Mike Parsons –
Moses had an orphan mentality. Imagine what it was like for him, growing up in Egypt. He didn’t look like one of them, didn’t feel like one of them, and probably got sick of hearing the story of how he was found floating in a basket. Apparently abandoned by his parents, he was adopted by the Egyptian royal court, adopted by an enemy system, and he was even a prince within it. Many of us have sought for success in the world’s system, and maybe even been quite successful, but it will never satisfy our eternal destiny. At the age of 40, something rose up in him, calling him to his destiny, but we saw last time how he tried to do it his own way, failed spectacularly, and ran away into the wilderness.
The wilderness prepared Moses for his future, and after another 40 years God called him again to embrace his destiny. His natural identity was as a shepherd, looking after sheep in the wilderness for his father-in-law. Sheep are really awkward and certainly do not always readily go where you want them to, which meant he was well prepared to lead a bunch of obstinate, ill-tempered, quarrelsome people through the wilderness into the Promised Land.
But when he met God at the burning bush, God took something from him: his badge of office and all-purpose tool-of-the-trade, his staff. His natural identity as a shepherd was stripped away from him, and he was given a new, supernatural ‘shepherd-identity’. No longer an orphan or a slave, no longer a success in the systems of the world, instead he was to be the deliverer for a nation. But Moses still had issues.
Let go of the old, embrace the new
Now God was asking him to lay down that symbol of his natural abilities and identity – not just a staff but all it represented: his job, his well-being, his financial welfare and his future. That was the choice he faced.
When he picked it up again, it had become a powerful symbol of all that God was going to do through him. He used that staff supernaturally in the years that followed – he threw it on the ground and it transformed into a snake (Exodus chapter 4); he used it to split the Red Sea (Ex 14:16), to bring water from a rock (Ex 17:6), and throughout Israel’s wilderness journey.
But he had to choose to let go of the old, and embrace the new. It is a choice many of us have to make. Even when we become Christians, we still face that ongoing choice: am I going to do things my way, or God’s way? And your own way never works – you feel uncomfortable around ungodly people and uncomfortable with God – you have one foot in one camp and one foot in the other.
Who am I?
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?” (Ex 3:11).
Moses began to reject his destiny, to avoid doing what God was calling him to do. God was going to use his position and experience, but Moses didn’t think much of God’s HR skills. And ‘who am I?’ – well, he was a prince of Egypt, so naturally speaking he was well-placed for the task God was giving him, but he didn’t want to do it. Certainly he had things in his past which were holding him back, but God is always ready to deal with issues like that. Unlike Moses, let’s not allow our past to spoil our present and hinder our future.
Here am I – send somebody else!
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.” The Lord said to him… “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” (Ex 4:10-13).
Either he was unaware of his own abilities, or he was lying to God to try to get out of his destiny (the New Testament tells us “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22)). And finally he asked God to please send someone else! But God swept aside all his objections and every obstacle he tried to put in the way, eventually agreeing to send Aaron to speak for him.
God wants to set us free
God is calling each of us to embrace who we really are and what He has called us to do. He wants to set us free from everything that would seek to hold us back from fulfilling our destiny: our mind-sets, our slavery mentality, any way of thinking that prevents us knowing who we truly are as His sons.
This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. (Acts 7:35-36).
How many of us have felt rejected, even disowned, as Moses was? Yet God called him to be exactly what others failed to recognise in him, and even sent an angel with him for the rest of his life to ensure that he accomplished everything He intended for him. And we, too, have angels assigned to us, ready to supernaturally help us fulfil our destiny.
All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt” (Num 14:2-4).
God does not want us to miss out on receiving our full inheritance because of the issues in our lives. He wants us to deal with them. Israel saw God come down on a mountain; the Red Sea part (and close behind them, drowning their pursuers); clothes and sandals not wear out; food provided for them every day; and water spring from a rock (twice). Yet they still felt like slaves, and they wanted to go back to the ‘comfort’ of their familiar slavery instead of going in to possess the inheritance God had lined up for them. They continually rejected Moses’ authority, grumbling and complaining.
Robbed of his destiny
That rejection eventually caused Moses to react out of his insecurity. Instead of speaking to the rock (a further dimension of the supernatural that God was calling him into), he went back into his own familiar comfort zone and struck it instead. As a result, he missed out on leading Israel into the Promised Land, and there is no record of him ever doing another miracle.
Moses allowed his need for acceptance and approval from people to rob him of his full destiny. Little wonder, then, that those he led also allowed their issues to rob them of their own inheritance and destiny by refusing to go into the Promised Land.
It is possible to perform amazing miracles and enjoy remarkable encounters with God, and yet still miss out on the fullness of our inheritance. Instead, let’s allow God to reveal and deal with our issues, to heal us of past hurts and transform us into the image He has of us from eternity past.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
Related articles from Freedom ARC
- Who We Really Are
- The Father’s Hug
- A Beloved Child
- Intimacy With The Father
- A Journey Quest for Identity
- No Longer a Slave but a Son
Other resources from Freedom ARC
- “A progressive, structured journey to being a Son of God” – Engaging God subscription, for the Joshua Generation – click here for details
- Destiny: Identity mp3 audio teaching series by Mike Parsons (this post has again been drawn from session 3). The mp3 audio of session 1 is available free of charge here
- Exercises: How To Enter The Spiritual Realm and Interact with God (YouTube video)
- Freedom Apostolic Resources website and Freedom ARC Facebook page