I’ve been thinking of this topic for a while and then our pastor, preached message about Moses in a series titled, “God of the Underdog” (click here to listen) and it hit me in a much clearer way.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. We assume that the enemy uses our weaknesses against us. We expect to be attacked in the area of our weaknesses. I propose that many times, actually, most of the time, it is our strengths that do us in. This can happen in several ways.
In my own life I see where my fierce loyalty to a church or person has caused me to stay in a place too long or opened my heart to being assaulted by the object of my loyalty. Loyalty to God is good. There are times when our loyalty to people can be taken advantage of or lead us astray. I have found that my loyalty has to have built in priority and that priority is to obey God above all else even if I am perceived as being disloyal.
Keep in mind, these strengths are not just part of character, they are part of our identity. I’ve always been loyal (I think). I cannot think of a time when loyalty was not a part of my personality. I do not remember being taught to by loyal (although my dad is a fiercely loyal person as well so it is ingrained in me). Another example is the area of leadership. I am a first born; a natural leader. I heard a woman recently says that her siblings said about growing up with her, “She didn’t really play with us so much as she organized our play.” In other words, she was directing the orchestra. I can see that in my own life. My mom had a daycare while I was growing up so I told everyone what they were going to do. Some people labeled me as “bossy”. Recently, I read a series of articles on women being labeled “bossy” and how detrimental it can be. (click here for CNN article on “Banning Bossy”) Even the world recognizes that the word “bossy”, which is primarily used to describe women, is an attempt to undermine leadership characteristics in girls and women. When a girl is called “bossy” often enough or is told repeatedly she is “too loud” she begins to change to accommodate others. I remember being free as can be when I was around five years old. There were some people in my life who labeled me as “bossy”. My first grade teacher said I talked too much….I’m pretty sure it was on my report card. She also couldn’t understand me because of my deeply “Texas” accent. She kept switching my seat because I made friend with everyone I sat next too. She didn’t like me. I cannot pinpoint a single event that happened between 1st grade and 6th grade….maybe it was puberty, an awkward stage or maybe I wasn’t as “cute” any more but by 6th grade I was dreadfully shy; dreadfully. In 7th grade, I had to take a speech class and I was horrified. The crazy thing is I was born to lead and I was even born to speak. If you would have told me in 7th grade that I would stand up in front of 1500 people and speak, I would have thrown up but I have spoken in front of very large groups and I didn’t throw up. That’s how the enemy works…most times it isn’t the obvious weakness he goes for but our strength; our identity; who God created us to be. Let’s face it, we use our weaknesses against ourselves all the time…no one has to do that for us.
Back to Moses. When Moses was a youngish man, he saw an Egyptian beating a Israelite. He killed the Egyptian and fled into the wilderness. He was out in that wilderness for YEARS (interesting….Moses had to know that wilderness like the back of his hand. When he led the Israelites out of Egypt, he probably knew the way to the Promiseland but he waited on God to lead them anyway…another blog, another day). It was in Moses to deliver the Israelites. It was part of him from the beginning; He was created to be a deliverer; it was part of his identity and a strength. However, when he tried to be a deliverer on his own without God, he became a murderer. His strength used against him made him something he never should have been. It was in Moses’ DNA to be a deliverer but it had to be in God’s way and in God’s time, when God called him. The enemy will always try to get us to move forward in who we are without God. The enemy knows that apart from God will end up doing things that will cause us to lose touch with who God says we are. Moses was raised in Egypt. He had the education of an Egyptian prince. At that time in history, Egyptians were the best and brightest in the WORLD. He was raised as a prince and taught from his earliest age to be be a leader. God made a way for the enemy to educate, provide for and train up the future deliverer of the nation of Israel. How cool is that? God will cause your enemy to invest in you. He will cause your enemy to pay the price for your benefit. When Moses killed the Egyptian he had the right idea, perhaps the right motives but he had the wrong method and the wrong timing. When we see Moses again after years in the wilderness he seems to have become timid. Imagine the beat down his identity must have taken. He went out into the wilderness where he was a nobody, not a prince…he was nothing. He wasn’t leading anyone…no one was following Moses. Day after day for forty years and you become numb.
Thank God that He restores identity to us and not who perceived ourselves as but He restores us to who He designed us to be in the first place.
I imagine Moses walking into the familiar palace of a new pharaoh and remembering playing in those corridors. Who he was created to be began to stir in him. He starting to remember what it was like to lead. He remembered the authoritative strides of his youth. He remembered his training. The stirrings of a leader began to emerge. Think about it, Moses took his backup, older brother, Aaron with him to speak. Yet, chapters later in the Bible, it doesn’t read that Moses instructed Aaron to go talk to the people. Moses found his voice. He lead the Israelites, not Aaron.
God is good.
Consider today who God says you are. Has that been attacked? Have you been living up to who He says you are? If not, it’s time to get healed and sealed.
God bless you all!