Today’s reading is Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matthew 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23: 1-6, and Proverbs 5:22-23. I find myself still thinking of what happened in Exodus 3-4. And it brings to mind a word–insecurities. We all have them. Even the greats of the Bible had insecurities. Moses’ calling came at a time when he least expected it. He was 80 years old when he happened upon the burning bush. And even though he was standing in front of a burning bush, with the voice of God shouting out His glory, Moses still displayed his slave mentality. He said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11). God’s reply was, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12). Our confidence should not be in ourselves, but in Him. Remember, God loves to use the ordinary to bring about the extraordinary. So, God took the very symbol of Moses’ mediocrity, his shepherd’s staff and turned it into a symbol of power, holiness and greatness. Once again, the ordinary turned into the extraordinary. It was through this ordinary staff with its ordinary owner that God displayed His greatness through plagues and partings of the sea, and through victorious battles. God told Moses to Go. And He calls us to Go, too.
The word ‘Go’ obviously involves action on our part. And it is not a suggestion, such as, “if you feel led, go” or “if you aren’t too busy, go”. It is a direct command for every believer: “Go!” We find it again in the most powerful commission of all:
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
If you knew that you were about to go to heaven in the next few minutes, what would you say to your family and close friends? Would you not think through and carefully word your last statements so that they would be remembered and cherished? Would you not take that opportunity to say things that are of extreme importance, not just casual conversation? Of course you would want to carefully speak, if you knew you were heaven bound! And so it was with Jesus.
Matthew 28:18-20 is known as The Great Commission, and it was the last instructions that Jesus gave before He ascended into heaven. It was very important, and it was meant for all of the family of God, every believer then and now and in the future. And the command was to “Go!” Now it is not my place to tell you where to go; God will readily tell you that, if you are courageous enough to ask Him. He may want you to go to another country or simply go next door. But as a fellow believer, I can remind you that we all must “Go”. We all must reach out to others. We all are God’s workmanship, and all have good works that He wants us to do, which He has prepared in advance for us.
Worship is part of the preparation for the extraordinary plan of God in your life. Notice, in the Matthew 28 passage, that the disciples obeyed and went where Jesus told them to go. They would have missed it if they had not listened and obeyed. Next, we see that they saw Jesus. We must open our eyes to see Him. We must seek Him, daily. We must learn enough about Him that we recognize Him and His Voice in our lives. When we see Him, when the scales fall from our eyes, our response will be worship. They all had that response, though some still had to push through their struggle with doubt. Their worship prepared their hearts to accept the mission set before them. And the mission was this: Go!
Why do you think Jesus prefaced His commission with these words: “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore…” (Matt. 28:18, 19)? Because they needed to know that they did not have to function with a slave mentality which would hinder their mission. They needed to know that the One with all authority, King of Kings on earth and in heaven, was the one sending them. They should go with the confidence of their royal status! And He ended the commission with further confidence building words: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
So we see a progression in these passages that I can relate to. First we listen and obey. This leads us to worship. If we have occasional doubts and fears, worship will help push through that. Worship will prepare our hearts to receive His call on our lives. We will need to keep in mind that it is in His power and authority that we take that step of obedience to go, knowing that He will never leave us alone but will empower and equip us for extraordinary things. If you have insecurities, like Moses did, trust God anyway. Trust Him, not yourself. Then you will have the courage you need to ‘Go’ wherever and whenever He calls you.