Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do You Trust God?

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:7-8a NIV

When you cry out to God in the midst of suffering, do you ever wish He’d come down and give you a definitive game plan like He gave Moses? It’s easy to say, “If God actually stood in front of me and explained how the solution to my problem would work out, I wouldn’t react like Moses. I would do exactly what I was told.” Hmmmm. Maybe.

Because God doesn’t appear to us out of a burning bush, we sometimes lack faith that He is attentive to see, hear, be concerned, and rescue us. Aside from the fact Christians have life experiences showing He’s done just that, if we believe God is who He claims to be, then—given all the examples of His perfect will and timing in the Bible—why do we refuse to put total trust in His plans—no matter how slow or fast they unfold for us?

An obvious reason is few of us can claim an audience with God like Moses had. Not a physical audience. I mean Moses’ willingness to be completely “there” in God’s presence, contrasted with our busy lifestyles where we sometimes squeeze prayer in between other activities. This doesn’t allow silent meditation for God to speak to us so we can feel firmly rooted in His guidance. 

  • listened
  • asked questions
  • asked for provision

But we also don’t believe we can experience God on the level Moses did. The biggest reason is self-doubt. Like Moses. Instead of trusting God to bring us up out of our problems His way and in His perfect time, we get distracted by our reasons it might not happen.

I began re-reading the Bible at the beginning of the year. Exodus 3-4 really spoke to me about how my attitude and life often mirrors Moses.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
What if I can't?

Wow! How many times have I uttered something similar when God opens a door or smoothes a path for me?

What if I can’t do that? What if I don’t succeed? What if I’ve misunderstood His direction?

God’s patience must surely be tried when He sees my self-doubt instead of reliance on Him. But He always gives me the same assurance He gave Moses:

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:12

So, that’s enough, right? End of story. Moses obeyed. We obey. Hmmmm. Not so fast.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. Exodus 3:13-15a

It’s mind boggling after God spoke those powerful words, Moses still had self-doubts!

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1

Then God showed Moses the miracle of the staff and leprous hand to use as signs.

The next passage is where I share a major similarity with Moses. Regardless of my level of faith in God—my focus on my shortcomings impedes what He seeks to accomplish through and for me.

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, 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.” Exodus 4:10

I love God’s answer. J

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:11-12

After all this reassurance, Moses still doesn’t get it. So he did what many of us would—he tried to squirm out of God’s assignment. Up to this point, God has been patient. However, Moses doesn’t have the insight he does later when he comes off the mountain and finds the Israelites in all forms of debauchery, and God opens the earth to swallow them. That might have given Moses a different perspective in challenging God’s instructions. Instead, Moses blunders ahead.

 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13

Now God has heard enough. His patience has ended. He doesn’t let Moses off the hook for being the one He called to lead the Israelites, but He offers a solution that best matches Moses’ nature and spiritual maturity at that point in time.

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.” Exodus 4:14-17

Even in God’s anger toward Moses’ inward focus on his shortcomings, He still provided a path for Moses to serve and obey Him. As Moses’ life unfolded, he gained spiritual maturity and became the leader God envisioned when He first called Moses to the task. To be effective in our Christian walk and serving our risen Savior, we must have faith that He is attentive to see, hear, be concerned, and rescue us in His perfect time and His way. This may not match what we expect, but we can trust Him to get it right.

What are you trusting God for today that you’re having trouble seeing His hand in? I’d love to hear from you. If you would like prayer, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. A prayer list at the top of the blog has info on people we are praying for.

Praise Report:
Courtney, a young mother who’s battled a cancerous brain tumor (Glioblastoma) for the past couple of years, went for her two-month checkup. She’s had several clean MRIs. Here’s her latest update:

"Praise to the good Lord upstairs, my scan came back clear!!!! In another 8 weeks, I will get another MRI and a PET scan. If everything still looks good like today, I will be taken off my chemo!!!! [The doctor] said this upcoming appointment will be the "big one" and to be safe, they will do another MRI 6 weeks after. Thank you so much for the prayers. They were certainly answered! God is so good!"

I agree wholeheartedly with Courtney. God is so good! He’s been merciful in answering prayers for her healing.

On Friday, I’m traveling to Asheville, NC, to attend a weekend writer’s conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. I’d appreciate prayers for my safe travel and for spiritual guidance in my writing career this year. I look forward to sharing my experience with you next week. J

God bless,

©Laura Hodges Poole

Images courtesy of thepathtraveler/ (1)
Michael Marcel/ (2)
Stuart Miles/ (3)


  1. Laura, you must have been inside my head this week! I needed this desperately! Thank you for your timely words!

  2. I just prayed for both you and Courtney. God is with you both!

    Excited to hear about your writing conference.

    Thank you for this post. It really spoke to me today, it was exactly what I needed to hear. God recently told me to "obey" but He didn't say what I am to obey. Quickly doubts and fears filled my mind, what if my faith isn't strong enough for whatever it is He wants of me?
    Your post helped assure me that God has it (and all my fears) under control. He will prepare me and equip me for whatever it is He is preparing me to "obey".

    God bless and be safe.

    1. Thanks for the prayers, TC. I'm glad the post blessed you.

  3. I am so glad you found me on Twitter, Laura. This is my first read of your blog, and I am enjoying it! :) God bless you in your travels and workshop. Praying for Courtney, as well - PTL for her blessings!

    1. Thanks, Amy. I'm so glad you were blessed by the post. I really appreciate the prayers! God bless you.