives.

James 4:13-15
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

As a Christian, your life should reflect the Son to a world that is watching how we face our trials. We never know when that light reflecting the Son, will be called to the other side of eternity, and the people we come in contact with may not realize how short and significant life really is.

Ecclesiastes 7:2
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

Perhaps that is how we should see our trials. It seems like it takes forever to get through a trial, and the torment of the “if only” can become an extension to the pain. Whatever you are going through in your life right now, you don’t have to beat yourself up, and think back on a time when things were better or simpler. The past may be a great place to be from, but the present is where God has you at this time. As far as the future, anticipate what God is going to do in your life if you will yield to Him. Don’t try to tackle the problems of the past, present, or future alone. Let the grace of God sustain you as you walk through each day, and let the Son reflect a positive witness through your trust in Him.

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Copyright 2010 Church Growth Associates

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