READING – Exodus 3:1-14
One of a pastor’s greatest struggles is feeling inadequate. The responsibilities are great, the problems complex, even exciting ministry opportunities can be overwhelming.
When the God who made and rules all appears in our consciousness and enlists us in impossible endeavors against formidable opponents, we naturally respond, “Who, me?” To which God responds, “Yes you, but not by yourself. I, the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the ages, will be with you.”
This paraphrase of Exodus 3:14 is helpful: “I am truly he who exists and who will be dynamically present then and there in the situation to which I am sending you.” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Exposition of Exodus, Digital Edition)
Just as God sent Moses, God has sent you. Just as God was with Moses, God is with you. Jesus said when He commissioned His disciples, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
I think of Paul near the end of his life in a Roman prison. When he appeared for his pre-trial hearing, where character witnesses could speak in his behalf, none of his friends were there. “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:16). But he was not resentful: “May it not be charged against them!” He knew that the “I AM” was present with him in his situation. The one who had sent him had not abandoned him. “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (v. 17).
Wherever you are, no matter how hard your ministry circumstances may be, He is there, personally present with you.
You are the eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, self-existent God, worthy of my praise, submission and service. You rule my life and my world.
You revealed yourself to me and enlisted me in a life of ministry. I serve in the great cause of building up your church, shepherding your people, for the glory of Christ.
I often feel inadequate. Sometimes I struggle with willingness. Certain situations and people make me fearful.
I need to think less about who I am and more about who you are.
I need to be less intimidated by my responsibilities and more conscious that you are with me in every situation.
When my preaching plan brings me to a complicated scripture passage or a theological paradox, you are with me.
When I attempt to counsel family members with long-standing resentment between them, and I feel like I’m wrestling two lions, you are with me.
When objectives for developing new ministry efforts seem unattainable, you are with me.
When unreasonable people resist my influence in their lives and leadership of the church, you are with me.
When I struggle with loneliness because of my isolated place of ministry, you are with me.
When I get up Monday and feel discouraged about Sunday, you are with me.
With your help, I will serve where you place me, I will minister to whom you call me, and I will fulfill the assignments you give me. I believe, accept, and rejoice that You are with me. You are “dynamically present” here and now, where you have sent me.