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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Empower People

Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. (Exodus 18:17 NIV)

I try to imagine Moses’ reaction inside his head.  “Realy?!?  What I am doing is not good?!?  You weren’t there to see the snake from the staff trick.  You certainly weren’t there to see the plagues, from the water turning to blood all the way until the firstborn of each Egyptian household died.  I know you responded well to my stories, but I wonder if you really get it!” I’m not sure if Moses had any thoughts like this or not.  If he did, I’m not sure if he raced through them all before Jethro made his next statement or not.  But Jethro did continue.

You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. (Exodus 18:18 NIV)

Ah. Now Jethro is making sense.  To be sure, this work is taking long days and people are heading back home frustrated after standing in line all day.  Yeah, this method of ministry just isn’t working out.  So what’s the solution?  Does Moses stop being the intermediary between God and His people?  Does Moses stop helping people walk together with God?  No.

Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. (Exodus 18:19 NIV)

Moses must do his part of God’s plan.  He must continue in ministry even though it might be difficult.  God made that much clear at the bush that would not burn up.  Moses must continue empowering people.

Sometimes we can get overwhelmed at the thought of helping others walk together with God.  We can think the job is too big.  We can feel like we are working incredibly hard with no return.  When this happens, we are probably doing some of the wrong things with the right heart.  God calls every member of His Body (the Church) a minister.  If you are a Christian, you are a minister.  You and I don’t get released from that call.  We remain called to empower people.

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." (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

So, how about you?  Do you get overwhelmed and want to quit sometimes?  Do you get confused because God had already worked through you to do good before, so you think you are doing good now?  Did you assume that the overwhelming work was just a burden to bear?  Worse yet, did you think it was permission to quit?  Are you still empowering people?