It may seem surprising, but I’ve heard many pastors say they were afraid when God called them to preach. They knew they were unable to meet the challenge on their own. In fact, when I was scheduled to give my first sermon I was nervous as well.
My mother saw this, so she read me a passage from her Bible that God had laid on her heart for me. It was Joshua 1:7-9, in which the Lord assures Joshua that He will be with him as he goes forward. I can’t begin to tell you what a comfort that was.
God’s Word is a deep mine of treasures waiting to be discovered by those who are willing to search and careful in their application. That takes wisdom and understanding, as well as time to listen to the Lord.
Sometimes believers avoid Scripture because they don’t know what it means for them.
But if you read the Bible seeking to know what God is saying and how He would have you apply it, Scripture becomes rich and meaningful—and a powerhouse for getting you through all of life’s challenging times.
I’d like to help you gain a better understanding of how to listen to God speak through His Word. Let’s look at three basic lessons from how He interacted with Moses in Exodus 3:1-14.
We must pay attention to the Word.
While Moses was pasturing the flock, he noticed something astonishing: a burning bush that wasn’t consumed, and God’s voice calling to him from within the bush (vv. 3-4). The Lord clearly wanted Moses to notice and to hear Him.
Our Father is often trying to speak to us, but we aren’t always listening.
If we’re expecting His voice, we’ll pay closer attention. Remember that God wants to communicate with you. The Bible contains His living Word, and He uses it to speak directly to His children. Come to your Bible reading time ready to listen.
Psalm 119:18 is a great verse to prepare your heart before reading Scripture: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your Law.” You may be surprised when the Lord
applies something in a passage to your life and His Spirit opens your eyes to understand.
Second, we must obey the Word.
After getting his attention with the burning bush, God gave Moses a message. “Now come, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt” (Ex. 3:10). Moses initially objected, saying, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” (v. 11). All he could see were the obstacles to obeying the Lord.
Moses’ objection didn’t change God’s mind or His plans, and neither will ours. Although we may think of all sorts of reasons why we can’t do what He’s said, His commands are indisputable. The Lord never calls us to do anything for which He does not have a reason, purpose, or goal.
Does the thought of obeying the Lord sometimes fill you with fear?
Feelings of inadequacy and trepidation are not excuses for disobedience. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit to empower us. When you can’t see what’s ahead, ask the Lord for strength, and then obey in faith.
Third, we must trust God’s Word.
Since Moses had left Egypt as a fugitive, the thought of returning for such a daunting task must have filled him with fear. But the Lord assured him by revealing His name: “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). Moses needed to know that the Lord was the self-existent One who needed no help. This was His plan, and He would surely accomplish it because He’s the sovereign God of the universe who controls all things.
The Lord also gave Moses a promise. “Assuredly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain” (v. 12). The great I AM was about to act, and no one could thwart Him because He always does what He says He will.
When you read the Bible and come across a convicting passage and wonder how you could possibly do what He says, realize that the one who calls you to obey is the great I AM.
Knowing this should calm your fears and give you courage, whether He’s calling you to a pulpit, a classroom, a quiet act of service, or anything else. The Lord promises His assistance and provision so you never have to go empty-handed to your task. And if a situation doesn’t turn out as you expected, you must rely on truth rather than feelings. The Lord will never fail or desert you (Deut. 31:6).
Throughout God’s conversation with Moses, He promised His presence, and He has not changed. You can count on Him whenever you listen and obey His voice as He speaks through
Are you ready to start approaching Scripture with careful attention, a spirit of obedience, and a trusting heart?
When you do so, God’s Word will become alive and exciting to you. The Lord will open your mind to receive deeper understanding of Him, divine guidance for your life, supernatural power to obey, and the encouragement of His unfailing promises in your weakness, fear, or inadequacy.
I pray you’ll open your Bible today, knowing these treasures are in reach.
Charles F. Stanley
P.S. Through many years here at In Touch, we’ve sought to walk in accordance with God’s will and guidance. And we’ve seen His miraculous grace in action to help us spread the gospel and grow His ministry. What an honor it has always been to see His power at work. When I look toward the future, I trust that the years ahead for In Touch will be just as full of grace. To God be the glory.